Reflections on the 2024 YouthMappers Leadership Fellows Workshop

The YouthMappers network recently held its 2024 Leadership Fellows Workshop, an inspiring event that brought together a top cohort of university students from around the globe. This year’s workshop, held in Bangkok, Thailand, was a dynamic seven-day program dedicated to exploring three critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), and Climate Action (SDG 13).

Participants engaged in tailored sessions to enhance their open mapping techniques and enrich chapter activities back home. Alongside technical training, fellows received professional development, mentoring from international experts, and networking opportunities with peers from diverse backgrounds. Fellows are expected to return to their chapters equipped with new skills to implement activities tailored to their community’s needs, such as leadership seminars, data collection efforts, or technical workshops.

Workshop: Understanding how OpenStreetMap data changes over time can provide you with crucial information about the success and impact of mapping campaigns

One of the highlights of the event was a session led by Jennings Anderson and our colleague, Benjamin Herfort. Their workshop introduced the fellows to the OSM Teams platform, a tool used by YouthMappers to organize chapter rosters, participation, monitoring, and tracking activities across the network. During the workshop workshop Benjamin emphasized the importance of understanding data changes over time to assess the effectiveness of mapping campaigns. Participants were trained to use ohsomeNow stats, a website that monitors mapping activity in near real-time.


The workshop was designed as a hands-on experience where participants brainstormed and experimented with how real-time OSM stats could be integrated into the OSM Teams platform. The goal was not just to delve into technical details but to identify which metrics are most useful for YouthMappers chapters. This collaborative approach allowed participants to contribute ideas and develop prototypes that could potentially enhance the way chapters monitor and evaluate their mapping efforts. And this went really well! 🙂 We were really impressed how quickly the students came up with their own ideas and sketches. Let’s build up on that!

Sketching “Prototypes” which stats would be useful in OSM Teams

It was an honor to be part of this event and share our knowledge with the generation of new leaders. The experiences and insights gained from the 2024 YouthMappers Leadership Fellows Workshop are expected to drive impactful changes and innovations within their communities. The students indeed live the motto of YouthMappers: “WE DON’T JUST BUILD MAPS. WE BUILD MAPPERS.”