OpenStreetMap

tshedy's Diary

Recent diary entries

I am a physical planner, working for the Government of Lesotho. I am an experienced GIS user within a very focused context of laying out Land Use and Settlement Plans in the section of Forward Planning. I am very committed to using opensource approaches and this includes OpenStreetMap. My HOTOSM record as a mapper dates back to 2015, and in the 5 years I have grown to understand that HOTOSM is the most important humanitarian platform when it comes to supporting logistical responses to disasters. I have also noticed that, while not fitting into the “crisis mapping” definition other HOTOSM projects have the capability of recording and documenting environmental damage and other larger scale threats caused by climate events, and in particular I was a big contributor to the #MapLesotho mapping tasks supported on the hotosm tasking platform.

Alt Tshedy

MapLesotho has led to a unique outcome, which is to show the top level of Government in my country the extent to which environmental mismanagement has taken place, and the need to urgently initiate a National Spatial strategy to set out how better control of the urban, rural and wild landscapes will take place. Involvement in this has shown me the importance of re-using data and documenting use-cases, which I see HOTOSM needs to make it clearer to people who are at the entry level of participation. I have been involved in training the local planners to develop what we call Local Area Planners for different community councils which are selected by looking at the outcome of the mapping done, thus showing areas which have potential to grow.

I have been Voting Member since 2018 and taken part in drafting the Strategic Planning Document for HOTOSM and that gave me a clear inside of how HOT operate. If I am elected to the board I will contribute and lead on issues that I have mentioned here, as well as offer assistance to HOT in its current strategic plan.

Also the involvement of the voting members to the organisation is not clearly set out the core other than mapping and voting for new members each year. I would like to see HOT involving the community more, as that would make it sustainable. I believe the combined efforts of the organizations and the voting memebers could result in the success stories.

Lastly I would like to thank Geoffrey Kateregga for nominating me as a candidate. It is an honor whether I succeed on the candidacy or not because it shows that he believes in me, and that he has recognised my prior contributions. Thank you to Pete Master for the encouragement as well.

Cheers!

My State of the Map Experience in Heidelberg

Posted by tshedy on 8 October 2019 in English (English). Last updated on 9 October 2019.

Earlier this year I applied for the scholarship to attend HOTSUMMIT and State of the Map (SOTM) global Conference in Heidelberg, Germany. The application was accepted and I got fully a funded scholarship. It was the first SOTM conference that I was able to attend and I was looking forward to meet other OSM mappers and data users and have a clear picture of the experiences shared.

OSM Foundation Assistance

In preparation for the conference I received an email from Christine Karch asking whether I would be interested in joining and working together with the program’s committee, and of course I accepted. Being part of that team gave me an insight of how preparations for such a huge conference are done, as well as the criteria used on how the choice of proposals submitted is done. That task was a good experience and I was grateful.

I would also like to show my appreciation to Dorothea for here support and guidance from the day I got accepted for scholarship. She was always available through emails and ready to respond to all the questions I had. The process of getting visa was successful first hand because of her help in listing all that’s needed and sending all the documents I would need. She also made my travel to Heidelberg stress-free from flights connections, train and public transport connections.

I also like to thank Christine ones again for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to chair nine sessions at the conference. I was grateful that I was given that chance because in my experience such little opportunities help in building one’s confidence in public speaking.

Conference Presentations

The presentations at the conference were interesting so much that one would get confused because some session that a person was interested in would be parallel. But then the fact that the sessions were recorded made it possible to listen to the sessions after. The presentations I was able to attend to were enlightening as presenters shared their knowledge of how OSM data could be used. Some of the sessions which I found useful for my profession as a Spatial Planner had the following titles:

*How to use OpenStreetMap data with the Desktop GIS, QGIS.

*OSM data processing with Postgres SQL/PostGIS.

There were also sessions on Transport and mobility which I found very useful. Nowadays traffic congestion is a serious issue in Lesotho and one task I felt we have to do in Lesotho is to ensure that all the road networks are well mapped showing clear hierarchy of roads. I learned from the sessions that mobility could be improved as the OSM data could be manipulated to see what needs to be done.

As scholars we were also given opportunity to give lightning talks. I had my presentation on “How OSM is used in Spatial Planning in Lesotho”.

Tshedy giving presentation

Networking

In both conferences HOTSUMMIT and SOTM I met people I have connected with on social media, and communication channels used by OSM users such as WhatsApp and Telegram. I was happy to see OSMAfrica friends and we got a chance to have short meeting face to face and talk about the coming SOTM Africa event in Ivory Coast.

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As scholars we were staying in one hostel and we got a chance to share with each other the various projects we are involved in on OSM. We were treating each other like family and made sure nobody got lost in the streets of Heidelberg.

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There was a social event planned every evening and the most favourite event for me was the quiz session, whereby cities were extracted from OSM showing mostly roads and people had to identify cities and say the names. Hahah, let me make a confession though: I looked at the answers before having to guess the names of the cities. To my surprise, Maseru the capital city of Lesotho was on the list. The reason for my surprise is because most of the time when I introduce myself I have to explain to people that Lesotho is a country not part and parcel of South Africa. So seeing Maseru made me proud, yay!

Closing Session

The closing session had two very fascination announcement that I think I should mention. One is approval of OSM Ireland as an official Local Chapter. Pursuing my studies in Ireland for two years I was able to join the team in some of their meetings so in a way I was happy that the finally got the approval. The second announcement that got me clapping none stop was the news that next year SOTM 2020 will be in Cape Town. That is close to home (Lesotho) and I feel like I’m also the host.

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I would like to thank OSMF for giving me an opportunity to attend the conference.

I am a physical planner, working for the Government of Lesotho. I am an experienced GIS user within a very focused context of laying out sites for human settlements. I am very committed to open things, whether that is opendata and this includes OpenStreetMap, and also opensource approaches to solving the problems of measurement, scale and needs. My HOTOSM record as a mapper dates back to 2015, and in these 4 years I have grown to understand that HOTOSM is the most important humanitarian platform when it comes to supporting logistical responses to disasters. I have also noticed that, while not fitting into the “crisis mapping” definition other HOTOSM projects have the capability of recording and documenting environmental damage and other larger scale threats caused by climate events, and in particular I was a big contributor to the #MapLesotho mapping tasks supported on the hotosm tasking platform.

Alt Tshedy

#MapLesotho has led to a unique outcome, which is to show the top level of Government in my country the extent to which environmental mismanagement has taken place, and the need to urgently initiate a National Spatial strategy to set out how better control of the urban, rural and wild landscapes will take place. Involvement in this has shown me the importance of re-using data and documenting use-cases, which I see HOTOSM needs to make it clearer to people who are at the entry level of participation. For this reason I have promised to set up an OSGeo chapter in Lesotho, so that data re-users have networks of support and inspiration.

I have been Voting Member since 2018 and taken part in drafting the Strategic Planning Document for HOTOSM and that gave me a clear inside of how HOT operate. If I am elected to the board I will contribute and lead on issues that I have mentioned here, as well as offer assistance to HOT in its current strategic plan.

#HelpTshedyMap

Posted by tshedy on 24 April 2019 in English (English).

Now with the weather cooling off in Lesotho, and armchair mapping becoming more of a necessity than a choice I am thinking of hitting the #MapLesotho mapping with a large number of edits. My node contribution is approaching 5 million and this weather will grant me an opportunity to increase the edits and reach my goal. It is true I map everyday but I haven’t had an intense mapping in a while and I intend to crack my record.

There is a big need of improved mapping in Lesotho in areas such as Leribe and Maseru and using the data we realised that this districts have pockets of unmapped places. I therefore plan to hit the grid and tackle those because the idea is to have the whole country completely and perfectly mapped. Thus making open-source data readily available for use by different offices or individuals.

Tasks

I am not new to mapathons having sat up late into the night in Ireland as well as Lesotho and I plan to have the 24 hours one woman mapathon. To stay motivated I will need twitter breaks, and I need people to shout me @Tshedy4 on. I promise to update twitter every hour on the hour, and say how I am doing. But forget the likes and retweets, I want words of encouragement, so give me replies with your feedback and I want some of you to map with me.
Tshedy's Mapping kid

So I will be mapping task 1937 and 1945 on Friday the 26th April 2019 from 10am Lesotho time till the next day 27th April 2019 at 9:59 am. I will appreciate all the support.

Thank You for the Award

Posted by tshedy on 15 August 2018 in English (English).

My sincerest thanks to each and everyone who voted for me in the two categories, that is Greatness in Mapping Award and Improving the Africa Award. I’m honoured and humbled that you believed in me. From the day I noticed that my name has been nominated I felt encouragement to keep doing what I am doing. I will forever be greatful to the OpenSteetMap Community.

I can’t express how thankful I am that I won the Greatness in Mapping Award. It is an honour to be recognised by such a great community. Greatness in Mapping Award 2018

I also want to thank Fingal County Council for introducing #MapLesotho because that’s how I first knew about OpenSteetMap and it’s usefulness. I am the one who got this honor but the award belongs at least equally to the great teams that I have had the good fortune to work with at the various stages, more especially my mentor DeBigC who dedicated his time to guide and advice me. I’m extremely grateful!

Map-[A]ddiction has Rewards

Posted by tshedy on 16 July 2018 in English (English). Last updated on 17 July 2018.

I have been OSM mapper since February 2015 and got enthusiastic about the change I was making in #MapLesotho. Being the spatial planner I realised the importance of OpenstreetMap data and how it would be useful in my job.

Being number one mapper in Lesotho opened doors for me, and in September 2016 I won a scholarship to study in Ireland doing MSc in Spatial Planning at Dublin Institute of Technology. I adapted easily in Ireland & met Ireland OSM community and also continued training school kids to map, and also how to use different Phone Apps such as mapillary, OSM Tracker, street complete and maps.me.

I wanted to be able to map more than what #MapLesotho taught me, so simaltaneous to moving to Ireland for town planning scholarship and internship I started mapping Ireland. I adapted to different ways of mapping and started mapping things in Ireland that aren’t there in Lesotho such as the coast and heritage sites, different tags for different road uses, such as bicycle lanes, bus lanes, footpath etc. It was also fascinating to map high buildings because they are frequent in Ireland using maps.me and the sudden change when editing height of the buildings using the app was entertaining as well. Streetcomplete is another app that always got me curious because the more I used it the more I got different kinds of stuff to edit which I would say widened my experience with Tags also.

Being in a new country of course I wanted to get out and about, so I turned my curiosity into mapillary trips in all 32 counties and I became number 2 mapillary contributor in Ireland. The truth about me is when I do mapping stuff I make sure I do it well and conquer, hahah😊.

In June I became mapper of the month and that took me by surprise when I was contacted by a person I have never talked to before Marc Gemis because I never thought there are people out there who notice the effort and the changes I was making.

I know a lot of countries and places I have never been through mapping and I never want to stop. Anyday without mapping is a bad day for me. The mappers in the places I have lived know I show up and do my part and help others. I don’t disguise that I am also happy to map on my own and I like to help new mappers all the time. Vote for me if you are like me, or want there to be more of me. If I win this I will show it to others to inspire them to start mapping.

# Moving from a maker of data to a user

Posted by tshedy on 28 February 2016 in English (English). Last updated on 16 July 2018.

About me

I have been an OpenStreetMap user on #MapLesotho from 7th February 2015 trained by three beardies, Ciarán Staunton, Dave Corley and Colin Broderick. Thanks to them Lesotho has equipped mappers making a huge difference to their country.

Becoming a maker

Ever since I joined I made it a habit of mapping at least once every week, then got more hooked to an extend that I mapped for an hour everyday. The mapping tool I use is JOSM because it can work offline I only need to be online to upload. In Lesotho internet is not accessible for most of us and so JOSM is an ideal tool. I contributed in most of the tasks in #MapLesotho, and made sure tiles were changing from white to gold then green.

My future with OSM

This year February there was yet another training and I moved to the next level. How do i use the data?. We were divided into three groups and I was in an analysis team with Mpaleng Oliphant, Refiloe Semethe, Seitebatso Mohlahatsa and Tšolo Khoanyane. We were trained on how to use the data we have using QGIS by Colin. Here we create different Scenarios that help us find answers to questions that might arise from different ministries, departments or stakeholders etc.

I might be a user of the data but that also helped me realise what’s missing in mapping and currently working on the quality of the map.