The first State of Map Conference in Tanzania was organised by the tanzanian OSM community and the Ramani Huria Team based in Dar es Salaam from 8-10th December. The GIScience Research Group contributed to the program by introducing MapSwipe and organizing an workshop on OpenStreetMap and the use of QGIS. (Photo: @InnocentMaholi)
The conference brought together OpenStreetMap mappers and experts from different parts of Tanzania, the surrounding countries in Africa and even some from Europe or the US. One major group of attendees from tanzania were the community mappers. They are locals based in rural areas promoting OpenStreetMap to fight female genital mutilation and empower their community by bringing everybody on the map. Together with another major group of attendees, the Youthmappers, the topics of the conference were all about learning and improving skills in using OpenStreetMap and discussing use cases of open spatial data.
We worked closely together with Janet Chapman who manages the Crowd2Map project, which aims at mapping rural Tanzania and for instance has already used MapSwipe in many projects. In our talk we covered their achievements: so far they mapped more than 13,500 square kilometers in MapSwipe and reduced the area to be mapped in detail by 85%. (For more details see MapSwipe Analytics)
Furthermore, we could have a closer look into the work of HOT in Tanzania. We had fruitful discussions with Ivan Gayton, Innocence Maholi and their team. There are three major projects that deal with community mapping and OpenStreetMap: Ramani Huria, Data Zetu and the Mini Grids Project. Dar Ramani Huria is a community project to create detailed maps on flood prone areas in Dar es Salaam and promote flood resilience. The Data Zetu projects engages local communities in different parts of Tanzania to impart how mapping can help to address local challenges. The Mini Grids project uses OpenStreetMap data in rural Tanzania to assess the potential of electrifying villages using solar power stations.
We are looking forward to see how the OpenStreetMap community in Tanzania evolves and are excited about all the projects we learned about.