Development and maintenance of Mapbender is supported by organizations contracting developers, organizations contributing improvements, users contributing improvements, and volunteers. Generally speaking this works well, and Mapbender has improved substantially over the years.
However, there are still many tasks which do not receive the attention they should. Processing bug reports, writing documentation, writing test scripts, evaluating test script failures and user support often receive less attention than would be desired. Some new features of broad interest are not implemented because they aren't important enough to any one person or organization.
In order to provide sustained funding to support the maintenance, improvement and promotion of the Mapbender project, the project seeks project sponsors to provide financial support. Sponsorship would be accomplished via the OSGeo Project Sponsorship Program. Funds are held by OSGeo for disposition on behalf of the project, and dispersed at the discretion of the Mapbender Project Steering Committee.
The primary intended use of the sponsorship funds is to hire a maintainer on a contract basis. The responsibilities would include:
- Quality assuring and merging code from external contributors.
- Maintaining update scripts and reference installation.
- Add Web 2.0 functionality and look.
- Addressing bug reports, reproducing, then fixing or passing on to another developer.
- Extending, and running the test suite.
- Improving documentation.
- Other improvements to the software.
Sponsorship funds may also be used to contract for specific improvements to Mapbender, provision of resources such as web hosting, funding code sprints, or funding project promotion. Decisions on spending of sponsorship funds will be made by the Mapbender Project Steering Committee.
Sponsoring Mapbender provides the following benefits:
- Ensures the sustainability and health of the Mapbender project.
- All sponsors will be listed on the Mapbender Credits page, ordered by contribution class (Platinum, Gold, Silver) with a link back to the sponsor. Silver sponsors and above may include a logo.
- Sponsors will be permitted to indicate they are project sponsors in web and other promotional materials, and use the Mapbender logo.
- Sponsor input on project focus and direction will be solicited via a survey.
- Sponsors will received a degree of priority in processing of bug reports by any maintainer hired with sponsorship funds.
- Sponsors will receive a detailed report annually on the use of sponsorship funds.
Sponsors can sponsor Mapbender for any amount of money of at least €500. At or above the following levels a sponsor will be designated as being one of the following class:
- € 20.000: Platinum Sponsor
- € 5.000: Gold Sponsor
- € 1.000: Silver Sponsor
Sponsorships last one year, after which they may be continuing with a new payment, or allowed to lapse. The OSGeo Local Chapter FOSSGIS e.V. is a non-profit charity organization and sponsorships are eligible as a charitable contribution. OSGeo is planning to be US 501(c)3 charity, then sponsorships will be eligible as a charitable contribution for US taxpayers also. Appropriate receipts can be issued when needed.
Organizations or individuals interested in sponsoring the Mapbender project should contact Arnulf Christl (email@example.com, +49 228 9768 424) with questions, or to make arrangements.