Month: August 2014

Makerere Mapping Week


We called it mapping week even though the events began on Tuesday. Day one was all about introductions and getting to understand what openstreetmap was all about . On our part, it was also about getting to know the students and interact with them. It was a short session but quite eye opening. Douglas , my colleague , explained about open data, the difference between open street map and other mapping sites. He also talked about the different  licences and talked about the one used by openstreetmap( Open Data Commons Open Database License). It ended with the students opening accounts on openstreetmap.


Day two was all about JOSM software, the how to’s and don’ts. Like most soft wares, one can’t learn it in a day. It was explained to the students that it would take personal initiative to master the software and the basic introduction would just be a stepping stone.

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Day three, students familiarized themselves with mapping gadgets i.e what they needed to carry out  mapping  in the field. Those include the walking papers, field papers, Handheld GPS,  and smart phones.

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Finally on day four, we went out for the actual mapping activity. This was the most exciting day of the week. We divided ourselves into four groups. I chose the area nearest to the university, not because am lazy. But because it has the most interesting sites and a lot of people. Ofcourse people received us with suspicion. A boda boda rider asked us , if we were working with the Government to give National Identification Cards. Another person wondered if we were carrying out the National Census. After the mapping activity, We uploaded our work on open street map and we were able to see the before and after. Hopefully we touched a few hearts or more and the students will continue mapping their communities.



Lantern Meet of Poets

100_7741 I arrived at Bukoto  at about 2:45pm , fifteen minutes early for our meet up with the poets. After initial  introductions , i got into a heated debate with one of the poets about the reasons ‘women should not eat chicken’. One of the old traditional beliefs in Uganda. I will save my opinion for another day. This was the beginning of some of the heated discussion we had. I must admit poets are a passionate lot. Lets just say for this meet-up, the Poets gave me a run for my money.

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We started off our session  with an introduction to Wikipedia and then created accounts and user pages.Through this interaction , people got a better understanding of Wikipedia . Most of the  group admitted that the edit source feature in Wikipedia looked more intimidating than the edit beta feature.  I know understanding  all the features on Wikipedia will be work in progress.

100_7747 100_7746 We decided that our first article we would create together would be the list of poets in Uganda. Every poet contributed names of notable poets in Uganda and we came up with a list of about 28 notable poets. which will continuously be updated by the poets.This has been one of the most successful meets, where we start and actually finish what we set out to do.

Gayaza High School

100_7735 My older sister went to Gayaza High School and visiting her at the boarding school was one of the most exciting things in my childhood. For some reason the school seemed to be at the end of the world. Considering i had not seen much of the world except the four walls of my home. This time round , it seemed like i got there even before i started my journey. 100_7737 The first thing you  notice when you enter through the gates of this magnificent school is all the green around you. It makes you feel like Maria in sound of music, running around the meadows.It is one of the oldest schools in Uganda. I know this because my mother studied from there too. 100_7740 I went on to the digital computer room to meet the senior five  students i would be working with.I explained to them the ‘Kumusha Takes wiki project ‘ and it’s importance in Uganda.The students had some questions  but  eventually got a better understanding of the project, We then had an activation , where students opened accounts and created user pages on Wikipedia. This helped them learn how to edit on Wikipedia. 100_7736 As a group we decided that Improving the school article would be one of our goals. So the next time we meet after  doing our research , we will expand the article. I love young minds, they challenge me to be better for tomorrow . i will be looking forward to our next meet up with the wonderful Gayaza girls