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  • Shakti Prakash Joshi, GESAN Member

Maps Say It Better: OSM Training at Paschimanchal Campus

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

On May 26th, 2017, keeping in mind the importance of maps, GESAN (Geomatics Engineering Students’ Association Nepal) and Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL)-Pokhara jointly organized two day training for geomatics students, targeting first year and second year students from Paschimanchal Campus. Er. Roshan Poudel and Alisha BK from KLL contributed their valuable time to train our juniors’ in the importance and significance of OpenStreetMap and offered ideas on how to map raw data.

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world. OpenStreetMap emphasizes local knowledge. Contributors use aerial imagery, GPS devices, and low-tech field maps to verify that OSM is accurate and up-to-date.

On the first day of the training, students were provided with an OSM tracker application on their mobile phone. They were simply guided to collect open data for OSM through their mobile phones. GESAN members led the students to collect data from areas around the college. They were taught to record multimedia as data too. Students captured photographs and also recorded voice clips for upcoming mapping sessions.

On the second day, trainers from Kathmandu Living Labs taught our eager students about the importance of the maps and taught them to process the data that they have collected a day earlier. Er.Roshan even described the differences between Google maps and OpenStreetMaps, making crystal clear for all the participants the flexibility, convenience and reliability of OSM. The training program proceeded very interestingly and was accompanied with multimedia clips, cross questions and a friendly atmosphere that our participants and trainer shared. Participants were very eager and very curious to learn about OSM.

OpenStreetMap's community is diverse, passionate, and growing every day. OSM contributors include enthusiast mappers, GIS professionals, engineers running the OSM servers, humanitarians mapping disaster-affected areas, and many more. OSM consists of more details than other maps. It’s easy to use and provides a good user interface. OSM users can add, remove or edit some data on the map which adds the flexibility of maps. As it is easily editable, it contains less error than Google maps. This was a small program, yet very effective and successful. A total of 37 participants were present in the program and they were totally satisfied with the training. They found it very fruitful and even said they look forward for more such programs.

We GESAN members are very grateful to KLL, which has always supported GESAN in every sector and has always shown its keen interest in enhancing geomatics student’s skill through various programs and trainings. They have always been very supportive and have jointly collaborated with us in many programs too. Although our program was initially hampered by some technical malfunctions, later the program ran efficiently full time, which provided participants with lots of mapping knowledge and inspired and motivated them to create better maps- which say it better.

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