Panamá/Reunión 2019-03-21

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Mapper Manuel Quintero, from ESRI Panamá, wrote in our Telegram group:

La Alcaldía de Panamá en conmemoración de los 500 años desea realizar un mapathon. Nos reuniremos en Esri Panamá el dia jueves 21 de marzo a las 2:00pm. Nos gustaría contar con la participación de 1 o 2 miembros de esta gran comunidad OSM Panama.
Contaremos también con la Participación de Karen Martínez Presidenta del Capítulo de Youthmappers Universidad de Panamá

Seralia and Mario decide to participate, they were anyway going to Panama aroud that date.

Step one was to find building number 145 thanks to the map at the entrance of the Ciudad del Saber, information now in OSM.

The meeting

At 2 o'clock we entered ESRI, we began talking with Manuel who introduces us to the activity of ESRI, HOT, Youthmappers, Missing Maps, mapgive, and the institutions, national, but especially foreign, that support the activities.

How long has ESRI contributed to OSM? ESRI is a for-profit company, they have very good sales channels, its software is used by all Panamanian government institutions, with their help we could put pressure on public entities to release their data. Arguing the advantage (in case of disaster, for example.)

The first mapathon in Panama (2017?) Was organized with Google, which appropriated the information and made available only its portals and its navigation software. Last year ESRI organized "The Panama OpenStreetMap Festival 2018", in which project 4917 was opened in HOT's Tasking Manager. The project is still open, with 132 mapped tiles and 17 validated. For 2019, ESRI plans to rely on the same structure to present a mapping project to the mayor's office, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the founding of Panamá la Vieja, officially on August 15.

Karen arrives and we start talking about the next Mapathon. During more than half of the meeting also participated Jean Guevara.

We did not take detailed notes of the meeting, and in the end we reached the following points, which Manuel will develop in a project for the mayor's office, and those responsible for HOT, respectively for logistical and economic support, and for the management of the project in Tasking HOT manager.


For the project to be relevant to the HOT, risk areas must be located, and there are quite a few in Panama.

Manuel will contact the townships, each indicating their area of greatest interest. This will define the extent of the project, at least as far as the duration of the mapathon is concerned. The project extension in HOT's Tasking Manager could be different.

Note: It will be necessary to define when to close the HOT project, or whether to leave it open, and in the case of leaving it open, see how to follow up, at least the validation of the new contributed tiles. It would not be nice to leave open tasks that no one will review.

The mapathon itself is no longer the first phase of the project for the mayor's office: in this all the buildings visible in the aerial photos, the streets, if possible also the drains will be placed. It is essential to reach a more complete coverage of the area to be mapped in the next phase.

The second phase of concern for the municipalty is a field activity, repeated by township, in which local people will complete the mapping in the previous phase with information gathered in the field. To do this, it will take advantage of fieldpapers, a tool that allows you to work with maps only with paper and pencil, and a hand-rest table. The atlases from fieldpapers should provide enough landmarks for them to be compiled.

The last phase is complex, since it will try to take photos of the sheets compiled in the field, upload them to fieldpapers, and download them again after the remote server has rectified and georeferenced them, and finally take advantage of them to label what is mapped.

Surely there will be moments of celebration, ending each day and each phase, something which should be of interest for the municipality involved. From the OSM point of view, I think it would be highly interesting to see evaluation documents of the different phases and of the project as a whole.