I don’t write these often enough, but with the last few joules of energy I have before sleep I thought I would write something about #MapLesotho.
I am visiting Lesotho in February, most likely for the last time as the agreement (memorandum) expires between Fingal County Council and the Ministry for Local Government. We were never going to get a fully loaded map done with just 24 months and three visits.
However, we leave behind a one million node mapper in Tshedy. We also have six 250,000 node mappers. We also leave Lesotho in the condition of being one of the “least mapped” countries in 2013, to Africa’s most mapped nation, now beating countries that are higher on the development indices. But that’s not good enough.
By the end of February a small team of four will start to analyse all this data and use QGIS to increase the use case of OSM over incomplete and licenced data. They will do this to answer real questions and come up with real solutions in managing Lesotho’s environment. Another team of four will be custodians of a server, and employ error fixing tools and mind new mapping tasks from a technical standpoint. A third team will be beefed up with a train-the-trainer using LEARNOSM and ID/JOSM manuals. to create more mappers.
Is this the perfect storm of making Lesotho the most mapped, most geodata focussed, most evidence driven country in Africa. Probably not. There are associated projects, like the creation of a Planning Institute which is independent of Government. And there is is broad understanding of NGOs working in the country, chief among them Action Ireland Trust who are logistical users of the mapping.
We have a lot to do to prepare for February. Wish us luck, but more important than that wish the burgeoning new community of #MapLesotho well, and support and engage with them..