During the past 3 months, the HOT team leading the “Mapping Financial Inclusion” project has surveyed 22 districts in Eastern Uganda including the capital, Kampala, which we’ve intensely mapped over the past three weeks.

The key surveyors in this project were university students from a range of universities across the country. We’ve worked with Makerere University in Kampala, Makerere University Business School and Makerere University Jinja, Kyambogo University, Busitema University in Tororo, and Uganda Christian University in Mbale. In all these places, we’re very grateful for all support and cooperation we’ve received from the universities, and the academic staff at these institutions saw the academic and professional value of involving their students and institutions in the crowdsourcing and having them participate in a cartographic field survey.

In a bid to share knowledge within the university, and to contribute leadership and innovative ideas to the academic community, the Department of Geomatics and Land Management at Makerere University invited HOT to give a public lecture on the 24th March 2016.

HOT’s Paul Uithol explained past projects, from the Nepal Earthquake to the West Africa Ebola response. He further showcased the “Mapping Financial Inclusion” project; highlighting the crowdsourcing component, the fully digital, open source and mobile process involving the use of OpenMapKit and some insights drawn from the collected data.

The team also presented the Ramani Huria project in Dar es salaam; this is a project about community mapping for flood resilience; using drones, street view mapping, participatory mapping to map drainage network and create flood models for the city.

We also had three student team leaders share their mapper experiences; the student team leaders took up these leadership roles after the two week training HOT first delivered in January at the beginning of the project. HOT is thrilled to see students trained, take up leadership roles within the project and become ‘trainers of trainers’ - this is what an organic and sustainable community is all about! Lydia Sharing her experiences

As the audience was mostly academic in nature, from the Land Surveying, Architecture, Urban Planning and Finance Management departments, questions and discussions about the quality and usability of OpenStreetMap data for planning purposes arose. Dr. Gidudu, one of the staff member’s we’ve been working with, encouraged students to take up academic research projects with a Geospatial Crowdsourcing theme.

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