Membership Rules

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Revision as of 09:49, 12 June 2006 by Mpg (talk | contribs) (→‎Specifics)
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This is a draft only. It is only a starting point for discussion; OSGeo and its board do not yet have an official position on these issues.

Membership Classes


There are three basic types of membership in the Foundation: Participant, Associate Member, and Voting Member.

  • The broadest category, that of Participant, is for those who are not formally registered on the website but who nonethess contribute code, help out on committees, follow the various mailing lists, and otherwise participate in Foundation activities.
  • The second type of membership is Associate Member. This membership class has the same level of rights to work on Foundation activities as the Participant class, but with the difference that these individuals have self-registered themselves on the website. By registering, an individual is "opting in" and publicly acknowleging his connection to the Foundation. This registration process also provides the Foundation with a known, countable membership base to track.
  • The third type of membership is Voting Member. This class is the same as the Member (non-voting) class, but with two important differences. First, this class gives individuals the right to vote in Foundation elections. Second, in order to maintain the integrity of the Foundation election processes -- and by extension the integrity of the Foundation itself -- members at this level must be nominated and voted in. (The number of members and frequency of membership elections is yet to be determined.)

It is important to realize that the only real difference between Voting Member and Associate Member is the right to vote at the Foundation level. All mailing lists, projects, committees, and other Foundation activities are uniformly open and available to all friends of the Foundation.


Each of these classes can be described in terms of several characteristics:

  • Eligibility Requirements: who can be a member of this class
  • Nominating Rights: what rights are given for nominating new members
  • Voting Rights: what rights are given for Foundation-level voting

The classes and their characteristics are as follows:

  • Participant
    • Eligibility Requirements: none (everyone is welcome)
    • Nominating Rights: has the right to nominate Voting Members and Board members
    • Voting Rights: none
  • Associate Member
    • Eligibility Requirements: must self-register on the
    • Nominating Rights: same as Particpant
    • Voting Rights: none
  • Voting Member
    • Eligibility Requirements: must be nominated and voted in
    • Nominating Rights: same as Participant
    • Voting Rights: may vote in Foundation elections

Additional Notes

"Registration" on the website shall consist of the following: self-chosen username, valid email address, affiliation(s) (optional), lat/lon (optional), and a short bio/description (optional).

Note that, perhaps surprisingly, Board membership is handled separately from these four classes of membership. Specifically, one need not be a Foundation member of any type to be nominated and elected to the Board, although this would certainly be unusual.

The Foundation will maintain on its website a public roster of all mebers (voting and non-voting).

A member may choose to resign from the Foundation at any time.

General Member Responsibilities

As a member of the Foundation, you have the following responsibilities:

  • promote the goals of the foundation
  • act in a professional and responsible manner
  • ...

New Member Nominations

procedure for nominating and electing new members; nominees must opt-in; ...?

Membership Change and Revocation

If the Board deems that any member is not acting in the best interests of the Foundation, e.g. by not adhering to the Membership Responsinbilites, they may by majority vote revoke the membership of that member.

Criteria for Member Nominations

The following suggested membership selection criteria were taken verbtim from what was used in selecting the second tranche; seems pretty complete to me:

  • The person should have made a contribution to open source geospatial software already.
  • The person should be willing to put in time and effort on the foundation, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way that gets the foundation going.
  • Members should believe in the general goals of the foundation. To support and promote the use of open source geospatial software in a collaborative manner (my words).
  • Members selected should provide a diversity of geographic representation in the foundation.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of projects. For instance, we have a strong desire to see the "java tribe" well represented in the foundation. We don't want the membership dominated by folks from just one project.
  • Members selected should provide representation of a diversity of interests (eg. corporate, hobbyist, educational, scientific).
  • Members should be prepared to works constructively and positively towards the goals of the foundation. Good teamwork skills are an asset.


(although this sounds like legal boilerplate, but I'm including not for any legal reason -- I'm including it because I think it is a good thing to say out loud, esp. in an internatial group like this)

The Foundation is open to all members of the geospatial community. We do not discrimite based on age, gender, race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.