[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Andrea Ross andrea.ross at eclipse.org
Sun Nov 15 16:35:30 PST 2015

On 15/11/15 23:20, Daniel Kastl wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
>> People can and do participate in both OSGeo & LocationTech all the
>> time.  This is a good thing. It absolutely isn't a zero sum
>> scenario. The mutually reinforce each other rather than detract
>> from one another.
> I think there is a big difference in how the participation is organized:
> With OSGeo you become a member like this: http://www.osgeo.org/Membershi
> p
> And with LT it works like this:
> https://www.locationtech.org/content/become-member and details in
> here: https://www.locationtech.org/charter
> You could now argue, that participation is not membership. That's right.
> But then look at who you participate for in case of LT :
> https://www.locationtech.org/members
> There is a big "Strategic" at the topic, so to me this means, that
> they have a lot to say. And there is a guest sections, which it likely
> the opposite.
> I don't need to explain, who paid their dollars to become a strategic
> member. For them the annual fee is nothing in their overall budget.
> The funny thing is, that both (OSGeo and LT) have a "Nondiscrimination
> Statement" on their website:
> OSGeo: "The Foundation is open to all members of the geospatial
> community. We do not discriminate based on age, gender, race,
> nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability."
> LT: "We are committed to making participation in the LocationTech
> community a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of
> level of experience, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual
> orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race,
> ethnicity, age, religion or analogous grounds."
> I think you forgot "economic discrimination"!
> For me, whether I would be able to pay for a membership or not, it
> makes it a very easy decision, where I want to contribute my volunteer
> time for.
> Sorry, if this slightly moved the thread into a different direction. I
> just wanted to agree with Andrea, that LT doesn't have the same goals
> in some way: it clearly focuses on the economic strong members of the
> organization.
> Best regards,
> Daniel
> PS: you will also recognize from the members, that LT is not a diverse
> organization in terms nationalities. Well, you could argue, that IBM,
> Oracle and Google are operating globally ;-)


Your email is incorrect and very misleading unfortunately. If you don't 
mind some important clarifications below, I hope they'll help.

You compared organizational membership at LocationTech with individual 
participation at OSGeo. A much better comparison would be to compare 
OSGeo sponsors with LocationTech membership. You'll see they are 
similar. LocationTech members receive formal representation on the board 
which I think is a significant difference worth noting.

For completeness, it's worth mentioning that LocationTech's membership 
model is based on a sliding scale of revenue & employee count. A vote is 
a vote whether it comes from a huge member or tiny one, or a committer. 
I believe this largely covers your concern of economic discrimination. 
Jody mentioned that OSGeo is considering a similar model, which I think 
is a great idea.

You are correct that guest members are observers. They participate, but 
have no formal voting rights. They can upgrade their membership at any 
time should they wish to.

 From an individual participation perspective, be it as users, 
contributors, or committers they are quite similar. One significant 
difference is that project committers have dedicated formal 
representation on the LocationTech board.

It's also worth mentioning that as Strategic membership grows, so does 
committer representation to counter-balance. The whole point of the 
Foundation is to provide a structured governance model so that votes 
count equally and keep various influences in balance for the betterment 
of the ecosystem.

You likely also notice that it uses the funding provided by 
organizational members to support the projects, but in a way that does 
not interfere with their independence and self governance. I believe 
that to be quite desirable from a project's perspective. Rob has shared 
his feelings on the matter as well.

I hope this helps,


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