The Little Beginning of a UNIQUEMAPPERSTEAM Born in a Citadel of Learning On the Green Lowlands and Swampy Plains of The New Calabar River, Nigeria

Posted by vicksun on 20 January 2018 in English (English)

Introduction The University of Port Harcourt, geographically situated on the green low lands and swampy plains of the New Calabar Rivers, is a citadel of learning and excellence that is UNIQUE in all ramifications. This is the transcending entrepreneur university where the UniqueMappersTeam (UMT) Port Harcourt emerged into a global presence of YouthMappers, showcasing their unique and enthusiastic action about crowdsourced Mapping and Citizen Science. Precisely, the vision became realistic and then came the birth of UniqueMappersTeam on 12th June, 2017, right in the Cartography and GIS Laboratory office of our Team Coordinator and Mentor, Mr. Victor N.Sunday, who also is the founder of this Unique Team of Mappers and other emerging MappersTeam in Nigeria affiliated to YouthMappers Network. The UniqueMappersTeam-University of Port Harcourt Chapter is a team of map enthusiasts comprising of over 60 registered current UNIPORT students from a wide variety of disciplines, with a majority from the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, all united for the common goal of collaborative online crowdsourced mapping of our local environment, campus community and resilient communities in Nigeria and beyond. The team is known for training and equipping of members with a frontline practical mapping and geospatial skills that enables them compete favorably in mapping activities at local and global levels with other chapters and organization. It is a forum for professional mentoring and training of team members for various applications of mapping skills and knowledge. The team seeks to promote and showcase UNIPORT in a global presence of affiliate chapters of YouthMappers existing in other campuses globally. It is therefore an affiliate chapter of YouthMappers ( using the online platform of OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Humanitarian Openstreetmap (HOT) for educational, professional and humanitarian services. The team serves as a launching pad for a sustainable mapping of the University of Port Harcourt campus environment and beyond on the global web Atlas of the OpenStreetMap ( ). The team’s activities includes high quality programs that range from:  ICT-based online mapping of local environment and remote places globally,  Crowdsourced mapping/Volunteered Geographic Information activities  Participatory Citizen Science  Participatory GIS Mapping  Training workshop/seminar and Practical field mapping activities,  Secondary school outreaches to create online mapping awareness,  Participation in international online mapping/citizen science activities and competition  And humanitarian/community mapping services to resilient communities. These programs range from one-day event to nine (9) month programs.

UniqueMappersTeam ICT-Based Online Mapping (1st Mapathon-July, 2017) at ICT-Center, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria The Pioneer Team Leadership of UniqueMappersTeam (UMT) Port Harcourt The team emerged as a result of the handwork, enthusiasm and team spirit of the pioneer team leaders and students, who also served as officials of the team-2017: 1. Nzewi, Chukwudubem Team Leader(President) 2. Ewa,Azibodiniyar Emmanuel The Director, Project Tasks(V.President-1) 3. Baridapsi ,Nyiaghan The Director,LetGilrsMap(Vice President-2) 4. Oshoma, Blessing Team Secretary-General(TSG) 5. Ononiwu, Faith Ifeoma The Director, Finance(DF) 6. Egbe,Triumphant The Team Treasurer(TT) 7. Iheagwam,Onyinyechi J The Director, Welfare /Human Resources 8. Owujie,Saviour The Director, Technical& Media(DTM) 9. Israel, Johnson Chinwengozi The Director, Research and Development 10. Ademu,Ojodomo Edward The Director, Security & Safety Services(DSS) The team’s activities is facilitated by a Staff Team Coordinator, who also is the Team Mentor and supported by faculty staff advisors, who supervises the activity of the group. UniqueMappersTeam Pioneer Team Leaders UniqueMappersTeam 2017 in Retrospect The team’s year began with a week-long leadership training held for its pioneering members and leaders at the team coordinator’s office, at the cartography/GIS laboratory in the Donald U. Ekong library complex. About 9 people were in attendance. The team coordinator explained the basics of mapping on OpenStreetMap and showed us how to map on the platform. It was quite intriguing to know that it could be so easy to map. Because most of us were geographers, we appreciated the relief from the tedious requirements and processes of the mapping we were used to. After the training, the team executives were asked to write a training manual about mapping on OSM. This was used to assess their preparedness to teach others.

This is where it all started with these pioneer leaders being trained by the Team Coordinator(Victor Sunday) in his Office,at the Cartography/GIS Lab,Donald Ekong Library, UNIPORT Few weeks afterwards, we had a training to create awareness about OpenStreetMap and also a Mapathon to follow at the Information and Communication Technology Centre of the University (ICTC). A task was created specifically for the Mapathon; the project task 400, which required participant to map the university campuses. We stated the campaign from our department of Geography and Environmental Management. Many students, both post graduates and undergraduates, were excited as well as inquisitive as to how it would be carried out. Students registered for the training and even more showed for it. Though there was the initial challenge of network, a lot of participant were trained on how to map with OpenStreetMap. The post graduate students were more excited about it, as they knew the real value of the training they had undergone. There was a large turnout especially on the last day of the training. At least a 100 student participated. Our faculty officer and adviser, Professor J. E. Umueduji also participated in the mapathon.

UniqueMappersTeam during the OSMGeoweek 2017 Remote Mapping and International Competitions In the month of July, the team participated in a series of mapathons in collaboration with YouthMappers chapters in other countries. Amongst these were Ghana mapathon, Tanzania FGM mapping and also mapping for areas affected by mudslides in Sierra Leone. Participants were required to map from their different locations at their convenience. Towards the end of July, the team participated In the Stall catcher’s Catchathon alongside 24 other teams In 18 countries, in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The event held at Emmatex Ventures just opposite the ICTC. It was so much fun despite the poor weather we had over here. We emerged 1st in Africa and 18th worldwide. We were ecstatic! We had pizza and drinks to celebrate our efforts and win.

UniqueMappersTeam fun time with a global Catchaton Contest to fight against Alzheimer’s disease, mapping the Brain as a participatory Citizen Science Team in Africa. We made a lot of preparations towards getting our certificate and approval from the university authority. The team executives held meetings regularly to write reports and draft letters that were to be sent to offices and also for approval to use the Information and Communication Technology Centre whenever we needed. It was a great joy when we finally received the certificate and sometime, later we also received approval from the University as a registered student association.

Arrival of our Certificate and YouthMappers Banner Displayed by Mercy Nnaji and GodsLove Ishola A weeklong OSMGeoweek Mapathon and Catchaton Plus-2017 November came with preparations for the OpenStreetMap Geography awareness week. It looked very unrealistic that we would be able to actively participate as the University would be going for holidays at about that time. We made preparations still, hopeful that there would be a good number of participants. We designed banners and also got our branded T-shirts at about the same time. The main features of the week included awareness campaigns, mapathons and a Catchathon. Unfortunately, turnout was low, but we had a great celebration of Geography.

Team Members on internship at NARSDA, Abuja-FCT, Nigeria also remotely mapped and supported us during the OSMGeoweek

A unique Action for Mapping also goes with a unique action time for relaxation and refreshment!!! Earlier this month, the team by invitation, made a play presentation at the Environmental Management Association of Nigeria annual conference held in Rivers state. Our play was about practicing environmentally friendly characters to ensure sustainable development. Our audience consisted of owners of companies, environmental enthusiasts and students alike.

Raising the banner of YouthMappers during the OSMGeoweek 2017 Begetting the Likes and Mentoring MappersTeam in Other Campuses During the year the team was able to establish the following YouthMappers chapters: LionMappersTeam-Nsukka at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria LionMappersTeam-Enugu Campus at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus OyoMappersTeam-Oyo at the Federal School of Surveys, Oyo, Nigeria IgnatiusMappersTeam-Port Harcourt at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumen, Nigeria

IgnatiusMappersTeam-Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Port Harcourt(application submitted 15th Dec.2017)

These chapters were created and managed remotely from University of Port Harcourt, between the months of September and November, 2017, simply by initial creation of WhatsApp chat group, adding some contact persons who then adds other students. Online meetings were held to take decisions on the ideal name of the team, volunteered team leaders were given assignments that helped them learn more of the openstreetmap applications, uses of relevant openstreetmap tools, mobile tools for mapping as well as online media tools such as webinar. However, it was until Mr.Victor .N Sunday (the mentor) visited these chapters for training that active participation commenced as team members got a clear picture of YouthMappers mandate and the team’s expectations. Except, the OyoMappersTeam-Oyo which require much travelling fund and a distance of about

High School Outreach to Secondary Schools in Port Harcourt, Nigeria The team also embarked on its high school outreach programme. Team members volunteered to adopt high schools in Port Harcourt as mentoring/ training coordinators each of the schools. These members serve as the intermediary between the team and the schools. We sent letters across to four schools including Jephthah Comprehensive College, Graceland Secondary School, Aladumo schools, and our own University Demonstration Secondary School. We had positive feedbacks from two of the schools and also had preparations to organize trainings and establish YouthMappers school clubs when they are back in session by January 2018. The following are the team coordinators/mentors to the adopted Secondary (High) Schools in Port Harcourt. With the responsibility of grooming young mappers using Openstreetmap and to create Geography awareness in their respective high Schools:

A Unique and Greater Year Ahead!!!! It has been a great year for the team. Our team leaders have shown exemplary skills under the indispensable supervision of our Team Coordinator and Mentor. The team has brought together students from different discipline and levels and unified us all under the roof of YouthMappers Network for the sheer love of mapping and sharing geospatial information. Appreciations and Acknowledgements for 2017 Supports to UniqueMappersTeam-Port Harcourt  The University Management, University of Port Harcourt,especially,the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics for approvals to use University facilities  Our faculty Advisors, Professor J.E.Umeuduji  Head of Department, Geography & Environmental Management  Directors:ICTC and CITE-University of Port Harcourt  Our Senior Friends and Mentors in ‘’Let’s Map our World’’ and LetGirlsMap chat groups  Rev.Dr.Wokoma.W.D.C. for your encouraging presence and active participation  Dr. Clinton Ezekwe  Geoffery Kettegary (Uganda) and Nathelia Sidibe(Uganda)  Madam Janet Chapman –Crowd2map(Tanzania)  Johannes Pete(Tazania)for sharing hisYouthmappers experience in the chat group  Pete Masters and Rebbecca Firth of HOT management for accepting to join our chat group getting us more excited  Egle(UK) for introducing us to Catchaton contest of 18 countries mapping the brain to fight against Alzheimer’s disease  All our new YouthMappers Chapter created by the mentorship of UniqueMappersTeam-Port Harcourt  The Director,YouthMappers and her steering committee  The Members and Team leaders of UniqueMappersTeam

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