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News — 29 October, 2013

HOT Chilly Mapping - Ulaanbaatar Project Week 4

After two weeks of initial training about OSM and focus made on tracing over imagery, we started the field mapping on Monday 21. Our first goal is to map Baga Toiruu, the most central part of Ulaanbaatar, in which the Mongolian University of Sciences and Technologies, Geology Department is located, using a dedicated Field Papers Atlas for this. The two first days were also the last ones with our committed and super-efficient translator Nandia, and the opportunity to record two more OSM training sessions on video, with a live translation in Mongolian, this time for Uploading a Field papers and Geotagging Photos. Indeed we want to learn them different techniques to grab data in the field, so our teaching encompasses the classic GPS devices (Etrex20 with OSM background including the buildings) for waypoints and traces, papers forms to inform the mapped objects, Field papers for annotations and if needed locate the position of waypoints, photos from basic cameras to collect quickly useful points of views and info and how to take them efficiently (large overviews first, indicated on the Field Paper, then zoom on specific objects, perpendicular to them to provide their position when along a street). Without the translator, we rely on the few students who are the most proficient but not really fluent in English. But actually this is not the major constraint. The participants are nice and committed, even if having to manage their attendance with their other University lessons. The cold is more a concern. Monday and Tuesday were quite chilly, almost -10°C, and in these conditions, neither the foreigners nor the descendants of Genghis Khan can stay more than one hour outside. As the following days were milder, we took the opportunity to go a maximum in the field, if ever a cold weather is back after. Normally we recommend editing after a field survey but we need to adapt to the local conditions. Edits will thus start next week. As for Sunday, here are the edits (creation and modifications), as provided by ITO maps, that have been made over Ulaanbaatar since the project started, representing the training phase focused on tracing over imagery.

Next week, we will also start organizing mapping parties in which the trainees will become the trainers of their peers in the University as well as other outreach activities under discussion with the City Hall.