Twenty-eight mappers from around the world joined HOT from September to November of 2022 to learn a wide range of days quality tools and techniques, lessons they can share with their local mapping communities.
The HOT Data Quality Internship was an opportunity given to all globally to become deeply involved with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and humanitarian open mapping community while gaining readily transferable geospatial skills. The quality of data is a huge challenge in the open data ecosystem. It is critical to the sustainability of open data creation so that it can be trusted and used by map users.
Women, nationals of developing countries, and members of other underrepresented groups were strongly encouraged to apply.
During the program, participants were led through a series of webinars hosted by a range of professionals in the humanitarian and mapping sector such as Mapbox, Meta and OSGeo. Interns received live training in a wide range of geospatial tools culminating in their ability to confidently validate the work of other mappers and introduce new/under-represented OSM communities as well as taking up leadership roles in their communities.
The 2022 Data Quality Internship aimed to…
(1) Validate as much of the Tasking Manager validation backlog as possible!
There is a large backlog of HOT projects on the Tasking Manager that are awaiting validation so there is a need to validate them to ensure the data quality conforms to HOT’s data quality aspects. During the DQI, we aimed to validate 100 projects across the 3-month internship.
(2) Foster a diverse and engaged community of validators
There is a need to ensure a sustainable community of OSM contributors and make sure that there is continuity of data flow and maintenance in OSM. During the DQI, participants were coached in community engagement to work with their local osm communities. Additionally, there are many more contributors who map, versus contributors who validate. We need to ensure that as the mapper community grows, the validator community grows simultaneously.
The HOT Data Quality Internship employed 28 interns, with 15 identifying as men and 13 identifying as women, over 3 months.
The interns underwent comprehensive training on various geospatial tools, including iD editor, JOSM, OSMCha, Osmose, keepright, QGIS, Overpass turbo, ODK, and Mapbox. This training enabled them to confidently validate the work of other mappers and improve their geospatial data analysis and storytelling skills. Walter Mayeku, one of the interns said, “The internship program has been such a game changer for my mapping experience and confidence on matters OSM. I am so excited and ready to go out and be an excellent agent for data quality.”
In addition to the technical training, the interns participated in sessions aimed at improving their community engagement potential. These sessions included tips, tricks, and challenges related to the Local OSM Community Working Group, presentations and demos on OSM community channels, and “ask me anything” meetings with YouthMappers Regional Ambassadors and HOT Working Group chairpersons/members. These meetings provided the interns with insight on how to get involved in various OSM communities and encouraged their active participation.
Eray Öztürk, one of the interns said, “I learned the significance of utilizing open data to benefit the wider community.”
The interns mapped and validated:
- 643635 Buildings
- 20674 Highways
- 2179 Waterways
The interns supported the Western and Northern hub on the validation of projects of which the data was used to Water Access in Niger Public Health access in Senegal and Tracking flooding in rural Liberia (Climate Change) in Liberia.The interns validated projects in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan were used for habitat assessment/planning, including hazard, vulnerability, risk assessment, flood modeling, climate change assessment.
26 of the 28 Data Quality Interns have been accepted on the Trainee validator for checking the work of other mappers and giving feedback to them on on how to improve their mapping. 8 of them have also been accepted onto the the HOT Global Validator Team for checking the work on projects with advanced and complex mapping, giving feedback to Project Creators and mappers on the improvement of projects and mapping
There have been many positive outcomes of the DQI program. We have seen increased engagement with the local OSM community groups. For example, one intern has recently become the secretary of the Geomatics Engineering Students Association of Nepal,the other is now OSM Kenya president overseeing its activities Others have volunteered to introduce OSM to their local communities, video .
Furthermore, Eray Öztürk one of the interns, played a supportive role in OSM Turkey during the 2023 Turkey earthquake activation YouTube video and blog, and as a result of being involved in the DQI, some have also received paid career opportunities with other organizations.
To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Data Quality Internship program, several recommendations have been proposed…
- To expand the program’s reach and increase diversity, it is recommended that the call for applications be published in different languages such as Spanish and Portuguese.To attract the best talent, it is recommended that the recruitment process be extended to two months to allow ample time for the application review process.
- To establish a more accurate map that represents realities on the ground, it is advisable to incorporate field mapping and incorporate local knowledge into the map. This may involve integrating the HOT Field Mapping Tasking Manager into the program
- To ensure the sustainability of the program, it is crucial to secure funding from donors and establish partnerships.