Local Chapter Guidelines

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Revision as of 06:53, 31 May 2006 by Pmarc (Talk | contribs) (Guidlines)

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This page documents the current dicsussion and has not yet been approved as official OSGeo policy!

The idea of Local Chapters is to provide for Wiki pages and later mailing lists and webspace for documents and files in the native language of the members focusing on main OSGeo activities and approved policies. Local chapters are operated as all Open Source projects with a Project Steering Committee that has to be approved by the board, a list of members, etc.

Open Issues

Should there rather be local (or localized) chapters for languages or regions or both? Three examples:

  • German language is spoken in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. One local language chapter would make sense.
  • Switzerland has three several official languages, one is German. So one local Swiss chapter with several language sections would make more sense.
  • Portuguese is spoken in Portugal and Brazil (and some other places). One local language chapter would make sense but the regions are so very different that a separate local chapter would be healthy.

How to start a Local Chapter

  • Start a new Wiki page as a link from the Local Chapters page.
  • Work out which of the above versions makes most sense (suggest others...)
  • Add a short introduction in English language describing what the special needs of this language or localized group are (if its 'only' the language, fine)
  • Start a member list (people who show interest) on that page
  • Find out and link to other Like Minded Regional Organizations
  • Contact those organizations and try to get a representative to sign up at OSGeo.org
  • Introduce your Local Chapter initiative to the Discuss List
  • Start a motion to make your Local Chapter an official OSGeo project

possibly it would be helpful to require a minimum of members to sign on that Wiki page prior to admitting an official proposal - say ten people


  • The OSGeo does not want to highjack or take over any groups that already function well!
  • In all cases it must be warranted that the OSGeo does not interfere but cooperates with existing groups.
  • Ideally OSGeo supports existing groups without imposing strong restrictions.
  • All the same OSGeo adheres to its principles. If these are not compatible to the existing local groups a consensus might be worked out.
  • At least one representative of the local chapter should be (must be) member of the OSGeo Foundation. (Must be chair?)
  • This member (chair) will produce a weekly (later monthly, quarternary) report in English language to the OSGeo board highlighting progress and describing potential difficulties.
  • The local chapter can communicate and distribute all stable documents that have been approved by the board.
  • It is encouraged to translate these documents to the local language (this is obvious).
  • Prior to publishing such a translation as official document it has to be approved by the board (who needs to work out how to do that...)
  • The local chapter should - if it applies - put together a list of issues that arise from cultural aspects of the region and language they operate in
  • The local chapter cannot take decisions on behalf of the board, except one representative has been entitled to do so (this might be done by making that person an OSGeo officer -> still needs to be worked out.)