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News — 21 June, 2016

HOT inspires mapping communities in Uganda

The last time that HOT carried out mapping in Northern Uganda was on August 20 2012, teaming up with the American and Ugandan Red Cross to map the cities of Gulu and Lira, during preventive mapping for better community disaster response. On 28 - 30 April  2016, HOT carried out one day mapping workshops as part of the extended “Mapping Financial Inclusion” project in Uganda, to map financial services with Gulu University in Gulu, and Uganda Pentecostal University in Fort Portal, using the already tested, and successful OpenMapKit data collection tool, which had been used to map financial services in 22 Districts across Uganda.

At Gulu University, the day started with a highlight of HOT’s work and the use of OpenStreetMap, Financial Services Mapping, and an interactive session of various ways and examples of maps being used in real life. The participants were taken through the practical steps of contributing to OpenStreetMap, and setting up OpenDataKit and OpenMapKit on Android devices.


Morning introduction, Q&A Session at Gulu University Computer Lab 


Our goal with these trainings was to inspire and support existing mapping/OpenStreetMap communities. The training was also facilitated together with four of the mappers (Hotties) that took part in the mapping of 22 Districts in Eastern Uganda, and Kampala. As we stayed within the city, and thus have good network coverage, it was possible here to use the online Humanitarian Basemap instead of having to create mbtiles files beforehand.


Mappers at Gulu University Collecting data with OpenMapKit 





Demonstrating the process of downloading ODK instances for validation, on the right are some of the financial services mapped in Gulu town. 

The head of Computer Science, Mr. Benedict Oyo, stressed the importance of maps and GIS as vital components of most of the sectors of the country: education, computing, health, finance, agriculture, and advised the students to take up and utilise the skills provided to them during the training.



Data was collected from selected streets in Fort Portal, and uploaded to OpenStreetMap,see Rukidi III Street.


With the expressed interest in OpenStreetMap and HOT mapping tools, the participants at Uganda Pentecostal University were further willing to have a week’s training to gain more skills in mapping as the one day training was not enough to exhaust all the tools that were introduced.