[HOT] Is mapping Pakistan a good thing ?

Shoaib Burq shoaib at nomad-labs.com
Fri Oct 1 12:00:31 BST 2010

Resending to list...

The reason for mapping villages was to Geocode Rapid Damage Impact
Assessments of Flood Damage that was conducted by UN-WFP, Pakistan.

WFP did these in over 3000 villages but didn't have the expertise or
equipment to geocode each damage report. So they requested geocoding
of these.

We were using DMA layers for geocoding - which I am sure NATO or
anyone who has interest in geo-data for the region will have access
to. They are from the 80's which was an even more sensitive time with
the cold war and Soviet Union in active conflict in Afghanistan.

If anyone has any reasons for caution please share your thoughts.


On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 8:08 PM, Jean Millerat <Jean.Millerat at wecena.com> wrote:
> 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 wargame.
> 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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