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  • Daniel Akor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

How My Quest and Passion for Mapping Got Me Into LionMappersTeam-Nsukka, Nigeria

I am AKOR DANIEL, an undergraduate final year student of Geography Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka, a volunteer at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), a member of the Unique Mappers Network (UMT), Nigeria and LionMappersTeam (LMT)-Nsukka, YouthMappers Chapter.

LionMappersTeam (LMT) Members and Mr. Sunday Victor (Mentor) after Training Session

Due to my quest and passion for GIS and its application, after my first and second semester GIS courses, which I took as my undergraduate course modules in the year 2020, I enrolled for a GIS training with Mr. Malachi Eze a GIS Expert. And I also applied for GIS online courses, which sharpened my knowledge of GIS and gave me an in-depth understanding of geospatial application into the diverse field.


In June 2021, I came in contact with Mr. Anointing a GIS expert who introduced me to some tools of GIS, OSM and geospatial analysis. During my Industrial Training (internship) at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency Yola –Airport, I undertook some visual training with him (Mr. Anointing). During the training, he recommended a visual seminar which I attended with the theme of “World Youth Day.” It was so amazing, an eye-opening workshop into OpenStreetMap that led me to know about the “Unique Mappers Network, Nigeria.” At the workshop, I introduced myself and shared my interest to join the Unique Mappers Community NGO. I was given the contact of the National Coordinator ( Mr. Victor N. Sunday ) to be guided on how to join the team. Due to my passion for OSM, after the workshop I opted for Unique Mappers Network, I am happy to be a member of the organization.


Daniel Akor mapping with HOT Tasking Manager for humanitarian response.


On the 27th of October, I and other newbies had a virtual orientation meeting with Mr. Victor N. Sunday to welcome us into the national team. It was a nice orientation meeting for new members with a focus on the aims and objective, mission and all the activities the organization does, the open opportunities and what to learn as a member of Unique Mappers Network. The Unique Mappers Network includes active engagement with the OpenStreetMap community and contribution, practical GIS/Remote Sensing Training, Field data collection experience, Drone Pilot Training, SDGs Training, Career/Academic Mentorship, Citizen Science Engagement, Training Certification, and a lot more.

It was also at this training, he (Mr. Victor N. Sunday) introduced me to LionMappersTeam -Nsukka, which I did not know about its existence because it was not functioning for a while. He showed me the past activities of LMT up to 2020 International Women's Day and he did mention that the Team (LMT) was co-founded by him in 2017, and coordinated by Dr. (Surv.) R.U. Ayadiuno, who also is the Faculty Advisor, and Dr. C.A Onyekwelu, who is a faculty mentor. I also got to know that Miss Prisca Nnetu was the immediate past Team Leader along with other students who were elected as excos to oversee the affairs of the Team (LMT Nsukka). The team mostly coordinates its members via a WhatsApp group named LionMappersTeam-Nsukka, where geospatial communication, training and information will be coming across.


With this training, I became highly motivated to reactivate activities with LionMappersTeam and this passion drove our faculty mentor (Victor N. Sunday) to host a leadership training for the new exco and members of LMT-Nsukka and it turned out to be a call for an exciting Team Lead for LMT-Nsukka. From that moment I spent with the team, it has had been moments of intensive learning, networking, e-learning and personal development.


Meanwhile, on the 27 of November 2021, LionMappersTeam hosted a training and orientation on community empowerment talk: featuring LMT Membership, introduction to GIS, introduction to OSM, introduction to HOT, introduction to YouthMappers, Student IT opportunities, Graduate internships, Citizen Science Projects, and other open opportunities in the industry for its new and old members. I was inaugurated as the Team Lead of LionMapperTeam UNN, Nsukka Chapter. The trainer for the event was Mr. Victor N. Sunday, National Coordinator- Unique Mappers Network Nigeria, HOT Voting Member and also Senior Mentor LMT Nsukka.


The training opened my eyes with in-depth insight into the diverse applications of GIS skills, OSM and HOT mapping. I learned a lot from the training workshop and how I can contribute my own quota to my local community, OpenStreetMap and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap community. I presented an introduction to OpenStreetMap Organization (OSM) and HOT Tasking Manager, which also contributed to my personal capacity building, learning quest and leadership skills and development.


As part of the task of being the team leader of LionMappersTeam -Nsukka, I hosted two community empowerment webinars in collaboration with Unique Mappers Network for my team members. Which were held on the 11th and 21st of December 2021, with the topics of discussion “OPEN TECH FOR MAPPING AND FIELD DATA COLLECTION” featuring: OpenStreetMap SDGs, OSM and Kobo Toolbox for Mapping and Field Surveys, OpenMapKit for Field Survey / Mobile Data Collection, Volunteer Membership Orientation and IT/Intern Opportunities, Open Data for Sustainable Cities, Wildlife and Environment, A Review of HOT Tasking Manager Disaster Response in Nigeria for 2021, Open Map Tech for Zero Hunger and Youth Engagement in Agriculture Data for Sustainable Cities, wildlife and environment, and a lot more was learned from the webinar. Which sharpened the members' understanding of Open Data Mapping and volunteerism to community mapping and service for sustainable development and meeting the SDGs goal for a better environment.

2021 Community Empowerment Webinar hosted by LionMappersTeam Nsukka.

2021 LionMappersTeam Community Empowerment Webinar Flyers

I learned a lot from the two community empowerment webinars, as part of my learning process, of which it was the first time for me to present in a webinar, which was an advantage to me. I presented on OSM focusing on what is OSM, who founded OSM and when was OSM founded, why was OSM created, type of data generated by OSM, contributors of OSM data, the importance of OSM data, users of the data, job opportunities through OSM. Secondly, I talked on the HOT Tasking Manager, with a focus on what is the tasking manager, who founded the HOT Tasking Manager, functions of the tasking manager, activities carried out on the Tasking Manager, job opportunities at HOT. I also talked about volunteerism: what is volunteering, who is a volunteer, benefits of being a volunteer, IT opportunities from being a volunteer, etc. While the second webinar I talked about a review of the HOT Tasking Manager Disaster Response in Nigeria for 2021, with a focus on HOT Disaster Response in Nigeria regards to flooding, terrorism, crime, disease outbreak. Aside from this, the webinar exposed me to how to create a Kobo Toolbox account and to generate questionnaires for field surveys using kobo, steps for online mapping and data collection from the field, open data towards SDGs development, Let Girls Map and Everywhere She Maps for Gender equality and women empowerment, open data and mapping to eradicate Hunger (Zero Hunger), etc. were my take-homes from the webinars.


As part of the vision and expectation for LionMappersTeam- Nsukka, we are currently recruiting new members using our online membership registration platform for interested students: that want to join the team, support and contribute to both local and the global community through volunteerism, provide open data for development, disaster response and resilience. The membership form is not restricted to student Geographers/GIS experts only but it is open for all students of any discipline and experts who want to make a change, make a difference and impact their community through mapping and community service.


Daniel Akor and other Leaders at the Training Workshop -LionMappersTeam-Nsukka

Female Leaders of LMT-Nsukka

PLANS AND EXPECTATION for LionMappersTeam Nsukka (LMT)

As a team leader, my plans and expectation for LionMappers Team-Nsukka are driven towards her inclusive growth and development through membership enrollment, we need an additional number of volunteer mappers to join the team. The membership registration is open for every intended student that wants to join and contribute to the development of LMT, the local community and the global community. As a team of mappers and volunteers, we shall reach out to secondary school students, teaching and inculcating them about OSM, SDGs, HOT, Let Girls Map and Everywhere She Maps. My target is to focus on the sustainability of LionMappersTeam-Nsukka. The plan is towards striving for the functional growth of the team not just during my own days as team leader but it should be functional throughout the next leaders that will come on board. I plan to organize and coordinate virtual mapathon trainings, webinars and meetings for members where each member has a chance to improve his/her presentation skills, mapping skills and connect with different people around the world (Networking) geared towards sustainable development of the team. I look forward to collaborating with professional bodies and other organizations to strengthen the team through career training, internships and job opportunities for geographers and mappers. Finally, I want to place LionMappersTeam (LMT) Nsukka, to be among the top-ranking team of mappers by supporting community participation and contributing to open data mapping geared towards local and global sustainable development.


My personal hobbies, future aspirations and skills


My personal hobbies include reading, networking, praying, research, and the game of football.


Future aspirations and Skills


I aspire to be a GIS analyst and a problem solver in my area of specialization after graduation. I look forward to working as a regional ambassador of YouthMappers in my country (Nigeria) and working with HOT or any other organization. I want to develop more skills in the area of Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information System (GIS) application, research, data analyst, cartographic design, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management.


About the Author:

Akor Daniel

Team Lead/President

LionMappers Team, Nsukka

University of Nigeria Nsukka