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  • Aman K.C., Tribhuvan University

My Diary: SotM Asia 2019

State of the Map Asia, 2019, still brings me the fresh lot of memories of the time in Bangladesh. Though the trip was short, it was, nevertheless, one of the best ones.

Well, it all started with filling up the form for the conference and worry chasing thereafter, if I could be one of the Scholars. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones.“Yaaaaaaaay!” Believe me, that was the first word I uttered when I saw the email, along with a louder tone and little bit of dancing involved. I was even more thrilled to be one of the speakers of lightening talks. That was literally, a cherry, on icing of the cake.

I began my Journey to SotM from Nepal. I happened to be on the same flight along with some attendees of the Conference. An hour long flight felt very short due to the magnificent beauty of the Himalayas in the North.

After we landed in Dhaka, we got to our Hotel in an Uber and heavy traffic was the first thing I experienced in Bangladesh. I met with other fellow scholars from different countries and was very glad to hear about the stories from people of different parts of Asia.

November 1st and 2nd were the conference days. Those two days were prime because I got an opportunity to hear stories and learn. It helped me broaden my understanding of the use of OpenStreetMap. I was very fascinated to know how OpenStreetMap has been a useful aid for the governance as well. I was extremely overwhelmed to be in the same room with other OSM enthusiasts and hear about their stories. Really, OSM and its use have been expanding in every possible dimension and there are still faces of it yet to explore.

I had my talk on 2nd day of the conference. I gave my presentation about how OSM has been a great help for student projects and research. I emphasized about OSM being a Go-to Base layer in Web GIS, data library and a research topic by itself. I also discussed how it personally benefited me in my final year project, from selection of study sites to final preparation of Maps.

Later that day, I also got to be a part of YouthMappers Session. I was one of the panelists along with my fellow youthmappers from Bangladesh, Philippines and Nepal, which was moderated by YouthMapper’s Regional Ambassador, Saurav Gautam. The session progressed as we discussed about our experiences being engaged in YouthMappers, the work we had done and some challenges we faced while execution of those works along with some questions from the audience. The session ended on a thank you note from all of us.

Another thing which I earned from my visit are some good friends. Thanks to Sawan, Solaiman and their amazing friends for taking us to the streets of Dhaka and treating us with some delicious Bengali Sweets. The FOOD!! It was so good, remembering it, makes my mouth watery, Kachi Biryani was a delight. The people in Bangladesh are warm and very good by heart, so it makes you want to visit that lovely place again. A huge thank you to OpenstreetMap Bangladesh Foundation for granting us the opportunity to be a part of the Conference. Congratulations to all the organizers and volunteers for such commendable work!

Aman K.C. is currently enrolled in Geomatics Engineering at the Institute of Engineering Pashchimanchal Campus, Pokhara. Besides academics, Aman has been been serving as a secretary of Geomatics Engineering Students' Association of Nepal (GESAN) YouthMappers chapter of the IOE at Tribhuvan University, Pashchimanchal Campus in Nepal. In 2019, he participated and presented at the HOT Summit and State of the Map in Heidelberg, Germany as a YouthMappers Global Challenge winner.

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