Natalia Arruda's Diary

Recent diary entries

Sharing from my first State of the Map – SotM 2018

Posted by Natalia Arruda on 23 August 2018 in English (English). Last updated on 17 September 2018.

This post has the goal of sharing my experiences and perceptions about the State of the Map 2018, that was hosted in Milan, Italy, in September 2018, as also some keynotes about my brief talk (Lightning talk – just 5 minutes) that I had the opportunity to give there.

This was my first SotM, not the first Global one, the first SotM event that I had the opportunity to participate! It was incredible to be able to debut in this kind of meeting, participate in one of this scale. The opportunity to do it arrived with a scholarship that I received from OpenStreetMap Foundation, that allowed me to travel from Colombia to Italy and stay in Milan during the days of the event. When I arrived at the SotM, I started to meet other scholars, and, taking advantage of the inspiring Arnalie’s post about inclusivity. I found excellent the effort they made to bring people from different countries and continents, and also from different backgrounds, to the event. It is normal that in an event there is more representation of people from neighboring countries, but regarding the scholars, we had a grand representation of different (and also distant) countries.

SotM 2018 Scholars - OSM Foundation

I was there representing my research group and YouthMappers´ chapter from Universidad de Antioquia, where I am a professor and chapter´s coordinator. GeoSIG UdeA is a research line of Geolimna group, and our objectives are: to promote the learning and use of free and commercial tools, the generation of geospatial data through the use of alternative and novel technologies, and the planning of mapping, analysis, monitoring, evaluation and dissemination of georeferenced data. The areas of interest of the group are framed in four major themes: Environmental Management; Society and Culture; Urban Sustainability, and Innovation and Education.

As I mentioned before, I had the opportunity to give a Lightning Talk, a 5-minute talk in which I talked about the projects that we have been developing in the group. In 2017, we were selected in the HOT Microgrants 2017 with the proposal “Mapping of coastal wetlands in the Urabá Gulf to help planners and the local fishing community to respond to flooding hazards in the area”, or CASTOCOSTA-URABÁ as we call it as a short name.

We have developed this project working on three scales: in the macro-scale, we have mapped all the settlements in the municipality of Turbo in the Gulf of Urabá; in the meso-scale, the entire urban head of Turbo; and on the micro-scale, we have worked with the fishing community of Bahia El Uno.

Impacts from CARTOCOSTA - URABÁ in Turbo

This year, we had a student selected in the 2018 YouthMappers Research Fellowship, which allowed us to develop the second version of the CARTOCOSTA-URABA project, this time in Bocas del Atrato. The community, which is also characterized as a fishing community, is located on the western side of the Urabá Gulf, accessible from Turbo only by boat.

My talk was focused on how to engage community and volunteers in open mapping projects. Involving the local community is always very difficult, but especially when working with low budget. So my keynotes from this presentation are:

  • Work where there is already an established trust network. If that relationship does not exist on the part of the group, seek to ally with local groups.
  • Always contact the leaders of the community before starting a project, hold a socialization meeting and explain what it is about, the importance of the project to them, and how they can continue working with the results for their development.
  • Only start the project with the approval of the leaders and the community.
  • Do the possible to involve university students in the field activities. For example, instead of sending professors to the community by airplane, we preferred to rent a minibus to take 12 students with us :)
  • We went from a methodology work of three trips to the community (socialization, field activities, and delivery of results) to work with four trips to the community. Before socializing the final results, we returned to the community to analyze the data with them, allowing the community members to participate in it.

To conclude, it was a really interesting experience for me to participate in the SotM. I was also nominated for the OpenStreetMap Awards 2018, in the category Improvement the Improvement the Latin America Award, and I won it!

There were too many options of talks, it was impossible to attend all those that I was interested in. The good thing is that the main ones were recorded and can be viewed in the SotM 2018 Youtube channel. In this type of event in fact, from my point of view, it is more important to create a network of contacts than to be trying to attend all possible talks.

All that remains for me now is to express my thanks to the OSM Foundation for the opportunity to participate in SotM 2018, all the stakeholders that made the event possible, HOT, and YouthMappers for all the opportunities I have had since I started working with humanitarian mapping and open data.

Compartiendo un poco sobre mi primer State of the Map – SotM 2018

Posted by Natalia Arruda on 23 August 2018 in Spanish (Español). Last updated on 17 September 2018.

Esta publicación tiene el objetivo de compartir mis experiencias y percepciones sobre el State of the Map 2018, que se celebró en Milán, Italia, en septiembre de 2018, como también algunas ideas claves sobre mi breve charla (Lightning talk, solo 5 minutos) que tuve la oportunidad de realizar.

Este fue mi primer SotM, no el primero evento global, ¡el primero de todos los SotM en el que tuve la oportunidad de participar! Fue increíble poder debutar en este tipo de evento a esta escala. La oportunidad de hacerlo llegó con una beca que recibí de OpenStreetMap Foundation, que me permitió viajar desde Colombia a Italia y permanecer en Milán durante los días del evento. Cuando llegué al SotM, comencé a conocer a otros becados y, aprovechando e inspirándome en la publicación de [Arnalie] ( sobre la inclusión, me pareció excelente el esfuerzo que hicieron para traer personas de diferentes países y continentes, y también de diferentes recorridos al evento. Es normal que en un evento haya más representación de personas de países vecinos, pero con respecto a nosotros becados, tuvimos una gran representación de diferentes (y distantes también) países.

 SotM 2018 Scholars - OSM Foundation

Estuve allá representando a mi grupo de investigación y al capítulo de YouthMappers]( de la Universidad de Antioquia, donde soy profesora y coordinadora del capítulo. GeoSIG UdeA es una línea de investigación del grupo Geolimna, y nuestros objetivos son: promover el aprendizaje y uso de herramientas gratuitas y comerciales, la generación de datos geoespaciales mediante el uso de tecnologías alternativas y novedosas, y la planificación de mapeo, análisis y monitoreo, evaluación y diseminación de datos georreferenciados. Las áreas de interés del grupo se enmarcan en cuatro temas principales: Gestión Ambiental; Sociedad y Cultura; Sostenibilidad Urbana, e Innovación y Educación.

Como mencioné antes, tuve la oportunidad de dar un Lightning Talk, una charla de 5 minutos en la que hablé sobre los proyectos que hemos estado desarrollando en el grupo. En 2017, fuimos seleccionados en el HOT Microgrants 2017 con la propuesta “Mapeo de humedales costeros en el Golfo de Urabá para ayudar a los planificadores y la comunidad pesquera local a responder a los riesgos de inundaciones en el área”, o CASTOCOSTA-URABÁ como hemos apodado el proyecto.

Hemos desarrollado este proyecto trabajando en tres escalas: en la escala macro, hemos mapeado todos los asentamientos en el municipio de Turbo en el Golfo de Urabá; en la meso escala, toda la cabecera urbana de Turbo; y en la micro escala, hemos trabajado con la comunidad pesquera de Bahía El Uno.

Resultados de CARTOCOSTA - URABÁ en Turbo

Este año, tuvimos una estudiante seleccionada en la beca de investigación YouthMappers Research Fellowship de 2018, lo que nos permitió desarrollar la segunda versión del proyecto CARTOCOSTA-URABA, esta vez en Bocas del Atrato. La comunidad, que también se caracteriza como una comunidad de pescadores, se encuentra en el lado occidental del golfo de Urabá, accesible desde Turbo solo en lancha.

Mi charla se centró en cómo involucrar a la comunidad y a los voluntarios en proyectos de mapeo con datos abiertos. Involucrar a la comunidad local siempre es muy difícil, pero especialmente cuando se trabaja con un presupuesto bajo. Las ideas principales de mi charla fueron:

  • Trabaje donde ya hay una red de confianza establecida. Si esa relación no existe por parte del grupo, busque aliarse con grupos locales.
  • Siempre contacte a los líderes de la comunidad antes de iniciar un proyecto, realice una reunión de socialización y explique de qué se trata, la importancia del proyecto para ellos y cómo pueden seguir trabajando con los resultados para su desarrollo.
  • Solo empiece el proyecto con la aprobación de los líderes y la comunidad.
  • Haga lo posible para involucrar a los estudiantes universitarios en las actividades de campo. Por ejemplo, en lugar de enviar a los profesores a la comunidad en avión, preferimos alquilar un minibús para llevar a 12 estudiantes con nosotros :)
  • Hemos pasado de una metodología de trabajo de tres viajes a la comunidad (socialización, actividades de campo y entrega de resultados) para cuatro viajes a la comunidad. Antes de socializar los resultados finales, volvemos a la comunidad para analizar los datos con ellos, lo que permite a los miembros de la comunidad participar en las conclusiones y resultados finales del proyecto.

Para finalizar, fue una experiencia realmente interesante para mí participar en el SotM. También fui nominada para los OpenStreetMap Awards 2018, en la categoría Improvement the Latin America Award, ¡y lo gané!

Había demasiadas opciones de charlas, era imposible asistir a todas aquellas en las que estaba interesada. Lo bueno es que las charlas principales fueron grabadas y se pueden ver en el canal SotM 2018 de Youtube. En este tipo de eventos, de hecho, desde mi punto de vista, es más importante crear una red de contactos que tratar de asistir a todas las conversaciones posibles.

Lo que me queda ahora es expresar mi agradecimiento a la Fundación OSM por la oportunidad de participar en el SotM 2018, todos los involucrados que hicieron posible el evento, HOT y YouthMappers por todas las oportunidades que he tenido desde que comencé a trabajar con mapeo humanitario y datos abiertos.

I would like to post on OSM’s blog today, March 8, International Women’s Day, a work coordinated by me using the OSM mapping methodology and tools.

The project was a pilot project was born in 2015 through the initiative of a group of volunteers of the NGO TECHO, in order to respond to the demand made by some of the people of León Island (a community that is in a situation of informality and subnormality. Due to the characteristics of informality and subnormality presented by the settlement, they were identified as the underlying problem entails the lack of all public services. Due to its informality, León Island does not appear in any urban planning system in the city of Cartagena, neither in the IGAC cadastre system nor in the MIDAS platform. Based on this previous analysis, it was decided to cover the issue that the community of León Island is not in any cartographic system. The pilot project thus emerges with the main objective of identifying, locating and geo-referencing; Not only the informal settlement of Leon Island as a whole, but also every street and housing present, conforming this component as an input to the phase of community development. Other objectives of the project were to involve community settlers as a participatory mechanism; Integrate housing (as spatial elements) with data from the Household Characterization Survey (ECH) within a Geographic Information System (GIS); Raise the profile of the community, including its history, describing access to public services and its infrastructure; And finally share the map, data and results generated with the same community and the general public through an online platform.

More about the pilot project you can find here:

Location: Sevilla, Comuna 4 - Aranjuez, Medellín, Valle de Aburrá, Antioquia, RAP del Agua y la Montaña, 050006, Colombia