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  • Ashaduzzaman- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University.

A New Journey of My Life

I waited so long to know more details about YouthMappers and practically learn about OpenStreetMap. But in the post-Covid19 situation, we had been busy covering all our pending academic activities. After planning for a couple of months, we fixed a date to arrange the workshop. And I was so excited because it was a "dream come true" situation for me.

On the 3rd of August in 2022, the long expected workshop on "OpenStreetMap for Humanitarian and Disaster Response Preparedness" was organised by YouthMappers at BSMRSTU Chapter. The workshop was conducted by the S M Sawan Shariar, Regional Ambassador of the YouthMappers, with 35 participants. The workshop started with an Introductory session about YouthMappers and basic OpenStreetMap. After that, the main practical session started with OpenStreetMap account creation, mapping with ID Editor, Mapping with HOT Tasking Manager, Field Paper creation, and field demo with field papers and by using OSMAnd mobile based data collection tool. From the very beginning of the workshop to till the end I enjoyed all of the moments.

On the morning of the day, our guests and teachers gave thank you speeches and Inaugurated the workshop. The main session was started by the speech from our trainer Mr. Sawan Shariar. He made us clear about the YouthMappers in detail. From that section, I, along with my friends there, came to know how fascinating the organisation is! I also learnt about the opportunities, scope and some goals related to YoutMappers. It seemed very much career oriented to me.

After that, we learnt about the "OpenStreetMap " and its history, capabilities and how it works. I was very unfamiliar with the topic, but in that workshop session, I got a clear idea about OpenStreetMap. During my academic courses namely GIS and Remote Sensing, I had to do some mapping objectives and activities. So I believe that the OSM could be a part of my learning for my career opportunities, and skill development as well.

However, the main training session of the workshop started and we had come to know how to work on OSM after creating an account on the website of OSM. We tried to work practically on the Bangladesh Flood Response project from HOT Tasking Manager as guided by our trainer. That was the most interesting part of the workshop. It felt like, "yes! Now I am working with it!! " A new journey started for my skill-developing activities from there! We outlined buildings, highways, residential areas and other different types of taggings on the map in Sylhet, following what we learnt from our trainer in the workshop.

After having our lunch, we started learning about the “Field Papers'' and "OSMAnd" to collect ground touching geodata. To do so, we had to go outside the room, actually on the field to have data and input it on the map. We inputted point features on the map with the descriptions we had. The work seemed so enjoyable at that time. Everyone was satisfied with the fact that we were learning in the best way we could learn. I particularly located the post office, student clubs, mosque, and academic buildings in our BSMRSTU campus on the map during this training period. I was so happy then because I was able to start working on OSM by this session.

In the last portion of the workshop, we celebrated the OpenStreetMap 18th Anniversary party by cake cutting. We enjoyed the celebration and hopefully, it would improve our bonding to work together for the organisation.

This training made me feel that mapping and working with OSM wouldn't be that much of a hard task. If someone wants to involve himself/herself in this, then he or she just needs to know some basic things and can start working from then immediately. For sure! The beginning would not be perfect, but time would make us an advanced contributor to this platform.

After all of these sessions, I decided to work and contribute to OSM for my own, for my community and for the world. There is no alternative to maps in the modern time. Moreover, we use it regularly in our life, then why wouldn't one contribute to this sector?

I would like to thank the enthusiastic, energetic, inspirational speaker, experienced instructor and great mentor, Mr. S M Sawan Shariar, for his heart touching inspiration and constant support. Thank you for your dedication to sustain the YouthMappers network in Bangladesh. I also thank the teachers and mentors for their support in making an opportunity to work as a YouthMappers.

About the Author:

It's Ashaduzzaman from Bangladesh. I am a member of YouthMappers at BSMRSTU CHAPTER. I am doing my Bachelor's at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj-8100, Department of Environmental Science and Disaster Management. I love to work with mapping and cartography, and I also like to travel.


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