We need more girl mappers and their contribution in open geographic data. As, we believe that when a girl maps or uses the open geographic data the insight might be different from that of a man. With the aim to increase the number of girls in mapping, Women Leaders in Technology (WLiT) and Kathmandu Living Labs(KLL) organized a two day training – ‘Girls Mapping their community’ on March 2-3, 2019. This training was supported by Data for Development in Nepal implemented by The Asia Foundation, and Kaasthamandap Vidhyalaya. Altogether, 19 girls from A levels of Kaasthamandap Vidhyalaya participated in the training.
During the first day of the training, on Open Data Day (ODD) 2019, a series of activities such as girls drawing and describing the map of their community in pair, looking at their community in the openstreetmap (OSM) website were carried out. A case study on ‘Mapping gives FGM runaways path to help in Tanzania’ was presented to the girls. This included the background of FGM practice which was then followed by a video on how a girl was rescued from being cut through mapping. They were also shown the map of Tanzania along with various details mapped by the Crowd2Map team. This worked as an inspiration to our girls for mapping their community.
We also celebrated Open Data Day, 2019.
Pic: Here’s a picture from the celebration where girls are ready to cut the cake.
After the ODD celebration the girls went to Budhanilkantha for field mapping. Four teams were formed and girls were accompanied by the trainers and their two school teachers as their team leaders to ensure their safety in the field. The girls interacted with the people on field to collect data. Some girls were also able to observe the community in a way that they had never observed before. For instance, Aliza Ghale, noticed bent electric poles, open sewage and mapped zebra crossing and street lights. This also sparked the query inside her about what she can do to improve the place. She says that she now wants to map her community. The girls collected critical data from the field and headed back home.
Pic: Field mapping in Budhanilkantha
On the second day of the training the girls uploaded the data that they had collected from field on Day 1 after a session on feature tagging guidelines for mapping. The girls actively mapped the collected data and made their first contribution to OSM following the tagging guidelines. They also presented their findings from the field and their experiences through a group presentation drawing on the best of their creativity. The girls also filled a development plan on how to take the learning from the training ahead. Some of the girls have amazed us and have shown interest to map their community, and share the learning to their family and friends.
Pic: Girls uploading the data collected from field
Pic: Girls presenting their findings and experience of field mapping
Overall, the training was successful in training 19 girls and giving them knowledge about mapping their community. We will provide update of any contribution or activity that these girls do after the training.
Pic: Group Picture