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News — 10 March, 2012

Night Of The Living Maps in Saint-Marc, 02/07/2012

The week I arrived in Saint-Marc occurred the Night Of the Living Maps (NOTLM), a worldwide event within the OSM community, “where all mappers come together in local meetings and trace imagery the whole night long, while the moon shines bright!”. Groups form large and capital cities like Bogotá, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris - Rome, Vienna, St. Petersburg orTokyo - were participating but also smaller ones like Esslingen, Mankato, MN , Passau or Rapperswil. Anyway, it was an excellent opportunity for the freshly trained young mappers of Saint-Marc to both figure out the power of the OSM community and show their own enthusiasm to the open source geodata. This was also the opportunity to train them to use the Tasking Manager as to understand all the benefits of it for coordinating the mapping activity.

We chose Padang, this 300,000 people city of West Sumatra, Indonesia, almost at the opposite side of the world, but sharing with Haïti a painful recent past due to natural disasters. As earthquakes and tsunamis are likely to happen within the next decades, HOT decided to help the Indonesian National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction to get all the buildings and roads. To do so, the HOTOSM Tasking Manager has been designed to coordinate the remote volunteer contributions.

People were invited for 8 PM, Guensmork even organized a buffet, the USAID/OTI joined us to see the event and then we started the mapping in the house we use to work in at Le Troquet. We did not know how long we would be able to do it as normally the generator is cut around 1 AM. Actually, it remained functioning all night long. I wanted to document the whole night with one of the Flipcam donated in 2010 by HOT to COSMHA, but actually I have been quickly overwhelmed by the help requests of the enthusiastic crowd regarding imagery interpretation or small digitizing or upload issues. Everybody tagged the upload comments with the official #notlm so that our contribution can be traced. Around 10-15 people kept mapping the whole night long and left when the sun was already shining. Exhausting but good, definitely. Here is the video I made with the footages I got.