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, mapped with my two brothers my own village in Belgium, and got really interested in OpenStreetMap 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 during my master in Conflict and Development, I decided to focus with my masters dissertation (in Dutch) on the power of maps in slums. I had the opportunity to go to Bangladesh where I interviewed a lot of slum dwellers, and where I met with some local OpenStreetMappers. Conclusion of my research: mapping can be a great tool, especially if the local community has the ownership over the map. And… isn’t it this what OpenStreetMap can offer?
Since then, I worked on several projects across Africa, Europe and Asia to map, promote and train local and international actors on OpenStreetMap. And spent lots of my (free) time supporting and hanging out with local OpenStreetMap communities everywhere in the world.
Currently I’m working for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as Missing Maps coordinator.
Please send me a postcard!