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  • Sawan Shariar, Regional Ambassador

I Want It That Way; The Tale of a Successful Challenge

“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.” --Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Every challenge, at the end of the day, is really challenging. Although the beginning of each challenge is much easier, it becomes much more challenging to cross the final line of that challenge. But the moment of crossing that final line is really a big feeling. In the very early of the year 2020, I had decided to contribute to OpenStreetMap for at least 300 days this year. Despite the unfavorable timing of the year, I was able to take that challenge to 344 days at the end of the year.

Every day of this period was very unfavorable for me. The beginning of the year started with the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and I was thinking I won't be able to touch the finishing line of my target. But the HOT Data Quality Internship program makes it easy to solve the conflict of my mind, and gets the speed in a new way. I spent most of the hours of the day through mapping. During this time, I was able to validate the COVID-19 project in Peru and validated 3,032 grids along with 237,531 map changes.

For this challenge, I have used my daily leisure time. I have also used my travel time. I always prefer to use the JOSM platform for remote mapping, and in some cases, I also use iD editor. But for outdoor mapping, I prefer to use OSMAnd, Maps.Me, Vespucci and Street Complete android applications. I have used the android applications for collecting map features while I was walking out on the street or traveling by rickshaw (one of the famous transports for local uses) or bus.

I have got a different taste to use the "Street Complete" android app. Although completely new information cannot be included in the map by using this app. But there is no comparison of this app to fill the additional information in the existing data. However, I have used the street complete Android app for 186 days in this challenge. This year I have been able to successfully include or modify 2,701 data maps through this app. During this time, in the users of the “Street Complete” application to collect OSM data, I have secured the #1 rank in Bangladesh along with the #543 global rank.

Most used android apps for this challenge, Street Complete,

The most effective medium during my challenge is OSMAnd. This app has been used to meet my daily targets. With this app, I have been able to include 340 completely new pieces of information on the map. This app has helped me to collect geo-data while traveling to many places. I have collected the information daily by using this application while going to eat at restaurants, to go anywhere while cycling, walking on the street, shopping. and Vespucci have given me the same support as this app.

Gift from OSMAnd

It is not easy to meet the challenges. And it is very hard to do mapping every day. During this time, I have faced so many challenges. COVID-19 pandemic was a common challenge for everyone. That was a stressful situation for all of us. Some of the times I had lost my interest in work due to the effect of COVID-19. But along with COVID-19 pandemic, we were also affected by some natural disasters in 2020. In 2020 we faced super cyclone "Amphan". 26 people were killed in Bangladesh by this cyclone, and 55,667 houses were completely damaged, and around 162,000 partially damaged. About 15 million clients lost electricity during this time. My family lives near the coastal belt area, and at that time I was spending time with my family. During this time, I had to live without electricity and the internet for some days.

Data collection by using android data collection tools

According to the poem of Sunirmal Basu, "The world is my school and I am a student for all. Day and night, I am learning new things in many ways" I have learned many things during this challenge in 2020. I have learned how to continue the work in a stressful time. I have learned how to keep patience to achieve the outcome. And I have learned how to be strong to touch the finishing line of the target.

After the achievement of the target of 2020, I have unlocked the next challenge for 2021 with the slogan "A day, at least an edit". And I am also looking for a person who wants to be my teammate to take the new challenge for 2021.

Are you the one? you? you? or you?

Let’s go… cheers!

Sawan Shariar is one of the Regional Ambassadors of YouthMappers for 2020-21 and a voting member of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). He is currently listed as the top contributor on MissingMaps Global Leaderboard and one of the champions of the 2019 Global YouthMappers Challenge. He was the founding president of YouthMapper Dhaka College Chapter. By profession, he is currently working as deputy coordinators and validation lead of the Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operational Team; known to all as Team BHOOT. He loves traveling and exploring new places.

Reach him at @sshariar1991


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