Students Get Hands-On With Mapping

On Monday, 3 March 2014 ICMS students took to the streets with Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) to learn how to map their local area using their Smartphone devices. In a follow-up session to last month’s presentation about mapping tools for crisis, Dr. Budhathoki’s team of expert mappers led students in a hands-on group activity, showing them how to become contributors to a global crowdsourcing phenomenon.

After splitting into groups, participants went out into the local area on foot and collected points of interest (POIs) that they wished to upload onto the free, interactive map called OpenStreetMap. Groups collected between five and 12 POIs, including shops, pharmacies, schools, a telecommunications tower, an NGO and even a gully.

Once this activity was completed, groups returned for a lab session, where they were carefully guided through the stages of editing and uploading their new data to OpenStreetMap. Here they could experiment with adding points, lines and polygons to represent specific features (e.g. a shop, a road or a plot of land respectively), and then tagging them with attributes, such as  what type of feature it is (e.g. a hospital), and further information they had collected, such as a name or telephone number.










The day ended with the sharing of experiences and a discussion about the ways both individuals as well as organizations can contribute to and use this information, particularly from a crisis management perspective. 


A big thank you to the KLL team for providing ICMS students with such a great hands-on introduction to the world of mapping!


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