OpenStreetMap event to map Lesotho

OpenStreetMap: Help us #MapLesotho

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You are invited to participate in a mapping event with OpenStreetMap (OSM) that will kick off on January 16, 2015 called #MapLesotho Mapathon! Last year, we had 5 out of 50,000 American OSM users participate. By contrast Germany had over 200 and Poland over 40. Let’s show the world that America can map with OSM!

MapLeso­tho is a global ini­ti­at­ive that demon­strates an emer­ging ethos of social crowd­sourcing that truly bene­fits all par­ti­cipants—each and every draw­ing from the exper­i­ence rewards bey­ond their own contribution.

Flag of Lesotho

How to participate

The URL for Task #599 is: http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/599

  • Select a grid square and map all settlements, roads and major natural features, particularly rivers & streams within your allotted area.
  • Buildings are not required to be traced as part of this task
  • Tagging Specific Details
  • When tracing settlements, draw an outline of the area which contains a cluster of buildings and tag as landuse=residential
  • Please ensure you follow the Highway Tag Africa criteria when mapping roads or paths.
  • Pay particular attention where roads/paths intersect with streams or rivers and no bridge/tunnel/culvert exists. Use the ford tag when you find these crossing
  • Be aware when tracing rivers or streams that the direction of your tracing must match the flow of the water i.e. don't trace a river uphill
  • Imagery Info
  • Use Bing or MapBox satellite
  • No offset required

Note: It can be useful to switch between Bing & MapBox imagery if you are having difficulty identifying features as there can be a variation in the imagery quality between the two.

Inspriational words

Shawn Day, known as Eiridium on OpenStreetMap, is a lecturer in Social Computing, Data Visualisation, Engagement, Design & the Humanities at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast. He shares the importance of this project.

"It feels as though I have been there many times—wan­der­ing through rural Leso­tho. Tra­vers­ing table moun­tains, dra­matic escarp­ments, mov­ing from small ham­lets and vil­lages fol­low­ing wind­ing rivers fed by mean­der­ing streams. When I want to travel, I choose a task in Open­Street­Map and am trans­por­ted to some­where in rural Leso­tho. I trace streams, identify res­id­ences, farms, com­mer­cial areas, and indus­tries and in so doing, I meet the land­scape, built and nat­ural with great intim­acy. I have developed a unique attach­ment through this vir­tual tour­ism. The amount of verd­ant, stream dom­in­ated, green areas con­tin­ues to amaze me when I real­ise that Leso­tho is a coun­try where all the land is more than 1,000 feet above sea level. It’s mar­vel­lously diverse and changes from what seems to be semi-fertile tillable areas to steep cliff faces within short dis­tances. Appre­ci­at­ing it from this unique and priv­ileged per­spect­ive only drives a deep desire to see the land in per­son. The wider pur­pose in what I do though is to con­trib­ut­ing, along with hun­dreds of oth­ers, to cre­ate open and pub­licly usable maps that are avail­able for the bene­fit of the cit­izens of Leso­tho and the wide world. You meet fel­low map­pers in Ire­land, Leso­tho, and around the world—vir­tu­ally and face-to-face. It’s a splen­did mis­sion, socially reward­ing and one that I find fun, won­der­fully grat­i­fy­ing and full of future promise.

A few months ago I caught a passing glance of a tweet men­tion­ing a Mapa­thon to be held at the Fin­gal County Coun­cil offices in Swords. Out of curi­os­ity, I signed up and turned out to be part of a day long push along with map­pers in a vari­ety of other loc­ale to spur the cre­ation of first-pass basemaps that will be refined though col­lect­ive ded­ic­a­tion. Why do I con­tinue to do it? I love maps and I love feel­ing that I am putting my own skills to a use that con­trib­ute to a greater whole. As we watch the pro­gress (as a group we have now passed the 75% in the rural tasks), that magic 100% will mean that local map­pers can refine the rudi­ment­ary based on their local knowledge."

Help us #MapLesotho!

About the author

Jason Hare
Jason Hare - Two decades experience analyzing user behavior interacting with web applications. Experience includes developing user interfaces using rapid prototyping and an iterative project management style to create award winning, user-centered information portals. Primary interests include Big Data and Open Data applications and community engagement in a public sector environment.