Recent diary entries
In early 2017 a group of active members from OpenStreetMap Bangladesh Community (OSMBD) decided to form an unofficial entity BOIL (Bangladesh Open Innovation Lab) to utilize the huge & diverse potential of crowdsourced OpenStreetMap data and take the Open Data movement forward. The decision was made to coordinate the community activities in a more structured way and bring out the best from the members of this community. Immediately, BHOOT (Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operations Team) was formed as a initiative of BOIL to support HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) with all their activations supporting all the disasters & emergency humanitarian crisis throughout the globe including Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh BHOOT(vut) stands for Ghost, the entity you cannot see in front of your eyes but surely can feel its presence and works. However, the group vowed to make the impact remaining behind the scene and not really bother focusing to become the poster boys of the community. And, literally they made the impact with a big bang!
Collaborating with Pathao with “Map Your City” project, leading the “South Asian Flood Activation (Bangladesh part)” by HOT, supporting “Rohingya Population Movement Mapping” by MissingMaps… 2017 was a very busy and eventful first year for the BHOOT’s. With adding more than 2 Million buildings, 2000 km roads & 150k street view images from Bangladesh region on the OpenStreetMap, surely they made the community moved & evolved. Eventually the team almost single handedly taken the size of the zipped data size of Bangladesh region from 22 MB to 93 MB in only 06 months! The humongous contribution made 05 members of the team reaching the top 10 position in Missing Maps global contributor’s leaderboard and another 15 placed in top 100 of that leaderboard!
Derived from the OpenStreetMap Bangladesh Community (OSMBD) the motto of the team is to expose & utilize the huge potentials of the diverse community people. And that fuels the team’s constant drive to the community engagement. The team focuses on quality rather than quantity and believes in strong knowledge base. To meet the base requirement and create a strong foundation for the community the team has been facilitating hands on trainings on basic and advance mapping, introducing different data collection tools & platforms along with frequent mapathons for the community. In 2017 the team facilitated more than 14 trainings & Mapathons where 135 newbies and 65 existing community mappers were involved. In support to HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) & MissinMaps the team contributed to more than 50 different mapping tasks in different part of the globe to put the vulnerable population on the map suffering from different disasters. Among those 27 tasks were completely handled by this team! In Addition, the team launched “Mapillary Bangladesh Community” and combinely added more than 150k street level images in Bangladesh region. Other than the specific projects the team has been supporting the project needs of Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Save The Children in Bangladesh with remote & collaborative mapping using OpenStreetMap. The team is always open to collaborative approaches to ensure a sustainable open data ecosystem.
In April 2017 the team started their collaboration with Pathao Ltd, the fastest growing tech startup to support & improve the navigation system for their ride sharing services. Soon the team became one of the core support for their operations and assigned to develop a standalone map server for the company. Already the team has successfully deployed the dataset they have developed and constantly working on building the richest repository of map data for the region. The team is also working on developing different data collection tools along with a complete, effective navigation & transportation API. It is believed that the outcome of the tremendous work the team is doing will be a complete game changer for the industry!
South Asian Flood (Bangladesh)
Since 11 August 2017, heavy monsoon rains caused intense flooding across more than one-third of Bangladesh. As per the analysis by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), the flood was the worst in the last four decades. Incessant heavy rainfall brought by the monsoon triggered flooding in five divisions, 31 districts, 176 Upazilas and 1,173 Unions.Findings indicated that a total of about 6.9 million people (1.54 million households) have been affected by the floods. National authorities confirmed 114 deaths and 197,416 people are temporarily displaced in 703 community shelters. As a result of the extensive floods, 77,272 houses were destroyed, 524,375 were partially damaged. Findings also highlighted that in northern Bangladesh, the following are the six worst-affected districts: Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Kurigram, Jamalpur, Nilphamari, Sirajganj. In these districts, a total of 330,000 people have been displaced. Access to the most affected areas in the northwest was a challenge as roads are either severely damaged or submerged under flood water. It is estimated that around 9,000 km of roads, 500 bridges and culverts have been damaged. Nearly 100 km of rail lines, have been severely damaged by the floods. Around 714 km of embankments have also been washed away.
To address & meet the increased needs of food security, wash, shelter, health, education, GBV, child protection, and early recovery the aid agencies needed a baseline map for Assessment & operations efficiency. And that made HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) declaring activation for mapping the affected areas. The team “BHOOT” straightaway deployed to task and took the lead for remote mapping and validation. Utilizing the devices they received from the “NetHope Device Grant”, the team traced down more than 500k buildings along with almost all the roads, waterways in the affected areas.
Rohingya Population Movement (Bangladesh, Myanmar)
Violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, which began on 25 August 2017 has driven an estimated 646,000 Rohingya across the border into Cox’s Bazar, joining some 300,000 that had fled in earlier waves of displacement. Pre-existing settlements and camps have expanded with the new influx, while new spontaneous settlements have also formed and grown. The Government and people of Bangladesh have shown extraordinary generosity in keeping the country’s borders open and shared their resources with refugees from Myanmar. Newly arrived refugees are settling in the border areas in the south-east of Bangladesh, in Cox’s Bazar, where an estimated 307,500 refugees were already living. The vast majority are staying in a large and densely populated settlement called Kutupalong. The terrain of the camps is hilly and prone to landslides, flooding, whilst proximity to the coast also makes the area prone to cyclones. Weather conditions, the challenging terrain, and the lack of roads limit access to the refugees, especially those living in more remote areas of the spontaneous settlements.
To support the coordinated operation by UNHCR, MSF, Redcross & other aid agencies in the region “BHOOT” team remotely traced down almost 250k buildings, Roads & other features of the area. Later when MissingMaps officially started the activation the team continued the support remotely to map out the areas in Myanmar too.
The people may have been behind the curtains but the presence were felt with all the activity that was evolving & moving Bangladesh! The mammoth activity helped the team to achieve “NetHope Device Grant” from HOT for the community! The grant has been utilized to support the community activities with resources. The devices has helped the team to spread out the sparks and last quarter of the year the community found more busier. The spark is now widespread to the community & “Youth Mappers” chapters in the country who vowed to take the platform forward.
2018 on the Making….
And already the team has started drafting the plans of activities & Collaborations. More new projects fueled with innovation and research integration has been drafted, Collaboration with global leads like “Moovit” is planned to launch, More community driven initiatives formatted… The BOILers are already heated up for The Next Big Things!
Just Stay Tuned to Watch the Lambs become the Lions!…
## Happy New Year :)
The journey of OpenStreetMap community is a perfect example of community volunteerism approach. Despite any structural funding the community made it’s own mark in the global humanitarian arena. The continuous support from HOT, MissingMaps & recently Mapillary boosted the enthusiasm of the community and inspired them to go far beyond.
However, in recent times the necessity is felt to give the community a organizational structure. Keeping this on mind most recently a group of very active and experienced members of the OSMBD community has just formed an OSM based innovation lab BHOOT (Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operations team).
The main objective is to make the OSMBD community more active & vibrant and lead the community towards sustainable future. It’s not yet been started as an registered organization but there are plannings on that. The team have been preparing the plans to conduct a full scale field mapping in a disaster pruned area of Bangladesh. The team has already initiated a project in Belkuchi area of Sirajganj district and planning for a street mapping project for the whole Dhaka Metropolitan.
The plans for both of the projects includes but not limited to creating a detailed base map of the areas, develop an data collection application tool for OSM field mapping, integrating Mapillary street level photos to the map and conducting some field level researches.
OpenStreetMap(OSM): A tool Providing cost effective ways for disaster response teams suffering from low institutional capacity...Posted by tasauf1980 on 14 March 2017 in English (English)
Collection, visualization, and sharing of information on disasters and disaster risk provide a basis for strengthening disaster resilience and supporting timely post-disaster response, recovery, and reconstruction efforts. For example, base maps (identifying the location of key infrastructure, and critical assets), hazard risk maps, and evacuation maps are necessary for planning interventions related to disaster risk reduction, including activities related to disaster preparedness. Similarly, information from post-disaster damage assessment is important for guiding activities in response, recovery, and rehabilitation phases, such as rescuing affected communities, providing relief, and developing required recovery and reconstruction plans.
OpenStreetMap (OSM), a method of community-based mapping using satellite imagery and ICT tools, used to develop base maps necessary for planning and prioritizing DRM-related interventions. ICT tools such as mobile phone applications developed to support this mapping approach. OSM provides simple access to its entire database under open license, which is useful for community-based mapping and data sharing in the event of a disaster, as well as in humanitarian and international development work. Since OSM relies on the local community to develop and update detailed base maps, it has become an effective mechanism to strengthen community-based DRM.
Satellite-based damage assessment is becoming a conventional procedure in post-disaster situations to collect rapid and objective damage information cost-effectively. By combining satellite-based damage maps with baseline OSM data, quick and remote identification of disaster locations and the extent of damage, such as the number of damaged buildings categorized by type can be obtained for early emergency response planning of humanitarian rescue, delivery of goods, and effective budget mobilization.
International cooperation mechanisms to share free satellite imagery and analyze maps in the event of disasters have already been established, with many DMCs as members of the community. However, these data remained underutilized at the local level because of issues such as lack of awareness on the availability of such data, difficulties in data access with no internet connection after a disaster, and lack of coordination among government agencies to share baseline GIS data necessary for effective analysis.
Assistance is needed to improve capacity to collect and share reliable and timely disaster related data at the local NGO’s, local government and community levels to strengthen their disaster resilience and support timely post-disaster response, recovery, and reconstruction efforts in a more cost-effective manner. These will provide cost-effective ways for disaster response team that suffer from low institutional capacity to collect and share information on disasters and disaster risk.
The new Year Showing the promise to become a year of recognition & opportunity I guess! Just been selected as a “Voting Member” of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)!!!
Becoming more integral part of the HOT community is like a dream come true for me. I am sure the recognition will boost my moral and strengthen my voice to represent HOT in both local & global arena. This will motivate me more to dedicate myself to the cause & the community. I’m damn sure that there were many awesome HOT community members who might deserve to be in the team and their turn will also come in a very short period of time. It must have been very tough!!!
For me it was quite a surprise when Pete Masters informed me that he has nominated me as a candidate. I can remember I was asking him whether I’m ready for this and his answer was more than ready!!! I would like to take the opportunity to thank him and the others who have shown the faith on me and supported me throughout my short but eventful journey with #hotosm. I would also like to thank Ahasanul Hoque and the whole community of OSM in Bangladesh for their wonderful, illustrious efforts, commitments & achievements to the cause HOT is continuously working for. Each & every recognition I have & will achieve in this field will always be considered as the glory of your works & support. without you guys I’m just nobody!!!
I would like to congratulate all the new members in the panel who got selected. Thank you guys for your contribution and efforts that made you securing the seats.
Eagerly waiting for the formal introductions to new roles & to carry out the new responsibilities… :)
It’s been a super-fast 02 years with HOT!!!
Throughout my career in the Humanitarian field for last 05 years, I learned a lot about humanitarian works from various organizations operating in my country and found myself deep in love with the movements. Besides working with both in MSF - Belgium and MSF - Holland in the past, I have always been trying to be a part of the Humanitarian movement. However, among all the teams in this field, one team stands aside: HOT. I always feel proud to introduce myself as a part of this global team.
My history with HOT is now getting long, and my dedication to HOT stronger than ever (not difficult, with HOT more amazing than ever). I appreciate Pete Masters & Ahasanul Hoque for introducing me with HOT and continuously backing up with all my works that increased the level of commitment to it. However, it varied recently with time off for some of my personal reasons, fair to say that I voluntarily dedicate more than 30% of working time to HOT.
I became involved with HOT as Pete Masters & Jorieke Vyncke visiting Dhaka to map Kamrangirchar & Hazaribagh area as a part of MissingMaps project. I became aware of the lack of maps of my country, which greatly hampers navigation and development. I found, to be involved with HOT is a dream come true for me what will serve the community for long time with a very minimum effort. I became aware of and was greatly helped and guided by many people at HOT and Missing Maps. Therefore, I started to disseminate this knowledge among people, started helping Ahasanul Hoque & others building a strong OSM community. I voluntarily facilitated more than 20 OSM training and coordinated mapping parities. During this period, I actively got involved with the local field mapping projects in various parts of Bangladesh as a part of the projects by Save the Children, Y Care, American Red Cross, Asia Foundation, World Bank & Asian Development Bank. Now, the global community can feel the vibes that OSM Bangladesh Community is creating. I believe with proper support & Guidance our Bangladeshi dynamic and enthusiastic OSM community have the capacity to catalyze the development and growth of OSM around the world.
To know more please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/osmbd
As days goes by, I regularly started to attend Missing Maps events throughout the globe as a remote validator & mapper, got myself involved with the community-working group and contributed to the fundraising movements. Meanwhile, for me it was a great honor to be nominated for “Expanding the Community Award” for 2016 OSM awards. It was one the best recognition for me.
In 2017, I have drafted my resolution regarding HOT. One of those is to become more integrated part of it by being a voting member. 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. Thanks to Pete Masters for pushing me, forward for the nomination. I believe that as voting members of HOT I will have the honor to be part in sustaining the amazing uniqueness as its 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.
HOT is an amazing initiative that seeks to put the worlds’ most vulnerable people on the map, and I want to support it in any way I can. I would like to be a voting member so that I can try and help promote HOT and ensure it is as inclusive as possible, particularly in less well represented areas such as Bangladesh. I see HOT’s greatest challenge as access to funding so that it can support mapping initiatives in areas such as rural Bangladesh and I plan to help with this by helping tell stories about the difference HOT makes.
What I have found is that local communities are seeking to get more organized to engage more officially with government agencies, universities and other institutions. They find they need financial administration beyond borrowing someone’s bank account. While some have seen the value of becoming an official HOT Local Chapter, there is still lack a clarity to some about the necessity and benefits. Nevertheless, they see a lot of value to learn from others working on similar issues – everything from legal and administrative issues of starting an organization, to sharing community engagement strategies that work, to amplifying the voices of their community in the global OSM conversation especially for non-English speakers. Regional connections are especially valuable, for working with mappers in similar languages, time zones, and to some extent culture.
I think there are straightforward things we could do here – like better communication about and between Local Chapters, develop some simple benefits like templates of core organizational documents, and more support for regional conferences. Just some ideas. One of 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.
I have seen a phenomenal group of folks joining the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team over here. However, it needs more actions to make OpenStreetMap sustainable in Bangladesh. Hope is with the awesome works by Ahasanul Hoque & others more public & private universities are interested now to join with the initiative and we are now draining deep the knowledge to the community, the new OSM leaders are disseminating the knowledge among the community level disaster response team. The local Government leaders also got interested and taking the vibe to show their competitiveness horizontally and to central authority. We are also thinking for a big initiative to make this happen in more organized way. We are already using the OSM data as layer in Government Geospatial data sharing platform where any one can download the OSM data using Overpass turbo and upload as well as an independent layer with feature info.
Humanitarian partners are what make our mapping work relevant to disaster response and preparedness, and those relationships are a big part of what HOT manages. We’ve reached a profile and gravity where there are a lot of organizations involved in what we do beyond just using the data, and great potential for coordination. Tapping into this more and figure out what this looks like in my country perspective is something I want to pursue. The thumb rule for data is, “Data have no meaning if there is no use”; so we need to create more use cases for the OSM data being produced with time in Bangladesh otherwise all the initiative will be in vein. We should not wait for disaster to use this data only; therefore, we need to use the OSM data in research and innovation. However, very few researches are ongoing but not significant.
Finally, want to step up more in helping our Board be productive, continue to serve in leadership of the Board, and facilitate our process and communication and meetings well. A big part of that will be collectively setting our strategy for the year, and increasing bidirectional communication with members and the community.
Thank You All…
To know more about me: Website: https://tasaufribin.wordpress.com LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/tasauf1980 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tasauf.ribin Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tsf1980 OSM Contributor Profile: http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?tasauf1980 OSM TM Profile: http://tasks.hotosm.org/user/tasauf1980 MissingMaps Profile: http://www.missingmaps.org/users/#/2574748 Mapillary Profile: https://www.mapillary.com/app/user/tasauf1980
It’s been an eventful 2016 for the #OSMBD community altogether. More & more people been introduced to to the #OpenStreetMap platform throughout the year and the community kept on flourishing and more and more vibrant.
Under the inspirational mentor ship of Ahasanul Hoque the #YouthMapper chapters were introduced in the educational institutes. Along with the others the first ever all women university chapter of #YouthMappers was introduced in our country!!! It was quite an achievement to put the spotlight on. We have seen #YouthMappers_DhakaCollege emerging as a formidable unit catching all our eyes with a blast!!! Under the awesome leadership of Sawan Shariar and Atikur Rahman some talented mappers like Ataur Rahman Shaheen has emerged. The team has really been buzzing throughout the later half of the year.
The collaborative effort continued to cooperate with the #Data4Action project by American Red Cross & #BDRCS. Also played supportive role to the DRR project piloted by Asian Development Bank(#ADB) in vulnerable areas at Sirajganj & Barguna District. It was great to see the android application #KOLOROB launched by Save The Children where the #OSMBD community played a significant role in the development process.
As a part of the regular activity, not many but a handsome number of #Mapathon s were successfully organized. Two of the mapper Shamash Arko & Ataur Rahman Shaheen cruising their positions among the top 5 of the missing maps ladder board and the nomination for the community development award @ #SOTM shows the effort & dedication of the community.
The buzz #OSMBD is making throughout the year wouldn’t have been possible without the continuous support from the global community. We would like to thank #hotosm, #MissingMaps, #Mapillary, #YouthMappers, #BDRCS & others for their continuous support and inspiration to the community. Also like to convey our gratitude to individuals like Pete Masters, Shamaun Al Noor, Dan Joseph and others for their continuous support. Without you guys having our back the community wouldn’t have been as it is now.
And Last but not the Least thanks to all the awesome members, the men(this goes for both boyz & girlz) at arms of this vibrant community to make #OSMBD instrumental. And gratitude and respect to Ahasanul Hoque for being the heart of the community and continuously pumping life to it.
We did it together! And we can do even MORE!!! Let’s get Rolling… and Rock the Globe!!!
The New Days Awaiting…
In year 2015, 344 disasters triggered by natural hazards were reported worldwide, affecting 108 countries and nearly 142 million people. That’s 344 times that local communities and organizations, local and national governments, and international organizations needed geographic information on the affected area to inform a rapid and effective response. Unfortunately, there are still many places across the world which lack this basic geographic information, remaining unmapped.
Detailed maps give individuals, organizations and governments’ information to support them in planning DRR activities and preparing for crises. Detailed maps also help humanitarian response actors to get aid where it is needed most, by helping to understand the population size and density, as well as identify and address logistical challenges. Efforts are being made to address the lack of maps in the most neglected places.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a global NGO that creates and provides digital and print maps to address the world’s toughest challenges. In times of crisis and natural disaster, HOT rallies a network of volunteers to rapidly produce maps relied upon by humanitarian relief organizations to reach those in need.
A common question about aid is, does it work? In some cases, yes, but not always. Unfortunately, nothing in life is that straightforward. When someone external comes in to do the work and eventually returns home, they leave with the skills and knowledge of the project as well, so how is this sustainable? We believe initiatives carried out by community members, not only provides local knowledge, which instantly enhances the project, but the skills and knowledge associated with the project remain in the area and continue to be applied.
Micro grants are a way to support local champions of open geo-spatial data (maps), community organizing and an open source software tool chain and building OpenStreetMap from the ground up every step of the way. Many local OSM community builders face obstacles that can be difficult to imagine but they are succeeding in turning OpenStreetMap into a global, open map of the world every day.
Your donation regardless how big or small, is needed urgently to map the world’s most vulnerable and least mapped places through Micro grants, before the next disaster. 100% of each Micro grant donation goes to a local leader who is transforming their country by filling in critical data gaps. Your donation will help provide the basic necessities to these leaders, in the forms of micro-grants. Micro-grants will cover the basic costs of mapping additional villages and cities by paying for things like transportation, equipment, internet, printing, and more.
By contrast with the starry-eyed Silicon Valley evangelists who often claim their technologies have changed the world, we see the process of filling in the gaps of the maps as providing a humbler service to humanity.
“We are not trying to claim that this map is saving a kid’s life. It’s just not true,”
“Doctors, nurses and aid workers save kids’ lives. These maps help them do their jobs better.”