Putting ‘a little Open data’ onto OSM

OpenStreetMap(OSM) has been used to map a host of features in Uganda. Web mapping tools such as Google map maker have been used too- the Google people have been here for quite a while now! However, the folk at Map Uganda are giving Google maps a run for their money. The exception with OSM is that you get open data at your disposal! . During the last couple of years, the team at Map Uganda have worked towards translating physical features on the ground in our communities to digital maps. We have added points of interest, hospitals, schools, roads (highways, tracks, ways in OSM talk), forested areas, hydrological features to mention a few. The plan is to Map Uganda- which is a work in progress, though I cannot help wondering how long it’ll take to map a whooping 236,040 km 2 expanse of land. This is where we draw the inspiration to get Uganda beautifully mapped one day! So we’ll continue mapping in groups (which is much better) but also individually- for those who have a snack for mapping.

Under 4 Hours

Last month had us map using GPS Units, field papers and satellite imagery. We used JOSM as digitizing software. This was an exceptional mapping day and tagged successful in my OSM mapping world. Key success points that stood out for me were:

-collecting ≈ 200 data points

-configuring brand new GPS Units (Garmin Etrex 30), that worked without a flaw

-installing JOSM software for Windows machines

*you need to run the java runtime environment file for windows first and then the JOSM set-up file above

-working with a sunny and focused team

-fitting a quality* mapping day into under four hours


A graphed-up mappingday

During the planning of the event above, I worked remotely with a colleague, who was putting together a similar event at Gulu University, almost simultaneously. I thought it a good idea to have a ‘graphed-up mapping day’, that doubles as a four hour mapping program. It might just become easier to plan one with a reference like the one below.