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News — 11 October, 2018

OSM Sri Lanka Community and impact of HOT Micro Grants for the continuation to contribute to develop open geo-spatial data.

Since May 2018, the HOT Microgrants program has supported the OSM Sri Lanka Community to conduct a series of workshops and training programs throughout the country, including underdeveloped rural areas, Universities, and Local Authorities.

Since May 2018, the HOT Microgrants program has supported the OSM Sri Lanka Community to conduct a series of workshops and training programs throughout the country, including underdeveloped rural areas, universities, and local authorities. The workshops were aimed at updating the building information, land use information, road network, points of interest and identifying the hazard areas in particular regions using community participatory methods and building the capacity of the community in mapping with OSM for the betterment of all.

Impact on OSM in Sri Lanka and for Disaster Risk Reduction

With the generous support of the HOT Microgrant, one of the largest OSM Sri Lanka Community mapping exercises was carried out in the northern part of Sri Lanka for several months in 2018. The objective of this mapping exercise was to establish an OSM Local Community for the northern part of Sri Lanka while creating data which can be useful for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and administrative work. The Vavuniya South Divisional Secretariat (DS) division, one of the administrative divisions of the Northern Province was considered for implementing the project with the support of the administrative officers there. This is an area frequently affected by extreme weather conditions of floods and droughts. With the support of this valuable grant, the OSM Sri Lanka Community has implemented a project to support disaster risk reduction with a series of mapping exercises which contain:

  • Conducting of buildings survey,

  • Updating the Grama Niladhari (GN) administrative boundaries up to village level,

  • Creating a geospatial database and link to the available household survey information using QGIS,

  • Preparing a disaster profile for the particular DS Division,

  • Preparing vulnerability maps and risk maps for the particular DS Division.

Divisional secretariat’s staff were involved in the tracing of the administrative boundary area to update the building characteristics, infrastructure, and land use. Then the community participants were trained to continue the work and throughout the workshops, several new OSM contributors registered. They are all continuing to develop a geo-spatial database which would be useful in DRR. Furthermore, seven mobile phones were handed over to the DS of Vavuniya South for data collection via the HOT Microgrant financial support, which would strengthen the capacities of the local communities for their volunteer contribution in data preparation. Finally, this exercise has helped to form a strong OSM local community for the Northern Region.


Around 25000 new edits were contributed via this exercise and 125 new mappers from the undergraduate, post-graduate and local community were registered. The task prepared can be seen here

As per the above the mentioned task, 21 individuals have contributed to trace the building’s footprints amounting to around 5840 buildings and 447 km of roads. Top 6 volunteer contributors were identified out of 21 contributors for this particular task. Their contribution is extremely important for the development of the geo-database for the divisional secretariat office. They have created a database with the administrative information which will be linked with spatial data using QGIS which would act as a model for all administrative divisions of Sri Lanka.

image7.png The working task for the HOT micro-grant project

**Bringing OSM to the university community: University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka **

We believe introducing OSM to university communities is one key way to promote its value among larger community through staff and students, that is why we conducted several university-based workshops. The free lab and infrastructure facilities of the universities provide a highly cost saving option for training. The Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (PGIHS), University of Peradeniya facilitated the first workshop of the series, on 17th and 18th of May, 2018 and the OSGeo Sri Lanka chapter with the support of OSM experts contributed voluntarily as trainers. The basic expenses including foods, refreshments, stationary, and accommodation of resource persons were covered using the HOT Microgrant.

There were around 40 participants including both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Most of them were new to OSM and this workshop provided them with hands-on basic training which makes them successful mappers in the future. Certificates were awarded by PGIHS and OSM Sri Lanka chapter to the participants of the successful workshop. The training contained:


  • Field papers


  • QGIS

  • Mapillary

  • Building Survey Quaternaries


The University of Peradeniya - Fieldwork

Bringing OSM to the university community: Workshop at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka

This workshop was held on 31st of May 2018 at the Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Vantharamulai, Sri Lanka. The target OSM community was Geography Special Degree undergraduate students. Located in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka, in the District of Batticaloa, where OSM was practiced previously as well, this is a very productive place to train the community in OSM. OSM Community of Sri Lanka had previously held a two days’ training workshop on OSM at the same university. With the financial support of the HOT Microgtants project and the technical support of OSGeo Local Chapter and OSM Sri Lanka Community, this workshop has helped them to continue to learn OSM and enhance and upgrade their knowledge. Being one of the most affected cities by intensive flooding, the community of Batticaloa are highly motivated and actively involved with the OSM data creation.

IMG_1816.JPG Workshop at the Easter University of Sri Lanka -Trainees and resource persons

OSM for engineering students: Workshop at South Eastern University of Sri Lanka

Another workshop was held on 1st of June 2018 at the South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil, Sri Lanka. The target OSM community was civil engineering undergraduates and there were around 40 participants. This one-day workshop was conducted by the OSM Sri Lanka Community members in collaboration with OSGeo Sri Lanka Chapter. The training was a new experience for them and they were surprised when they themselves completed a task to trace their University premises and surrounding areas. This workshop was the beginning to introduce the OSM and its advantages for civil engineering students.

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Workshop at South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Certificate awarding ceremony

The exhibition on Cyber Tech – 2018 held at Advance Technological Institute of Education in Batticaloa Sri Lanka.

The young members of the OSM Batticaloa community participated in the Cyber Tech – 2018, IT awareness exhibition held at ATI, Batticaloa, providing well-deserved publicity for OSM and its application for the young community. The exhibition organizers have realized the valuable contribution by the OSM Sri Lanka Community to develop the maps around the island and it is a highly fulfilling achievement for the youth who are involved in the community mapping.


The exhibition on Cyber Tech - 2018, Batticaloa