I had the privilege last summer of attending State of the Map Africa, and getting some insight into the status of OpenStreetMap on the continent. This year, almost as a followup, FOSS4G Dar es Salaam was held in conjunction with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s Summit. And so it was that FOSS4G this year was one part FOSS4G, one part HOT, and one part Tanzania, all mixed up in wonderful ways.
It is always interesting the intersection of perception and reality. To me, the following are the faces of OpenStreetMap and mapping in Africa, because these are some of the folks I have had the pleasure to interact with:
- Nathalie SIDIBE from OSM Mali and HOT board
- Gertrude NAMITALA from OSM Zambia and HOT board
- Dorica MUGUSI from HOT Tanzania (not pictured)
- Laura MUGEHA from Youth Mappers (Kenya, if memory serves)
- Tubo WAREKUROMOR from Nigeria
- Millie TEBUSABWA from Uganda
- Anthonia ONYEAHIALAM from Nigeria/Wales (pictured in previous post)
- Khadija Abdulla ALI from Zanzibar
But perception in this case is strongly mitigated by hard work done to bring representation. What follows is a blog post by Janet CHAPMAN of Crowd2Map Tanzania. It’s part history, part call to action. Please read!:
How can the community better support us:
- Increasing the funds available specifically for women, including travel grants
- Giving counselling and mentoring to disadvantaged groups such as rural women.
- Giving security guidance and equipment so women can better protect themselves when mapping in remote locations.
- Working with educational institutions to start educating girls in mapping and technology early
- Create more materials on the impact of maps for development, particularly with a focus on women.
- Provide guidance on good practice in involving leaders at all levels to raise awareness of the benefits of mapping.
- Providing more training specifically aimed at women.
- Targeting advertising of training and other opportunities at women.
- Include the need to advocate for change in our policies.
- Setting up networks so we can better support each other, for example Geochicas and other networking events at conferences, WhatsApp or Slack groups.
So, there we are — a little history of how this all came together, and a call to action for us as a global community. I thank all involved in FOSS4G this year for their dedication to making the conference so accessible and setting a standard for how we should picture who makes and uses the Map.
Also: come to the FGM mapping event in New York!, Friday 28 September: Global Mapathon to help end female genital mutilation (FGM)