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.
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.
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!