[HOT] Is mapping Pakistan a good thing ?

Jean Millerat Jean.Millerat at wecena.com
Fri Oct 1 11:08:53 BST 2010

Could someone share some info about how useful the current OSM effort in 
mapping Pakistan is (how is it used ? or to be used ? and by who ?) ? 
And could someone tell me if/why this is still the right thing to do ?

I am being told by some Crisis Commons folks that some people in 
Pakistan fear that sharing the GPS coordinates of villages via OSM would 
facilitate "foreign intrusions" in the country (referring to yesterday's 
incident with a NATO helicopter near the Afghan border, I think). I was 
in the process of looking for newbie OSM volunteers to be provided by 
French corporate donors (= employee time) in order to help via Potlatch 
or JOSM using the US Defence Agency maps or satellite imagery. Such 
volunteers would be happy helping as long as they have some confidence 
this effort really helps humanitarian action. They would not help if 
this contributes to some war or God knows which kind of geopolitical 

And OSM is probably not a NATO conspiracy plan for having crowds provide 
GPS coordinates of targets for drones... ;-)

So, what are the best guarantees available that :

- such OSM data for locating villages still is of strong value for 
humanitarian action in Pakistan (if it is) ?

- such OSM data will not work against peace ?

Thanks in advance for giving me some pointers...

Jean Millerat
Wecena, rendre vos informaticiens fiers d'améliorer le monde
Jean.Millerat at wecena.com   +33 1 77 455 344   Jean.Millerat at gmail.com

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