On many occasions i used to wonder how birds feel when they fly above us, maybe or maybe not it could be one of the reasons why i love mapping especially Open Source Mapping. To get over this, mapping gave me pretty much what i was missing in the birds world, and that is "A view above my Head". I find it interesting to view places i dream to be one day even before i get there.
22nd March 2015 i found my way to Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) for a 3 weeks training on Open Street Map something i have been doing since October 23rd 2013 and loved doing it more and more each time i do it. My Dad did mapping for over 40 years (Not Open Street Map) and i intend to break his record, something he would be proud of. Well heading back to the big picture, Monday 23rd March 2015 i had a couple of eye openers more than i expected, it being the first day of the Training exercise.
The day starting with a warm and cloudy weather that later on became extremely warm to me which i had to bare.
Me, Geoffrey and Jeff headed to Buni Hub (one of the best Innovation Hubs in Tanzania) at the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology [COSTECH] building in Dar and hey, did i mention that we used a Bajjaj to get their (Am in love with them...Lol!!). Never mind if you don't. We linked up with new likely minded young and energetic youths who are also into Open Source Project (Which is pretty Awesome). David (Daudi) was the guy we mate 1st and guess what, he schooled in Uganda for some time (Yeah!!) so we exchanged some smiles. We then discussed briefly how the day would go during which Fred came through (Mr.Drone, is what i call him, don't tell him...sssshhhhh!!!).
Other individuals joined us, Mark, Paul to mention a few after which we headed out with the Sensefly (ebee Drone) team who were heading the Drone team to capture high-resolution aerial imagery in Magomeni Ward which i couldn't wait to see. It being 1st time to actually see this done with in my presence was a nice feeling and an experience i will keep sharing time to come. The process started after a long while waiting to seek permission from the ward leaders to make them aware of what was going on other than them thing we are a bunch of spies ready to......... lets skip that!! (Actually Fred did some good work on that because he got all that under control). Part of the team went to attend to meetings that they had scheduled.
Moving on, after the long wait (Gosh!!) the team started assembling the Drones and putting them into position ( I actually set off one, but will get to that, hehehehe!!). As the rest of the team had questionnaire questions to interview the locals that were there to see this piece of technology do its job. Its actually amazing how they work because they are fully automated to take a certain direction, fly at a certain height and the best bit of it, they do it perfectly. They got their own antennas and software that helps you monitor their progress. After a while the official was brought to the site and given a quick walk through of what was going on and feel of flying a drone (This time a remote controlled one. He was pretty much amused than any of us). The team flew three routes of the drones of which i did the last one (Yeah!!) but unfortunately the drone didn't complete its intended area because it started raining and had to be sent back to its "base". Even if it stayed up, it wouldn't do any good because the imagery wouldn't be clear and definitely, the water would make its navigation hard so high chances are it will lose its coarse.
We rushed into the cars, had to wait a bit to have the last people interviewed then later on headed back to Buni Hub. Me and Geoffrey went back earlier than Jeff, Mark and Paul who had gone for a meeting with the University heads to give them details of the entire project and have their students participate starting on Thursday 26th March 2015 at Buni Hub. Jeff and the rest of team caught up with me and Geoffrey. We had a meeting on the weeks events of which we drafted a work plan for the upcoming event which took out the rest of the day.
23rd March 2015