Wikimaps User Group/Revitalization

Wikimaps Members Reports Projects

Proposed activities and governance model for 2021Edit

This is a draft for our proposal for activities in 2021. If you wish to propose changes to it, please comment on the talk page before 9 May.

Based on the discussions in the Wikimaps Telegram group and below on this page and the talk page, the group proposes:

  • Stay as a user group with two contact persons, but no further governance for the time being.
  • Current contact persons continue fulfilling their responsibilities until a yearly checkup on the Wikimaps User Group page on Meta for updates by the end of the year for the next year.
  • The main activity is the discussion group in Telegram.
  • The activities of the group may take the form of thematic or birds-of-a-feather gatherings in Wikimedia and other related events.
  • The group has interest in organizing a thematic event. If such an event is planned, the user group's governance model may be updated.

Options for organizational structuresEdit

1. Steering CouncilEdit

When the user group was first recognized in 2017, it was administered by Susanna and Albin. Unfortunately, Susanna and Albin both do not have any time to spare to steer this user group and since the user group does not have any codified governance model, there is a leadership vacuum. Assuming that the user group members wish to remain as a formal affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation, then we should collectively decide on creating and adopting a governance model to administer the user group moving forward.

The suggestion is that the user group should adopt and adapt a version of the Python Language Governance model. In particular the user group should have a 3-person Steering Council who will lead the decision-making in the user group. This council acts like a lightweight Board of Trustees + C-level executive group. Two of the Steering Council members will also act as liaisons with AffCom.

Election of 1st Steering CouncilEdit

This assumes that the Wikimaps User Group accepts the proposed governance model in the previous section.

Proposed timelineEdit

Date Activity Description
March–April 2021 Organizational planning Existing Wikimaps User Group members discuss and agree on the plan to revitalize the user group (and basically finalize the contents of this whole page)
May 2021 Election of Steering Council Existing Wikimaps User Group members elect the members of the 1st Steering Council.
June 2021 Activity planning The Steering Council will lead the discussion for planning the user group's activities in 2021 including the flagship Wiki Loves Maps annual event.
November 2021 Wiki Loves Maps Implementation of the Wikimaps User Groups' inaugural annual event to coincide with Geography Awareness Month.

2. Lightweight user groupEdit

Another option is to make the governance as light-weight as possible. The group has a lively Telegram channel, where many of the group's members are active. Together they have lots of expertise to discuss and solve maps-related issues in the Wikimedia environment. As the group is not managing any resources, the discussion channel serves the needs of the group very well. It would not be wise to terminate the group, as it would be a very useful structure, if that would be needed to support the organization of an event, for example. My proposal is that we can keep the group with minimal reporting requirements, with an option to expand to a more formal governance model, if needed.

Proposed activitiesEdit

Wiki Loves MapsEdit

This section will contain plans for organizing an annual project for the user group. The user group, should have at least an annual project where its members can rally around. And this is not without precedent; many user groups are actually formed around organizing annual events such as the WikiConference North America user group and the Wikipedia Asian Month User Group.