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  • Sattik Auritro, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

Victory Day Mapathon; my vision changing experience with YouthMappers

YouthMappers is a global organization of university-student-led chapters. I am very glad that I am a member of YouthMappers. It is an advanced platform where people can learn to develop leadership ability and create resilient communities around the world. YouthMappers aims for the scholarly area to discover assets and take an interest in open mapping initiatives for humanitarian and improvement purposes.

A mapathon is an organized planning occasion and a sort of editathon. General society is welcome to make online guide upgrades in their neighborhood to improve the inclusion of nearby highlights. Mapathons utilize an online webpage for putting away guide information, for instance, OpenStreetMap. A mapathon is coordinated by an individual association, a non-benefit association or a nearby government.

Flyer stating: Victory Day Mapathon 2020. It's a jointly organized event by SUST and KU Chapter. 16th December 2020 10.00 am (UTC+6.00) Online event.

On the 16th of December 2020, an event titled “Victory Day Mapathon 2020” was arranged jointly by YouthMappers at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and Khulna University with full support by Sawan Shariar, regional ambassador of YouthMappers. Victory Day is a national holiday in Bangladesh celebrated on December 16 to commemorate the victory of the allied forces over the Pakistani forces in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. The Commanding officer of the Pakistani Forces General AAK Niazi surrendered with his forces to the allied forces of Bangladesh and India, which marked the end of the 9 month-long Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971 Bangladesh genocide and official secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. One of the most violent wars of the 20th century, it witnessed large-scale atrocities, the exodus of 10 million refugees, and the killing of 3 million people by the Pakistani armed forces. The celebration of Victory Day has been taking place since 1972 for all Bangladeshi. So, the YouthMappers at Khulna University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology had decided to celebrate this day by mapping our nearside historical memorable places to the OpenStreetMap. Additionally, we added health-related data due to the Covid19 pandemic.

Screenshot image from virtual call.

(Training session is conducted by Sawan Shariar, YouthMappers Regional Ambassador)

The event started at 10 am (Bangladesh local time) on Victory day. To start the event, the presidents of the YouthMappers chapters of Khulna University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology spoke their short speech to inspire all the participants. Then the YouthMappers Regional Ambassador Sawan Shariar conducted a training session about the uses of mobile data collection tools for OSM mapping and provided instructions for the mapathon. He trained us about the uses of OsmAnd mobile application, by which we can add or edit different features on the OpenStreetMap. Honestly speaking, before this session, I didn’t know anything about the great application for map editing aligned with navigation and routing. It really astonished me when I learned that we can use this application without using the internet. He trained us on how to configure the OSM account to the application, configure map, configure screen, plugins and settings. He also trained us on how to create points to add geographical data and how to add information to the OpenStreetMap by using this application. He also taught us some important tags related to the OSM data for the event.

Screenshot from virtual call showing the Mobile Data Collection Tool with editable options and a keyboard.

(Training about the uses of Mobile Data Collection Tools, conducted by Sawan Shariar )

After finishing the training and instructions session, the mapathon started and continued the whole day. During the event, we collected historical memorable places, memorials and health-related geo-data: pharmacies, doctors chambers, clinics and hospitals.

Three photos in a collage featuring a man holding a phone in front of two monuments and at a local shop.

(Geo-Data collection in nearby area by using mobile application “OsmAnd”)

The mapathon experience was incredible to me. As a participant of this event, I visited distinctive historical spots in my local area and added them to OpenStreetMap through OsmAnd applications. I have also edited many historical places to enrich the places with more informative information. It feels truly pleasant when you add a point or an area on a map by your own OSM ID and also enrich knowledge about various historical places and liberation martyrs. In the whole day, I was able to map 42 places adding information on the OpenStreetMap through the OsmAnd application. And I am determined that I will continue this humanitarian job with my daily activities. Cheers!

Headshot of male in a suit

Sattik Sondipon Auritro is studying MSc in Geography and Environment at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. He is one of the members of the YouthMappers chapter at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. He is commonly known as a mapping enthusiast person in the local community. He loves to play cricket.


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