A chilly morning of December 18, KLL was all set to deliver a day long mapping workshop to the Youth Forum of Climate Change – organized by ICIMOD at AITM, Lalitpur. Too bad we couldn’t start it with real, hot Yo:maris, a local dish prepared specially at this time of the year. But we did start with a little warm up exercise for the audience where one half of them had to shout ‘Yo:mari’ and the other half had to shout ‘Punhi’ to drown out the other’s voice.
What followed was an introductory presentation on OpenStreetMap by Dr. Budhathoki representing the World Bank. Next was a comedy gag by KLL to provide a walkthrough of the OpenStreetMap interface and its uses.
After a sating lunch and now armed with the holistic know-how of the OpenStreetMap, all 40 participants of the Youth Forum split up into 6 groups and went around AITM – an area that stretched from Satdobato Chowk to Harisiddhi Brick Factory – to do real, hands-on mapping. Each group was led by a facilitator from KLL and each of these groups’ task was to collect some pre-defined thematic data (related to climate change) and also anything else that they thought would be interesting or useful to map. And given the diversity in these groups (consisting of students and professionals across nine different fields), they did find quite a handful of interesting things to map – from big bridges to small culverts, from tree-rows to individual trees, from big brick kilns to small convenience stores.
Returning from the field, these participants were given a hands on session to upload these wide arrays of field data on to the OpenStreetMap using the iD editor. What’s more – each of these six groups then presented on how their experiences of the day was.
“I have made quite a few maps. But this is the first time I made a map which is immediately visible to the whole world and is therefore immediately useful for so many.”
– One of the participants in the event, while presenting his day’s experiences.
After the uploading session, we discussed the potential uses of the data we uploaded. We also talked about some fascinating apps which are based on OpenStreetMap and OpenStreetMap data – data just like the ones we had uploaded that day. We discussed how closely knit the OpenStreetMap community is and how these seemingly small contributions from individuals have bigger implications for not just one or two, but hundreds of applications that use OpenStreetMap data.
“…So all these applications that we demonstrated here today, these use OSM data – data that were created and uploaded – just like we did today. So from an individual’s perspective, you might be uploading just one or two points or lines to the OSM. But these updates are reflected on and are used by hundreds of other applications which use OSM data. So no contribution is small!”
– [paraphrasing] Nirab Pudasaini (OSM-Android App developer), while presenting his Mero Bhada Meter app to the audience.
So, we got acquainted with the OpenStreetMap, we learnt how to use it, how to contribute to it and we also learnt about the greater implications of these seemingly small but very vital contributions. And all of that in one day! Not bad, I would say. Not bad at all. In fact, it deserved some celebration. And our way of celebrating was to finish the day off with a mapping party cake! What started off with hot, sweet Yo:mari ended with cold but sweeter cakes – quite apt for a mapping workshop on climate change.
Happy Mapping everyone! No contribution is small!
This was our schedule for the day: