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News — 03 July, 2015

Mapping Ulaanbaatar with Asia Foundation

Recently we had a very pleasant surprise to be contacted by Nicholas Doiron, who Project Coordinator, Severin Menard, knew from previous work including in Haiti. Nick, now working with Asia Foundation alongside Michelle Chang, knew about the HOT Mapping Ulaanbaatar project and reached out for advice as the Asia Foundation planned an OpenStreetMap Mapathon competition.

Recently we had a very pleasant surprise to be contacted by Nicholas Doiron, who Severin knew from previous work including in Haiti. Nick, now working with Asia Foundation alongside Michelle Chang, knew about the HOT Mapping Ulaanbaatar project and reached out for advice as the Asia Foundation planned an OSM-Mapathon competition. We were able to meet at State of the Map - US and discuss topics, such as how to use imagery captured by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the Tasking Manager, how to tag gers (traditional Mongolian dwellings), and best practices for reaching and growing the OSM-Mongolia community. Here is an excerpt from the Asia Foundation blog-post:

Seventeen teams of over 50 Mongolian mappers participated in the Map-a-thon, including university students, mapping enthusiasts, and city government staff – experienced and new OSM mappers alike. In a single weekend, an astounding 20,000+ edits were made to OSM with the project’s UAV imagery as a base layer. Mappers recorded a range of ger area features, including homes and other buildings, ger plots (khashaas), construction sites, rivers, green spaces, and gullies. The city’s planning department will be able to reference these public maps to augment their own mapping data sets.

Three winning teams were awarded prizes based on criteria such as the number of features recorded or corrected, accuracy, and the completeness of edited locations. On June 22, the winners of the competition met with the capital city governor and mayor of Ulaanbaatar, Mr. Bat-Uul, to present their results and receive their awards. The mayor emphasized the importance of the UAV imagery project, and highlighted its potential to add value to the lands of ger area residents.

The UAV project and the community Map-a-thon are part of the Foundation’s longer-term commitment to improving urban governance in the ger areas. The City Municipality has embraced the benefits of remote sensing technologies for collecting geospatial data in ger areas, and is looking forward to incorporating the publicly collected OSM data in future policymaking.

Read the full post here: http://asiafoundation.org/in-asia/2015/06/24/an-aerial-sensing-map-a-thon-in-mongolia/


HOT’s interns in Ulaanbaatar assisted with training material in Mongolian and promotion of the event. Many of them were able to participate in the competition and our own Munkherdene Usukhbayar (Mugii) was on the team that took second place, congratulations Mugii! This was a great event and example of collaborating to grow a local OSM community; thank you Asia Foundation!