Mapping Kindergartens While Doing My Fieldwork Using

Posted by asdofindia on 14 July 2016 in English (English)

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been posted to Hosakote Rural Health Training Center as a part of my community medicine internship. My job here is to visit the 28 Anganawadis in this sub-center and do health checkup on the kids (and pregnant women, if any).

When I first visited Hosakote, even the Rural Health Training Center was not on the map. (On the other hand, Google Maps did not even show where Hosakote was). Ever since on my iPhone got the update to add places, I’ve been hungry to find new places. And I started by mapping the RHTC hospital.

There is one nurse at the hospital who is (or was till this week) the go-to source for geographic information about the Anganawadis. We found out the rough location of the 28 Anganawadis from her. She gave us village names and the number of Anganawadis at each place, along with possible itineraries we can take. I could already spot most of the villages on OSM but that was it.

So, the four of us went around, asking people for directions (every few feet, at times) exploring the villages, and finding Anganawadis. We were on two-wheelers one day, on car another day, and so on.

One nice thing about these villages is that they have straight roads in between beautiful farmlands. Also, there’s always a road parallel to the Kabini canal. And these are all interconnected.

My modus operandi here was to find out the Anganawadi by asking locals, and immediately add it to the map, tagged kindergarten, using once I reach there. And then smile at the staring kids. Once I have scared them enough, checking each kid’s oral hygiene, lungs, heart, growth, etc., I would ask the Anganawadi worker directions to the next Anganawadi. doesn’t yet include any way to edit roads. Although it does have an option to “record GPS traces” I haven’t explored this yet and do not know what it does. I think this feature can be used to trace roads.

But, I came back to my place and these roads were easily visible from the satellite editor on OSM. So, I just added the roads myself using the OSM web editor.

I added some villages and also fixed the wrong location of a village which was put at the place of a completely different village. Another feature missing for now in is the ability to add new villages.

Tomorrow is my last day at this place. I’ve only covered Anganawadis and there is a lot left to map (schools, water tanks, temples, …). But I think I’ve already built an incredibly valuable resource, at least to my successors who will be posted to this place because now they don’t have to ask anyone for directions.

OSM, for the win! Kudos to too!

Location: Hosakote, Nanjanagudu taluk, Mysuru district, Karnataka, India

Comment from Jedrzej Pelka on 15 July 2016 at 00:50

This is what we call real, active mapping! Keep up the good work! :)

When planning to go to a completely unmapped area, it’s good to edit it beforehand - tracing just the roads from aerial imagery. This way you get a bit better prepared for further surveying on site.

Comment from alexkemp on 15 July 2016 at 01:09

Hi @asdofindia

You wrote: > Although it does have an option to “record GPS traces” I haven’t explored this yet and do not know what it does.

GPS traces are the only way to map lines (such as roads) and areas (such as houses) in the absence of aerial imagery. Even if you have good satellite imagery, initially I found it a reassurance to see from the trace that I was on the right path. Having said all that, I no longer use the GPS traces at all (although OSMTracker (the App I use) auto-records a trace every second). A secondary value is to be able to look back afterwards & see where you were working at a particular point in time.

I would agree with @Jedrzej Pelka: if you have good Satellite Imagery, then fix the roads before going in the field, and double-check any changes once you are on the ground.

Comment from alexkemp on 15 July 2016 at 01:18

A little more on GPS Traces:

If you click through my user-page to my traces you will be able to get a pictorial view of what they look like. Clicking on one of the ‘more’ links will give a pictorial time-track of movements.

Comment from Maanya on 15 July 2016 at 05:23

Really nice to know that you have been adding Anganawadis. Amazing work!

Comment from asdofindia on 15 July 2016 at 06:06

Thanks for that tip @Jedrzej Pelka. I should have asked earlier. Where do OSM mappers hangout other than #openstreetmap on freenode?


I no longer use the GPS traces at all

What do you use then? Satellite imagery?

Thanks for explaining traces. I went through a couple of traces on your profile and yes, it looks useful the way you’ve explained.

An unrelated question. How did you tag @Jedrzej Pelka in your comment? Did you manually link using markdown or is there any automatic way to do it?

@Maanya, thanks!

Comment from yogi_ks on 15 July 2016 at 14:44

Great work @Akshay! This kind of contribution is very valuable and unique to OSM since you rarely find rural map data such as this on other maps. I did map some of the Anganawadis in North Karnataka around Yadgir couple of years back when I was there on fieldwork. Looks like Karnataka has most mapped Anganawadis in India and more than a million of them are there in total; which are of course, yet to be mapped!

Comment from yogi_ks on 15 July 2016 at 14:53

And if you’d like to add more info while mapping on the go, you could also try Go Map!!. This works offline too and lets you add more tags other than the default ones provided on since you may find other useful objects to map on the field. Happy Mapping. :)

Comment from aintgd on 15 July 2016 at 15:50

I’m posted in an area where not even villages are mapped. Only a few tertiary roads on the map. With limited time and resources, what I’m doing these days is only taking GPS tracks while I go out.

I also found it that we can’t add villages through For now, I’m adding them as tourist information with a note that it’s a village. I’ll perhaps edit those places when time permits.

Glad to see you actively making maps on osm.

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