Mapping and Training: Eastern University YouthMappers Chapter
Mapping is always an interesting field of enjoyment for any individual, and if the mapping tasks are ‘Mapping To End FGM: Mwanza East' or ‘Eliminate Malaria: Angola 6’ , then spending moments for mapping becomes joyful. It is fascinating that we are creating maps with information of nearby locations that we usually visit for various purposes. I wonder, if someone had not thought to create Google Maps or OpenStreetMap (OSM), it would not have been possible to accomplish the following:
Going from one place to another without asking anyone for route directions
Going to nearby or distant places using the shortest path available
Learning the actual distance in kilometers or miles for better vehicular movement
Again, we discover new and unknown places through maps and get an idea of a new place and its adjacent areas before visiting. Mapping has made it possible for us to learn about a place located in the furthest corner of the earth and this makes our lives easier! In the initial phases of learning how to map, the YouthMappers at the Eastern University chapter were exuberant when we first got our hands-on training on OSM - a platform that lets us be a part of mapping different places, in our home country and abroad. We were not aware of mapping in OSM but our elected chapter president came forward to lend her hands in order to teach us how to map on OSM. She took the initiative to provide training to each individual new members in November and discussed the following topics:
Why should we use OSM over Google Maps and how it will be beneficial for us?
Why does OSM provide an open source platform for anyone?
The most important and interesting part was introducing the interface of OSM. Our chapter members were introduced to the tools and features of OpenStreetMap by using iD Editor. She showed us how to mark houses, roads, forests, river, and necessary information of hospitals, restaurants, parks, schools, colleges etc. She explained how students of various fields can contribute and make use of OSM. During the training, we shared our opinions: “Now I will be able to map my own hometown for my community people”, “I am eagerly waiting for going to places and map those new places”, “It is my long cherished dream come true, as in I always fascinated by Google Maps, now I can create my own map”.
To sum up our excitement with mapping I would say that, we were really looking forward to learning to map new areas and be a part of humanitarian activities and keep on encouraging other youths to be a part of such big world.
Nouros Yousuf is currently working on his B.Sc. in Computer Science at Eastern University and is in his final year of study. He is the sitting vice-president of YouthMappers at Eastern University. He likes to map every now and then in his free time and update new information for the better improvements of his community. He often encourages new freshman to join the YouthMappers chapter so they can be a part of a big, lively family for creating a better future.