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  • Md. Aminul Islam, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University

My Life in a New Way With YouthMappers

As an Environmental Science student, I am passionate about GIS and Remote Sensing. So, I am always exploring this to learn new things. Since the Covid pandemic situation in 2020, everything has been made virtual. Because of this, I have attended a few webinars related to GIS. In this GIS field, it is necessary for the availability of data to research. Although data is available, in most cases, data is not open. This means researchers need to buy data for research. In some cases, data is so costly that researchers do not have enough funds to buy this data. So, knowledge about open data platforms is necessary. I have learned about OpenStreetMap, which is an open data platform, where we can contribute data and also work with this open data.

In November, when a regional ambassador of YouthMappers, Sawan Shariar brother, took an introductory session on YouthMappers, we became interested in this program and showed our interest to open a chapter at our university named Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University. So, according to the instruction of Sawan Shariar and the full support of our Professor Mrs. Zakia Sultana, we formed a team and prepared all the needed information to enroll our university as a YouthMappers chapter.

Screenshot from Google Meets presentation
Introductory session on YouthMappers

But gathering all the information and members was not easy in this ongoing pandemic situation. The big challenge was communicating with others about this as well as it is a completely new platform for us. First of all, we wanted to understand it properly. Then we needed to explain to everyone what YouthMappers and its activities are and why it is important for a student of Environmental Science and Disaster Management. Initially, after selecting 21 members and with the full support of our professor, we communicated again with Sawan Shariar for his next instruction to be affiliated as a YouthMappers chapter. On the 22nd of November 2020, we applied for affiliation, and finally, on the 24th of November in 2020, the steering committee approved our application, and since then, we are the official chapter of YouthMappers. We are so thankful to Mr. Sawan Shariar for his cooperation and constant support.

Since then, we have started to attend many mapathons and events that are organized by YouthMappers, Local Community, other chapters, and of course, the regional ambassador, Sawan Shariar. We have learned many things and those events inspired us to work in-depth.

Screenshot from virtual call on Jitisi with participants videos showing
Open discussion session of International Open Data Day 2021

On the 7th of March, 2021, YouthMappers regional Ambassador Mr. Sawan Shariar arranged an event titled “International Open Data Day 2021- Open Discussion & Quiz Competition,” which was a part of the celebration of the International Open Data Day 2021. There were 104 registered participants from 13 educational institutes in Bangladesh, and we were one of them. The event was divided into two sessions. The first was open discussion and the second one was a quiz competition. In the Open Discussion session, the panelists came from 7 YouthMappers chapters in Bangladesh. Fortunately, Nahid Ferdous, Communication Officer of our chapter, got the invitation as a panelist of the open discussion session. In the open discussion session, we learned so many things about open data, its importance and uses, female involvement in the open data sector, etc. The session was very much informative and attractive. All the topics were discussed by the panelist properly. We all enjoyed the event very much.

Winners gift for ODD 2021 Quiz competition from the Regional Ambassador Sawan

And the second part of the event was very enjoyable also. The quizzes were very interesting. Around 50 participants attended the competition. Among them, I secured the second position.

We have waited a long time to arrange an in-person training but weren't able to do it due to the pandemic situation. And our university still remains closed to their in-person activities during the pandemic. As a result, on the 15th of March, 2021, we arranged the inauguration ceremony and basic OSM training through an online platform. All the members of the chapters attended the online event. To start, our professor Mrs. Zakia Sultana gave a speech, and Mr. Sawan Shariar conducted the full session. The session was very informative and interesting. In the session, Mr. Sawan discussed in detail about YouthMappers, its activities, code of conduct, terms and conditions, basic OpenStreetMap, its importance and uses, and how to contribute to OSM, etc. The practical session was very informative and enjoyable.

Inauguration Ceremony and Basic OSM Training

My little journey is very important for me. In these short periods, I have learned many things that helped me to settle up my life vision in my dream stage. For all these things, I am very much thankful to the YouthMappers Regional Ambassador Sawan Shariar for changing my vision, providing support constantly, and creating the opportunity to involve us with the great network.

Md. Aminul Islam is the current President of YouthMappers at BSMRSTU. He is currently a final year graduate student of Environmental Science and Disaster Management of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology, Gopalgonj, Bangladesh. He has an interest in doing research work and loves to travel.


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