Mapper since: December 02, 2010 | Contributor terms: Accepted about 5 years ago
With my background in social and educational studies I am a little bit an exception in the OpenStreetMap world, but nevertheless a huge enthusiast! I got to know OpenStreetMap in 2010 and got really interested in it after I discovered the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.
As a "good", critical student at that time, I was questioning the mapping in humanitarian and development contexts. So I decided to focus the dissertation of my master in Conflict and Development (in Dutch) on the power of maps in slum contexts. I went to Bangladesh to do interviews with a lot of slum dwellers and I also met with the local OSM community, discussed with them and mapped the Dhaka Zoo together with them. Conclusion of my research: mapping can be a great tool, especially if the local community has the ownership over the maps. And… isn't it this what OSM can offer?
After, I got the luck to be selected for the Eurosha project. Three months of mapping, promotion and training for local and international actors in the Central African Republic followed. After an evacuation out of CAR, Cameroon was the next destination. Promotion and training resulted in a start-up of a local OSM community and few months of mapping fun in Cameroon!
In november 2013 I participated in the translation of the LearnOSM guides from English into French in Dakar and subsequently I supported during two months the awesome OSM community in Senegal. In March 2014 I had an awesome week with MSF-UK and students of the university of Lubumbashi, in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can read a blog post here. Upon this mission the Missing Maps Project got started. For the Missing Maps Project I recently (January 2015) went also on field mission back to Bangladesh and it was in one word great! Meeting back again the people I met during my first visit to Bangladesh and getting to know so much more new mapping enthusiasts. It was fun!
Besides all these field missions, I attended an organized a lot of mapping parties, conferences, events, mapathons and meetings to outreach for HOT in Europe.
And besides this, I'm also proud to be part of the osm community in Belgium!