Kathmandu Living Labs gives OpenStreetMap workshop to Nepal Red Cross

On September 17, 2013 Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) was invited by International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) Nepal to share its experiences on OpenStreetMapping in humanitarian activities. Read this. Fascinated by the current activities of KLL and the potential uses of open data, Nepal Red Cross Society showed its interest to follow up with a Mapping Party.

KLL had yet another opportunity of working together with Nepal Red Cross Society during the “Participatory GIS Training” organized within the Bhaktapur Durbar Square premises. Check out the pictures here.  Nepal Red Cross Society, American Red Cross, World Bank and KLL jointly organized the five days long residential training on Participatory GIS techniques. Robert Banick and Ranjan Mohnot from American Red Cross, Kareem Ahmed from British Red Cross, Amrit Karmacharya and Helina Shrestha from KLL, and Arun Bhandari, an OSM volunteer from Kathmandu University facilitated the training. Participants of the training were a group of 25 field officers from Nepal Red Cross, IFRC and National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET). The event was featured in a local newspaper. Click here to read the article.

KLL’s third collaborative event with Nepal Red Cross was the OpenStreetMap workshop on October 29, 2013 at the premises of Nepal Red Cross. This workshop was delivered to the newly appointed Red Cross staffs from different district chapters. Red Cross staffs from these districts will be mapping vulnerable Koshi River Basin communities in Nepal and this data will be made publicly available via OpenStreetMap. As of now, Red Cross targets to map 10 vulnerable VDCs in the Koshi Flood zone.

Couple of pictures from the Mapping Party are below.

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For more pictures check our flickr pictures here.

The growing interests of humanitarian organizations in open data shows a tremendous potential for the use of crowdsourcing and cutting edge web 2.0 technologies on humanitarian response operations and aid activities. Humanitarian organizations such as Red Cross have a direct on-ground connection to local communities. This approach not only adds new data to the map but also verifies existing information and increases the quality and coverage of OpenStreetMap data.

Discussion on further collaboration between KLL and Red Cross is on way.

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