OpenStreetMap

The “State of the Map” online conference held from November 19 to 21, 2021 was full of learning and sharing experiences. This conference, which takes place every two years, brought together the OSM community, experts in the field of geospatial data and each actor presented innovative geospatial solutions, the importance of humanitarian data and collaborative approaches in the implementation of local initiatives. Moreover this event hosted the monthly Mapathon organized by OSM Africa where I was Speaker in the Francophone Session. I had the opportunity to attend some excellent presentations with a diverse panel, however I would like to focus on the presentations that impressed me the most and that are in line with my professional orientations and perspectives.

“Planning with us, not for us: Community informal setllement mapping” was the title of the session presented by Lucy Fondo, Allessandra Figueiredo, Vusi Mpotololo and Florian Marembo respectively. As can be seen, the panellists of this session shared experiences on the integration of local knowledge in the identification and mapping of infrastructures such as schools. For a project to be accepted by all, it is necessary to encourage the participation of all actors, not one that is limited to the simple dissemination of information but integrates local knowledge. It was therefore very interesting to see the different approaches used by each approach to involve the community which was quite original and adapted to the context. Guy Pacome’s presentation on “Streetview data for the resilience of African cities” was full of learning. He presented a rather innovative approach to street mapping in two specific areas, namely Brazaville and Pointe Noire, in order to promote risk assessment. I also discovered an organization that promotes open source mapping and community development to address flood risk. This organization called Unique Mappers is based in Nigeria and uses OSM data or organizes data collection campaigns to facilitate flood response. I had the opportunity to lead the French session of the Mapathon. It was a very special experience because it was my first time to lead a session at this scale and moreover on the occasion of State of the Map. I was able to make quick demos on mapping on ID Editor and JOSM and it’s always nice to share the knowledge.

In conclusion the 2021 conference will have been an unforgettable experience, beyond sharing, I was able to meet new people sharing the same passion. I am motivated to work more in order to be present in the debates at the next edition of the conference. Thanks especially to the organizers of this edition and to the panelists. See you at the next edition of the “State of the Map Africa”.


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