Participants at the Fourth Mapping Party PHOTO CREDIT: Ramani Huria

Ramani Huria held our fourth mapping party on Saturday, July 25th, at Buni Innovation Hub. Forty-eight students attended the event, primarily from Ardhi University and the University of Dar es Salaam. Mapping Parties are part of Ramani Huria’s ongoing community events with the aim of building, strengthening and spreading the use and ethos of Open Source data, specifically the use of OpenStreetMap, a free editable map of the world.

Participants processing  tasks from the HOT Tasking Manager PHOTO CREDIT: Ramani Huria

This month’s mapping party focused on the HOT Tasking Manager, an incredible tool used for collaborative mapping globally by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) globally. 

The first session was led by Steven Bukulu (Mapping Supervisor in the Ramani Huria project), who explained that the HOT Tasking Manager divides up a mapping job into smaller tasks that can be completed rapidly. The tool also shows which areas need to be mapped and which areas need the mapping validated – the process of validating ensures that the areas mapped are correct and of a high standard. Steven concluded the session with a video that shows the case study of Nepal and how HOT responds to vulnerable areas that need maps that could help in disaster recovery efforts. The video shows HOT activities after a major earthquake in 2015 and how volunteers contributed to map generation/production with the use of drones, that provided high-quality imagery used for digitization.

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‘Nepal Quake: Could a mapping project help with recovery’ VIDEO SOURCE: BBC

The second session, introduced the participants to Mapillary, a street view mapping application. Geoffrey a mapping supervisor from HOT explained, “Mapillary is a service for crowdsourcing street view photos. Anyone can collect photos with simple tools such as smartphones or action cameras. These photos are then combined into a street-level photo view of that particular area, are uploaded and shared on the mapillary web platform”. 

Mapilliary PHOTO CREDIT: Mapillary

For example, in the image above, collected by Ramani Huria and now available as a free and open licence, shows drains, power lines and the road, among many other features. Expanding upon the Missing Maps collaborative digitization, it could be possible for anyone to digitise these features and have the underlying data available in OpenStreetMap

Additionally, Geoffrey talked about Maptime Tanzania, which he described as an open learning environment for all levels and degrees of knowledge, supporting mappers and all those interested in learning new mapping technology and skills.

In the final session, a walkthrough session for the HOT Tasking Manager was done to get the audience familiar with the tool. “Task #1120 – Missing Maps: Dar es Salaam (drone imagery)” was picked as the area of focus. The areas have been mapped by Ramani Huria during the mapping activities and remote mapping sessions. 

Keko ward before mapping, on August 10th SOURCE: OpenStreetMap

Keko after mapping, on August 10th  SOURCE: OpenStreetMap

The next mapping party will take place on 22nd August 2015 at Buni. The theme of this mapping party will be ‘Map My Hometown on OSM’ #MMHOSM. In this session, mappers will be grouped to remote map their hometown’s region. The goal for the mapping party is to have this data available on OpenStreetMap for future social-economic development. The mapping party is open to all who are interested in mapping their community and will run from 10 am-1 pm. Updates will be posted on the Facebook event page.

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