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  • Maliha Binte Mohiuddin, University of Dhaka

Polaroid moments through the eyes of a YouthMapper

Sometimes in life, we want to relive some of the moments by taking it with the Polaroid camera. Here, I want to share some of the Polaroid moments of State of the Map Asia, which show that YouthMappers are creating a great movement across the universe. Here is a highlight, when we saw the chief Geographer of the United States, Dr. Lee Schwartz, take off his jacket to show the audience his amazing cool YouthMappers T-shirt. Like Super Man!

Other Polaroid moments were when we saw the fantastic as well as inspirational presentations of the different country representatives of the Asian continent. It creates a great source of sharing and exchanging knowledge among the audience. As a Bangladeshi, I felt proud we saw the legendary Ahasanul Hoque representing OSM Bangladesh with enthusiasm.

The most effective learning session was the governmental panel session because as a youthmappers fellow, I have learned how policy can create a new direction with the technical attachments. We can call moments like these, new discovering Polaroid moments.

Here comes the most interesting session of SOTM Asia. Guess what it is! The YouthMappers Polaroid moment! The session, which was already creating a buzz itself with the powerful movement of the youth, was named “The Journey of the YouthMappers”. The session started with an introductory speech about YouthMappers to inspire the audience and reassure them that YouthMappers are here to create a remarkable history.

The presentation began with how the YouthMappers programme has introduced technical skills through the leadership fellowship with fellows from different continents. We discussed the “Lets Girl Map” concept to the audience and how the open data movement is creating opportunities for women to lead. There was a “ Wow” feedback from the audience. Heather Leson from IFRC thought that “Lets Girl Map” is a revolutionary initiative for women in mapping history.

Manjurul Islam presented on “Contributions and collaboration of YouthMappers in Asia” with a great, energetic voice. Then Saurav Gautam, another YouthMappers fellow from Nepal, presented the work of YouthMappers in Nepal. Another member of a Nepalese YouthMappers chapter, Sumit Rana, introduced the mapping work of his University. Airin Akter from the

University of Dhaka, wrapped up the presentation by enlightening the audience with the mapping works of Youthmappers of DU chapter and their achievements and challenges.

The Youthmappers group created a great impact when the discussion started from the curious audience. Eugene Lisovskiy from MAPS.ME was so impressed that he wants to start a Youthmappers chapter in Russia. Prof. Melinda Laituri from Colorado State University and Faith Sternlib from Secondary Cities in Action also shared their desire to create a Youthmappers chapter in the CSU university.

The YouthMappers from Bangladesh and Nepal are thinking to create more chapters as well as thinking of ways to collaborate their work in the future. Sharing some polaroid moments of the Second day of the Conference, there was a session named as “Youth as Mappers” where the female students from Nepal shared how mapping empowered their vision of humanitarian work.

A discussion on “ Secondary Cities in Action” was an interesting session. It showed us how we can make a city more resourceful with the hope of development. Then the future of OSM in Asia and Beyond and the closing session were enthusiastically moderated by Dr. Nama Rah Budhathoki. These are some amazing Polaroid moments from the eye of a YouthMappers fellow. But the vision is not far away and one day there will be a continental based YouthMappers Conference to create the depth knowledge sharing platform among the regional mappers.

Maliha Binte Mohiuddin is in her final year of the Bachelors' program in the Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability at the University of Dhaka. She is interested in writing to inspire youth through words and she believes in Female leadership . In her free time, she participates in mapping activities and reading new technological stuff regarding mapping.

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