Posted by TuanIfan on 7 May 2013 in English (English).

Hi guys,

I’ve joined OSM several months ago and made hundreds of edits but I’ve made no diary here… Hmm.. let’s say… in this very first note, i’ll tell somehthing about me and my mapping hobby.

I was born in a seaside town called Vũng Tàu, which is about 125km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a Sài Gòn). Life was peaceful until 2008 when I came to Sai Gon for college and work. . Hmm Saigon, frankly speaking, is a messy city, and even though it’s a fast developing urban area in Southeast Asia, infrastructure are not really fit with the trend.. however, thanks to ‘smart’ anti-automobile policy of the govt, we don’t really have serious traffic jams similar to nearby metropolitans like Bangkok or Jakarta. Most of us, well, around 80% or more, ride motorbikes to work and school everyday. And despite its inconveniences (distance, speed, weather conditions…), it brings more leisure on the road.

I like maps and geography since I learned how to read and write. Hmm,… when I was 7 or 8, I visited my neighbour, and suddenly got interested in a globe in his living room. I then asked him to see the globe and couldn’t really kept my eyes out of it for 3 hours. Coming back home I told my Dad to buy a world map, and since then I started to look at it every day. Hmm, it was really unusual for a kid at primary school age who didn’t like to go out for play sports or music~~, but he chose maps instead.

I developed mapping hobby when Google launched ‘Mapmaker’ project. At first I was really keen on contirbuting for the project, but then I discovered that Google Mapmaker was not smart enough.

  • Community approval policy : Every edit needs approval from others in a voting system. This is a time consuming process, especially when there are not enough votes for your contributions.

  • Lack of respect of differences : Some contributions which are out of concern of others, including supervisors can be turned down. Well, I spent two hours adding several paths in parks and a museum (Reunification Palace) in HCMC, and submitted them. The only answer I received was that ‘pathways are good but they are UNNECESSARY, because our Maps features should focus on roads and the use of GPS when traveling’. I told them that even though it seemed cars don’t use it, but ‘pathway’ can help describe the ways for walkers or visitors.

Moreover, ‘pathway’ is available in the toolbox, and we should make use of it . I then pointed examples of parks and university campuses elsewhere in the world, such as Georgetown University in Washington, D.C and riverside parks in Singapore. What I received was that ‘Well, they are different cities, and we’re in Vietnam, and we’re different’.

Well, then I said goodbye to them because I felt that those conservative mapmakers do not respect me and my and turned to OSM a few months later.

Comment from AndrewBuck on 7 May 2013 at 19:12

Welcome to OSM, glad you converted over from mapmaker. :) As I am sure you already know from your editing here, we are much more open to having things like your pathways example and fun stuff like that. The other big issue you forgot to mention in your list of mapmaker problems is that all the data you give to them just goes into a “black box” that google controls and can release or not at their own whims, but with OSM you or anyone else can play with the data and do cool stuff with it.

Hope you keep using OSM and have fun with it. Let us know if there are any questions you have. I assume you probably are pretty familiar with the project with as long as you have been mapping, but there is always more to learn. :)


Comment from robert on 8 May 2013 at 01:25

Welcome - I hope you’ll enjoy helping shape what we map and how.

Comment from TuanIfan on 8 May 2013 at 01:32

Hi AndrewBuck : yeah thanks for reminding me about that. I’m pretty sure the open policy is a good point of OSM, and i’ve seen our map displayed in several themes, i.e Transport map and Cycle map. They show exactly what we wanna see.

Comment from TuanIfan on 8 May 2013 at 01:51

robert : Thanks :-). I’m really enjoying it now. :-)

Comment from Sanderd17 on 8 May 2013 at 09:43

Sometimes you also can get reactions that you’re mapping too precise. But the limit is quite a bit higher (if you see that in Germany, a lot of trees are mapped).

The biggest advantage of OSM (for me) is exactly that it’s open. I can download the data, and display every feature on a map how I want it.

If you’re interested in the technicalities, you can make your own maps with f.e. tilemill from Mapbox: (although importing the OSM data can be a though job sometimes).

Comment from TuanIfan on 7 August 2019 at 13:59

Hi Andrew Buck and everyone,

It’s been 7 years now since my first post, and you know what, I am still very much passionate with mapping. I’ve been through ups and downs, injured and break ups and lost my jobs.. but it is mapping that keeps me alive and positive, for I always have sthing to do, and to “Draw” every day.

Even though I haven’t (yet) found a career with GIS, but mapping is now my life and I am living with it all day long.

At times when life got to the lowest point, was when I lost my jobs, I was thinking if I could just throw up everything and pack up to Africa and apply for a GIS businesses, where I would be able to do OSM map survey collecting points everyday… Whatever it was, but I couldn’t do that, for I don’t know anyone in GIS.

I am still a lone mapper and a surveyor and an armchair mapper.

Thank you for your support and your kind words, that helped keep my passion alive. Pretty sure I will remain here for many years to come.


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