Humanitarian OSM Team/Tutorships

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Looking for ways to facilitate connections between global mappers and new communities in the developing countries, the idea is to start a HOT tutorship program in which active members from the community would make contact with the emergent communities we helped or will help to start:

  • the communities in Haiti and Kenya and the rising one in Senegal
  • the future ones in the African countries (Chad, Burundi and Central Republic of Africa, as well as Kenya) concerned by the EUROSHA program that will start in October, to support both the program volunteers and the OSM community they will aim for creating

Experienced mappers could provide a great support regarding OSM techniques, remote mapping, imagery setting, quality assurance, communication (OSM wikipages, social media, etc.). Of course on a voluntary basis, according to their chosen field and kinship towards such or such country.

Basically, this would be a different approach of what is done so far through OSM lists where the help/advices are often limited to a specific request. Here both sides would be presented, the local communities through their story, members, skills, and project(s) and the tutors through their background and their OSM experience.

Channels of communication

Very public, open collaborations should be better. Rather than on the HOT list (that may be quite inhibiting for non English Speaking people), the OSM list of each country could be a good channel? Concern: make sure there would still be really good information available publicly. It is easy sometimes to answer a question in an email or IM, but not have it make it out to others. Meaning that then someone else would have to ask the same question later.

The HOT List can be used as one forum to discuss cross cutting issues regularly in relation with the training working group When internet connection allows it, it may be good to plan some regular voice meeting on Skype?

Periodic blog posts by the "tutors" as to what challenges they are helping with, the results, etc. would also be interesting. They could serve as "how tos" for specific topics.

OSM diaries by mentors would be a good start. We would also want to have monitoring and curating of those posts, into periodic Summary posts (similar to the OSM summary posts on OpenGeoData), as well as improvements directed to other documentation and processes as fitting.


How do we see an engagement between a tutor and a community work?

Of course it would be on a voluntary basis, but would be also somehow a kind of commitment towards these communities.

From those who already have this experience : it is really rewarding, but also time consuming when you're spread among several groups.

If anyone have to/want to stop his support or reduce it, would be good if he or she advise the country community and maybe ask within the HOT community for trying to find a substitute? We need to ensure continuity over time being flexible and seeing the mix of communities as a pool of resources to support those mappers

Would a tutor travel in country (partly), how long would he/she engage with a community? Opportunities to sponsor tutors by development programs, governments or companies?

Coming announcement regarding a roster of internship applicants.


Bridging these local communities throughout Africa and Haiti would also be great, eg. for common remote mapping. Haitian mappers had participated in 2011 to the Ivory Coast mapping when the presidential election crises arose or the Night of the Living Map on Feb 2 (check the video).

Participating regularly in remote HOT activations and running the local mapping parties in a way which allow remote participation is a great way of creating this bridge; this can actually be the same thing a local mapping party organised to map remotely on a HOT activation with the tutors verifying the edits of the local mappers and training, ideally a report of the main issues is set up and a blog post is published, communications happens on all relevant lists and the key findings can be discussed on HOT