Girls’ Mapping Party!

“… That polished nail finger pressing the GPS button definitely changes the way society perceives women.” : Mahesh Thapa, Kathmandu University.

These were the words from a comment that hit on my eyes when I was reading the blog post -Maiden Mapper’s OSM experience by Helina Shrestha (http://www.osmnepal.org/maiden-mappers-osm-experience/ ).

After a stressful week, usually the last day is for relaxation where youths would normally either choose gaining some extra sleep or go for outings to: catch up on latest movie flicks; visit exciting places or spend some quality family time. But something different happened that day; 17 girls already gathered at DryIce Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Baneshwor by 10:30 am with enthusiasm and curiousness regarding program of the day. It was Saturday, March 30, 2013; OpenDRI Nepal organized Girl’s Mapping Party for the first time in Nepal.

Thanks to the organizer for giving me an opportunity to share my experiences at the very beginning of the program regarding my participation on Open Data Day celebrated on 23rd February. Ms. Helina Shrestha introduced participants along with the program schedule and also gave us briefing about the JOSM software. Then, the groups of four started their field visit, to map educational institutes and other noticeable features, carrying smartphones and walking papers on four different locations around Baneshwor area. After returning, everyone started to upload the features and tracks recorded on their GPS devices.

At 1:30 p.m., the “Girls Mapping Party” was concluded by cutting a beautiful cake at Meatco restaurant, Baneshwor. Even after the program ended, we still wished the mapping party to have extended.

The program was first of its kind in Nepal since it was the first ‘Girls Mapping Party.’ The blog post mentioned above (in its original content) says only a small number of female mappers are actively contributing to the global OSM community. So, I think organizing such programs will really encourage more number of polished fingers to actively participate in the OSM mapping project. Thanks to Helina, Lena and the entire team of OpenDRI Nepal for bringing us together for a global cause: “A map of the Community, by the Community and for the Community” to ensure “Data is completely open and free”.

The program is a Great Beginning! Wish to have its continuation in the imminent future!!

The theme of the United Nation’s first International Day of the Girl celebrated on 11 October 2012 is definitely valuable:

“Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures” 

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