The State of the Map 2019 event happened on September 21-23, 2019. This year SotM 2019 was held in partnership with the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University in Germany. The event was themed on Bridging the Map, people coming from different regions who in one way or another used OpenStreetMap in their works or fields shared their knowledge, expertise and experience at the Neuenheimer Feld campus.
It’s an incredible experience. I still can’t believe that I have been to State of the Map 2019 in Heidelberg, Germany. First of all, I would like to thank the host “OpenStreetMap Foundation” of the State of the Map for inviting me as a scholar and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to extend this invitation to the HOT summit. And special thanks to Dorothea Kazzazi for guiding me from the beginning up until the conference concludes. She did awesome work for all of us to make sure that we got visas, accommodation, flights and train tickets. And the travel guide was very helpful to travel from Frankfurt Airport to Heidelberg.
It’s a great networking opportunity. During the conference I have met many new people as well as some friends whom I had been communicating with online and that I now meet in real life. I can’t forget to mention some name, with whom I have talked about different topics during the conference and pleasure of meeting in person Patricia Solis, Rebecca, Marcela, Jessica, Ralph, Dorothea and Geofrey.
A diverse program resulted in the challenge of choosing which presentations to attend and then quickly moving to the next presentation room. I have learned about OpenStreetMap activity around the world during the “Lightning Talks”. A few topics attract my attention and I have learned so many things from the sessions. There are some sessions that I have attended and I would like to share:
- What’s behind JOSM?
- Human Mapping with Machine Data
- Imagery Solutions in OpenStreetMap
- Meet an OpenStreetMapper.
During the conference I have got the opportunity to present my country in the lightning talks sessions. There I gave talks about the milestone achievement to contribute OpenStreetMap with engaging youth and specially female.
Learning thing should be about solving problems and making the community sustainable and happier. State of the Map enabled me to gain new knowledge and this new knowledge to be implemented in Bangladesh OpenStreetMap community. I am already sharing my experience and knowledge with our existing community and newcomers face to face to motivate and inspire them more in doing this humanitarian activities and volunteering. The experience will be able to solve an issue within my community and it will help us to make a more sustainable community. And the experience will be able to help and organize properly SotM Asia 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh and already using that.
End of the day, the experience exceeded all expectations and I hope to be able to participate in other State of the Map in the future. And many thanks again to the OpenStreetMap Foundation that made my trip to Germany for the first time in my life as well as the europe and participation in the event possible.
S M Sawan Shariar
Dhaka College, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sawan Shariar is an enthusiastic person for the mapping community in Bangladesh. He is coming from Economics background of Dhaka College in Bangladesh. He is an adviser and former President (founder) of YouthMappers Dhaka College Chapter. He is an associate member of OpenStreetMap Foundation and a core contributor & trainer of the local OpenStreetMap community. He is one of the core organizers of the Team BHOOT (Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operational Team) which is an operational wing of OpenStreetMap Bangladesh Foundation (OSMBDF) and involved in local capacity building and supporting mapping initiatives. He is a “2019 Global YouthMappers Challenge Winners”. He has been involved with OSM & Geospatial platforms from 2015. In his journey with OSM he has contributed to several local and international mapping projects and has developed expertise in team coordination, leadership, remote sensing, field data collection and local volunteer organizer. He was the country representative speaker at State of the Map Asia 2018. He has provided training and facilitating to several educational institutes, local communities, NGOs and The Red Cross in Bangladesh. Currently he is leading the Map Your City project by Team BHOOT to cover the whole Bangladesh in map. He has an interest in leadership and elevating youth voices, Sawan is working and volunteered with Team BHOOT and The Red Cross where he has been able to support work that is mainly focused on these topics. He is one of the top contributor in Bangladesh and currently ranked #1 in the Missing Maps global leaderboard. He loves to travel to new places, learn the local culture and taste the local food.