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Its nearly a year since I started working with Fingal County Council on the #MapLesotho project and in that time a number of great milestones and activities have been completed so of which are:

  • Last July a huge mapathon with users from around the world added over half a million nodes of data for Lesotho
  • In Sept we had a mapping party in the Lesotho Embassy in Dublin with the Irish OSM community

Irish OSM community mapping in Lesotho Embassy in Dublin

  • A dedicated website has been setup -
  • A series of classes where held with school children in Dublin teaching them to map and getting them involved in #MapLesotho

Fingal Council & Irish OSM members teaching in a Dublin school

A number of Irish OSM members / Fingal County Council staff are heading to Lesotho for 2 weeks from Feb 06th to 20th to work on the following:

  1. Get the local mappers (there are quite a few now) more involved, editing more frequently and start discussions about them forming a Lesotho OSM group with semi-regular meetups
  2. Train govt. planners (most are mappers) on the use of JOSM and OSM data with QGIS
  3. Conduct a number of mapping sessions at the national university
  4. Meet with govt. data owners to talk about release of (i) data to OSM for imports and (ii) permission to scan, recitfy and derive info from existing maps

We’ve still got 2 tasks running in the HOT tasking manager since last July’s mapathon which we’ve been silently tipping along on.

With all of this in mind, a number of the folks in Lesotho have set next Friday Jan 16th as a date for the next #MapLesotho mapathon. A large group are coming together in Dublin in the Fingal Council offices to carry out a supporting mapathon.

MapLesotho Poster

We are looking for other groups around the world to again join in with us in our mapathons.

  • Organise you own mapathon / mapping party
  • Although it would be nice, it doesn’t have to be on the same date so chose a date that suits you
  • Promote #MapLesotho among your local OSM community. Drop a mail to your local mailing list or see if there are a few folks meeting up, they might like to work on this at their meetup
  • Join in anytime! The 2 tasks listed above have been running since July so feel free to just jump straight in and take a tile or two.


Comment from CloCkWeRX on 8 January 2015 at 23:52

It’s pretty incredible, especially when you think that you are somewhat ‘competing’ for attention against large disasters like Ebola.

Is there more than can be done to reach end users of the data/get more feedback?

Secondly, would things like Mapillary be useful for planners? I understand there’s only 20% smartphone penetration, roughly, but it’d be interesting to see what a few taxi drivers, smartphone mount and mapillary could do; coupled with just enough broadband set up. It could potentially take a lot of the building tagging in metro areas from “building=yes” to more relevant data.

Comment from DaCor on 8 January 2015 at 23:58

Thanks, yes we have had a great year and we’ve some great plans for this year too

I’m not sure what you mean by get more feedback? Most of the current users of the data in lesotho are government planners and there is a nice loop going where they look at an area, map it, then use the data to assist with further planning for the same area. Is that what you mean?

Mapillary will indeed be fantastic fior somewhere like Lesotho and I personally will be pushing it a lot when we visit in a few weeks.

There is a high % of smartphone penetration, so much so that Vodacom, the main phone / broadband provider are skipping any further DSL rollout due to poor penetration of landlines and instead going straight to LTE / 4G mobile networks across a lrage portion of the country.

This will be a big help to OSM mapping but the big risk is data charges. If they make it too expensive it’ll die on its proverbial ass

Comment from eneerhut on 23 February 2015 at 15:44

Hey guys,

Just saw your discussion. It’s great what the OSM community is doing improving mapping around the world but in particular areas which would benefit most from it. It would be awesome to see sequences coming out of Lesotho so if you need anything from us at Mapillary such as mounts or changes to the app, you can get in touch via ed at mapillary dot com.

Clockwerx, thanks for all you are doing in Adelaide. There aren’t enough sequences in our home country so if you have any ideas on engaging on users Down Under, let me know :)


Ed & The Mapillary Team

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