On 17 september, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Nepal invited us to share our work and learn about the uses of OpenStreetMap(OSM) in Humanitarian activities. Red Cross has, over the years, grown to be the largest humanitarian organization in Nepal, with its network extended in each of the 75 districts of the country. Being a forerunner in providing immediate relief and reduce vulnerability during disaster, red cross requires to mobilize their volunteers efficiently on ground for which it requires a good map. OpenStreetMap has evolved to be that solution. In turn, OSM needs volunteers to map new places and to keep the existing map updated and accurate. There surely is a lot of potential for collaboration.
Dr. Nama Raj Budhathoki from the World Bank and Er. Amrit karmacharya from KLL presented an overview on how OSM data is being used in Humanitatian activities and what Kll has done as part of The World Bank supported Open Cities Project. Members from Red Cross were impressed to see the uses of OSM by Humanitirian OpenStreetMap Team(HOT) and by American Red Cross. They were glad to see the data Kll has collected and liked it most because OSM data is OPEN- open to use and open to contribute. Another aspect that Red Cross found to be useful is the possibility of using OSM offline. They pointed out that in disaser situations there may not be internet connection, and the ability to use OSM data offline and in mobile devices would be a great help.
Presentation ended with a demo of OSMAND android app, but that was just the end of the beginning. Red Cross is interested to follow with a Mapping Party.