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News — 05 December, 2017

OpenStreetMap & QGIS Training for geology students in Bamako, Mali

*Guest Blog – Nathalie Sidibe, OSM Mali*

In 2017 HOT received a grant from Nethope to provide devices (smartphones, laptops) to reduce barriers to community mapping around the world. 2017-18 HOT will provide devices to twelve OpenStreetMap communities worldwide, and associated support for connectivity and training, to equip communities with the  technology and resources they need to increase their mapping capacity. OSM Mali is grateful to receive devices to strengthen the community and enable more mapping projects.


On the 13th to 20th November, nineteen geology students in Bamako participated in six days of OpenStreetMap (OSM) and QGIS training at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology. The training was conducted by OSM Mali members, thanks to devices received from HOT. Armed with the right devices, local people are empowered to collect data and map out their own communities to raise awareness of and contribute to development initiatives.



Training in OSM & QGIS                                           Collecting data 


Using the devices, OSM Mali have been able to provide students with the technology needed to collect data in Bamako. Before embarking in field mapping, students received training from OSM Mali. This training was the first time these students were exposed to OpenStreetMap and the amazing free software and tools available to them to produce open geodata, which they could then extract and reuse for any purpose. As future geology professionals, they were quick to understand the potential for empowerment – we cannot wait to see how they will take advantage of them in the field.


In the first part of training, the students learnt how to use OSMTracker to collect data in the field and on the move. They then plunged into JOSM training to understand more powerful data production and quality assurance. The students were very happy to see their newly contributed data appear on the map, and then proceeded to extract the information with the Overpass API, bbbike and HotExport Tools.


The final part of training saw the students reusing OpenStreetMap data to create web maps with umap and QGIS. The six days of training have turned the students into true OSM supporters, ready to promote these tools! 


Newly trained mappers


The students are grateful to have been offered the opportunity to participate in this rich training thanks to the Nethope device grant, and they thank the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team for its partnership with OSM Mali!


Members of OSM Mali