#MapLesotho: My Biggest Inspiration

08 July 2017 | fifiqn

#MapLesotho: My Biggest Inspiration

First of all, I would like to acknowledge the following; The MOU between Fingal County Council and Local Government which gave a context for us to have a wonderful experience called #MapLesotho.

Also thanks to the native #MapLesotho osm community which is mainly but not entirely physical planning staff. Finally thanks to the International osm community who saw our effort and added in their experience because with every node they clicked, they helped build spatial data library for Lesotho. We are only beginning to see the benefits but they are there.

We have now started Phase 3, this is where we strive for quality data. This simply means that, we correct mistakes that appear in our maps. These mistakes could be tags that are wrong to osm, especially for almost all of us who did not apply the bible when editing, osm wiki.

Here is an answer to a question, how and where would we find these mistakes to correct them? There are so many ways in which one can identify and fix these mistakes.

For instance, running spatial analysis can show us wrong tags, and for other various types of mistakes validation in JOSM, www.keepright.at (keepright), and www.osmose.openstreetmap.fr (osmose) produce a list of mistakes common to osm.

These quality assurance tools will help us cleanup our basemap and make it useable. There is also what we have learned lately From De BigC when he visited and talked to us individually in clinics, which my colleague Nuts calls #Mapeverything.

It basically comes in very handy now that our tasks have been archived and shut down from what we previously used in order to map, the Tasking Manager.

Nuts De BigC

#Mapeverything can also be added to a list of error fixing tools and here is a tutorial as copied from #MapLesotho whatsapp group by Nuts.

Open JOSM Editor →File→Open Location →(a download location window will open). Open your Internet Browser and enter www.openstreetmap.org as URL, Navigate to any part of your choice in the map, Zoom into a specific area that will be more manageable to JOSM, in the URL address bar you will see at the end of the address, coordinates.

Copy the entire address (ctrl+c), go back to a download location window in JOSM and in it paste (ctrl + V) a copied URL. Your area will be downloaded into JOSM. Enjoy a cup of coffee and map as usual everything that does not seem right and upload. In my opinion, this one is ideal for mapping missing features.

We now have ourselves a basemap, which means we have a lot of spatial data at our disposal to utilize, all that is left for us is to spike innovation, what can be done with #MapLesotho data? We have seen a number of ways in which this data can be harnessed and used.

For example, Spatial Analysis, LAP which by the way is still pending, now it is amazing how this data attracts non-profitable projects which will benefit our country, a good example of this projects is the B2P (Bridges to prosperity) from the US, they simply used our data to find out that there are indeed places in Lesotho which are remote and they are preparing to come with their projects to build footbridges in those areas.

I have also learned that the Portmanock Community School pupils who have amazingly been with us every step of the way when mapping, are using overpass turbo to harness this data and working on a project to help us better manage our land cover and vegetation, which we all know is quickly fading away. I believe there is still some more out there that are unknown to us yet.

For Landuse and Settlement Planning purposes, here is one way in which #MapLesotho data can be applied. You will find that, it has made our work easier especially when it comes to digitizing.

We have a workflow chart, which is the tool that has lined out the guide through the steps taken in preparing a Landuse and settlement plan. Well, in step 4 we had to prepare a broad landuse level 2 classification map which is basically tracing over the satellite image. The problem lied with our imagery being old. This means that we had to go for field verification in order to prepare the next map, Landuse Level 3 Classification which is an update of Level 2.

Lastly, we had to prepare Landuse Level 4 classification which is a display of detailed and specific Landuse zones. In short, we had to come up with four Land use maps, ranging from Level 1-4 in order to reach an uptodate and detailed map before we can prepare a settlement layout. But now things are better, simpler and faster with #MapLesotho data because we already have an uptodate detailed basemap and uptodate spatial data waiting for us to take advantage of.

All we have to do is just apply fieldpapers for field verification to fill in the few missing details and then draw our Settlement Layout and we are done digitizing. As for how to draw your plot sizes I have given a tutorial in my previous blog. As for the roads, we simply buffer them in qgis according to the national roads standards. The BigC always told me, “you are gonna do wonderful things for your country” I never understood that until now. #MapLesotho, I am inspired, so should you.

#MapLesotho is for the Basotho to make a better planned built environment Lesotho. Participating from the beginning made me realise how the three beardies of which BigC is one thought about how to get us caught up with the rest of osm.

Our map was empty in 2014, now it is the most mapped in Africa.

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