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  • Gideon Tandoh, University of Cape Coast

The Journey of the Back to Campus Challenge

As we make our own journeys, a dawn of a new semester just arrived, and together, another trip around the Sun. The University of Cape Coast YouthMappers Chapter welcomed its members back to campus as usual. It was just like any other semester in the university environment where mappers were eager to contribute geospatial data to the OSM Community. As the popular campus saying goes, “new semester comes with new expectations,” the UCC YouthMappers chapter mounted a very innovative challenge among its members, the BACK TO CAMPUS challenge, with the hashtag #B2C. This was a long-term project that ran from the beginning to the end of the semester. The #B2C was a unique hashtag that was added to the changeset comment of every task or project that our members engaged in the cause of the semester. The comment was used to track the total contribution of mappers within the semester.


The #B2C challenge began on the 17th of July 2021 and ended on the 25th of November 2021. The UCC YouthMappers chapter started this mission to achieve a minimum of 50,000 edits by the end of the semester. The goal of the challenge was to increase both individual and chapter edits and contribute to tasks in OpenStreetMap. Also, it served as an avenue for the chapter to gain interest and train new members in the use of JOSM in mapping. Finally, we wanted to cultivate the habit of daily and weekly contributions among the chapter members in terms of individual participation in mapping projects. The B2C challenge was a healthy mapping competition among chapter members and each member was required to bring on board their A-game to win the challenge at the end of the semester.


In all, the challenge was fun, educative and quite competitive as members were contributing immensely to meet the set target of 50,000 edits by the end of the challenge. With the help of our ex-official members, incentives were provided to the top three mappers at the end of the semester to appreciate all their efforts. At the end of the challenge, we had a total of 51,463 edits with 49,204 edits representing total buildings mapped and 473 edits being road networks mapped from our chapter members. The total edits meant an average of 10,000 edits a month over the course of a five months semester.

Total edits from the B2C challenge.


This B2C initiative was indeed a blessing for the UCC YouthMappers chapter. In the near future, we plan to bring onboard more amazing, informative and educative initiatives such as the B2C challenge to help create more geospatial data to support humanitarian work both in Ghana and the rest of the world.

About the Author:

Gideon Tandoh is the president of UCC YouthMappers Chapter. He recently graduated from the University of Cape Coast with a B.Sc. Geography and Regional Planning. His passion for geospatial science and GIS based analysis motivated him to become a YouthMappers member.


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