SchEMS (School of Environmental Science and Management), Mapping Party and an Insight

“So for whom is the OpenStreetMap useful for and does it have a specific set of users?” asked one of the mapping party attendees. The question was valid and the answer was straightforward but nothing beats learning by doing. So we decided to defer the answer till the end.

The mapping party ended at around 11.00 in the morning. But the four hours that built up to it were eventful – the OpenStreetMap was introduced, attendees went out on to the field to collect data, they did a lab session where they created their own maps and made their first contributions to the OpenStreetMap community. And during the course, many new questions were asked and answers were delivered.

But it was about 11.00 and the mapping party was drawing towards its scheduled end. But that question essentially remained unanswered – not because it had no answer but because it no longer needed to be answered. The students of Environmental Science and Management had figured out that the OSM is just as useful to them as it is to anyone else. Differently put, the OSM is just as useful to anyone else as it is to them. But they need not be told this. By 11.00 o’clock, they had figured it out themselves.

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