I am Ahasanul Hoque (ahasan4u), man of Bangladesh feeling honored for being nominated for membership of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and I am writing this entry to express my interest in the membership and my vision for HOT's future.
I am working as GIS and Data Management short term consultant in Water Sanitation Program of World Bank Bangladesh. GIS is my passion and working with it nationally and internationally for long 10 years. During my Master’s Degree in Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand I got involved with OpenSource GIS. After coming back to country, GFDRR’s collaborative open city project gave me the chance to work actively with OpenStreetMap. About three years back, all of Bangladesh was almost BLANK in OSM. As a GIS geek and supporter of free and opensource projects I realized the huge potential of OSM in developing Bangladesh, a country with regular disaster threat and top listed for climate impacts.
I wanted to contribute my country using my knowledge, so came back in motherland after finishing my higher degree in Abroad. I joined in job but was looking for opportunity to contribute to mankind then I got involved with OSM as well as Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) through Jeff Hack and Robert Soden. Thanks to them. If anyone ask me why I love OSM/HOT then I will tell that, the location data should be open for any emergency, research and for local community what I felt always during emergency response and in my academic life. I found, to be involved with HOT is a noble work what will serve the community for long time with a very minimum effort. Therefore I started to disseminate this knowledge among people, building a strong OSM community. I voluntarily facilitated about 30 OSM training and coordinated mapping parities (plz visit OSM Bangladesh Facebook community page)
I can see the wave now in Bangladesh. I have conducted OSM training for university students, teachers, non-government organizations, local remote disaster response staffs, Government organizations dealing with public services etc. I have been introducing HOT since I got inception and spreading that knowledge by every chance I get. There is a strong OSM community has been built who are mapping for Bangladesh and different disaster affected areas of the world through task manager of HOT. Our community is also observing different international day by doing mappathon or mapping parties. In last 17th November 2015 we have organized a mappathon in Dhaka for observing #osmgeoweek (please see the photos in OSM Bangladesh FB group). I believe that our Bangladeshi dynamic and enthusiastic OSM community have the capacity to catalyse the development and growth of OSM around the world. Recently they have worked with MissingMapProjects and AmreicanRedcross for some local projects.
For any country wide project implementation, government administrative system is the best vehicle therefore I have been trying to fit OSM/HOT in government project. Recently I have done an OSM piloting in a remote village for Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) who are responsible for all sorts of household level data collection, storing, assessing and dissemination. Now BBS showing interest to get the geo location of all households better managing and locating the vulnerable communities as a pre-crisis preparedness.
I have attended as a presenter in State of the Map US 2015 in UN HQ New York, State of the Map Asia 2015 in Indonesia and also participated in HOT Activation Workshop in Jakarta in September 2015 what gave me more motivation to be part of the global humanitarian cause through HOT and OSM by myself and our growing community. I have actively contributed by mapping for many HOT Activations post-disasters, such as Nepal Earth Quake, Flood in Ivory coast, Ebola in South Sudan, and so on.
To me HOT is not only a non-profit organization but also a family with open mind members who always thinking same to serve the global community affected. HOT has no geographical boundary, they are for all, for the planet. I believe that as voting members of HOT I will have the honour to be part in sustaining the amazing uniqueness as it's nature of serving global affected communities wherever they are and whoever they are. During voting I shall try my best to provide the logical and right judgement what is best for HOT and its sustainable growth in future.
Though I myself feeling and doing like an ambassador of OSM/HOT but the voting membership will give me the official identity what will make my stand bold in future venture regarding OSM movement and HOT activation among communities.
To me, HOT’s biggest challenge is to sustain the local OSM communities and their interest to doing edit. Another big challenge is the fund for operating HOT activities; lack of OSM community or OSM knowledge in many countries are also a challenge. As a voting member I will try my level best to ensure the sustainability and activity of our community first. In addition to that I will do the advocacy for other South Asian countries too by my active participation through physically or virtually. I will be enhancing the networking and collaboration with other HOT members globally and participated in fundraising activates through my all channels.
For more about me and my activities please visit my personal blog
Please read an interview I given to OpenCage Data Blog last year.
Thank you very much for nominating me as a voting member of HOT. I wish continuous growth of HOT in near future.