Makerere Mapping Week

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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.

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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.

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