[HOT] Amazing OSM mapping progress in Nigeria

Rafael Avila Coya ravilacoya at gmail.com
Wed Jul 2 19:02:37 UTC 2014

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Hi, Séverin, Nicolas and all:

Thanks Séverin for sharing this ITO map. I wasn't aware of this 90
days ITO service; I find it very cool and useful. And yes: it's really
impresive, even for me!

Sorry for answering so late, but I have arrived home last week after
long and, going here and there with family and friends, I couldn't
find the time to sit down and put all info and data in order, so I
could adequately answer about what has been done and what the next
steps will/could be, with the hope that my answer can be useful and
practical for anyone interested.

My main goal in North Nigeria was to train staff in OSM editing with
JOSM and other Q&A related stuff, so we could put the roads editing
job for Kano State in the good track ( http://tasks.hotosm.org/job/474
). For that purpose I also made a road classification proposal based
on the official Nigerian classification and the Highway Tag Africa
wikipage, that it is now incorporated to the Nigeria Wikiproject (
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Nigeria#Roads ). For
discussion, I sent emails to the HOT mailing list, but especially to
the user crackers250, who had done a great job in classifying and
editing many of the primary and trunk roads, based in the Nigerian
Gov. official classification. I also opened the (up to that time)
non-existent talk-ng mailing list, hoping that more people mapping in
Nigeria will join the list.

But when I arrived in Kano, it appeared the possibility to import
different kind of data collected by eHealth Africa during the last 2
years, so I opened a hackpad ( https://hackpad.com/hKeQZhVqQeR ) to
evaluate all that data, that is indeed a huge geodatabase in itself.

The first data that was imported was the boundaries for the wards and
LGA's of the 10 Northernmost Nigerian states, and the boundaries of
the LGA's of the rest of states of Nigeria. Every state of Nigeria is
divided in Local Government Areas (Kano state for instance is composed
by 44 LGA's), and every LGA is further divided in between 10 to 15
wards. LGA was tagged as district and wards as municipality for OSM.
The import consisted on writing a script to convert the data to OSM
and then the import itself (
). This was, by far, the most complicated and time consuming import.

The second set of data to be imported was the residential areas for
what they call in eHealth Africa build-up areas and cities (
). The script for this import was really trivial, but the amount of
data was really huge, and I had to deal with the merging of this data
with the OSM server data, so it took quite a bit to finish the import.

The third import is the health facilities import. We started with the
import of the 1,087 collected health facilities for Kano State (other
states (Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa and Sokoto) will follow when a last
Q&A control will be done for their corresponding data). This import is
a work in progress. It is being done with a job in the HOT Tasking
Manager (TM) ( http://tasks.hotosm.org/job/566 ) following a strict
workflow (
) in accordance to its corresponding import wiki (
). This workflow and TM job was set taking the UNICEF data import for
Central African Republic as reference (
http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import_CAR_UNICEF_workflow ), a
great job thanks to Séverin Menard and the EUROSHA project. Any
experienced mapper is welcome to join the job, but please read
carefully all the documentation before starting to import and edit.

The forth import in mind is the import of the places nodes that we can
extract from the residential areas data. The script to extract and
convert the data is ready since long ago, and the import wiki is
almost ready, so in the coming days I will submit it to the import
list (as well as to the HOT and talk-ng list for comments). Only for
Kano State there are 1,840 nodes. The import will be done similarly to
the Health Facilities import, probably state by state.

An import that could follow could be the Rural Villages place nodes
(see RuralVillages.shp in the eHealth Data Import hackpad (
https://hackpad.com/hKeQZhVqQeR )).

There are also other data to import, like schools, water facilities,
etc. Some can be quite tricky if we consider the data as it is at
present. As you can clearly see, all these is a huge amount of data,
so it takes a big effort to do. And loads of data are being collected
by eHealth Africa staff in the field, so it looks a quite non-stop job.

During my last days in Kano, we could finally make contacts with
people of the Geography Department at Kano University, but
unfortunately it was too late for me to join in the collaboration
between the university and eHealth Africa Foundation. One of the
activities they were discussing was training students in OSM editing
with JOSM and data collection with Field Papers. I will ask eHealth
staff these days to know what's up about it. I also went three times
(days) to the field, to see on the ground how data is being collected
and uploaded to the servers.

Finally, a job to map in detail the city of Kano was opened in the HOT
TM ( http://tasks.hotosm.org/job/537 ). By chance, it seems some
students of the University of Hidelberg (GER) have been editing in
Kano as an excercise. Again, anyone one is very welcome to map the
city of Kano.

About making a presentation of all what it has been done, I would have
to say that all data is being collected by many people in the field,
in a quite difficult area (if you follow the news about North Nigeria,
you will understand what I mean), and then processed by around 20 or
more GIS eHealth Africa staff. I would obviously contact all the staff
there before making any presentation of all this effort, as it is
clearly not my only job at all, but the job of many. In my opinion, it
would be nice to count with some of them for a presentation of what
eHealth Africa is doing related with OpenStreetMap and the importance
of their data being imported to OSM, not only for eHealth Africa, but
for anyone with interest in Nigeria at present and in the future. A
presentation in the next SotM in Buenos Aires?

I can assure you that eHealth Africa Foundation is very happy of
having decided to release their data to the OSM community, and will be
happy to increase the collaboration with HOT and the OSM community in

For me it was an amazing experience, and I will, no doubt, go on
collaborating with eHealth and the Nigerian OSM community in whatever
I can be of help.


Rafael Ávila Coya.

On 27/06/14 09:37, nicolas chavent wrote:
> Thanks Severin for bringing the news about Rafael and his import 
> work of eHealth data upfront: trully impressive ! It looks like 
> there's still a lot to import in OSM from eHealth and am wondering 
> about the next steps which are foreseen in this country. Would be 
> great to hear Rafael about how you seen this moving forward, once 
> you got some rest from this sequence of work.
> Excellent time in Nigeria. ++ Nico
> On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 2:01 AM, Severin Menard 
> <severin.menard at gmail.com <mailto:severin.menard at gmail.com>> 
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I had a check on the ITO Map "Recent Edits last 90 days" over the 
> Western Africa. We can see clearly the work done in Guinea, Burkina
> Faso around Nanoro and in Ivory Coast, but what is blindingly
> obvious is the massive edits over Nigeria, especially in the North.
> Check this out and zoom, it is really, really impressive: 
> http://www.itoworld.com/map/127?lon=3.45589&lat=9.62204&zoom=5&fullscreen=true&open_sidebar=map_key
This is due to the collected data of the eHealth program that
> decided to put in OpenStreetMap, thanks to Rafael's facilitation 
> when people from this program contacted the list a few months ago 
> and he took the time to reply. Those who follow the OSM import list
> may know what it is about, but I think it is worth you do a 
> presentation to everyone of what happened and what will (likely) 
> happen, Rafael.
> Sincerely,
> Severin
> _______________________________________________ HOT mailing list 
> HOT at openstreetmap.org <mailto:HOT at openstreetmap.org> 
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
> -- Nicolas Chavent Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team 
> http://hot.openstreetmap.org/ Mobile (FRA): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20 
> Email: nicolas.chavent at hotosm.org 
> <mailto:nicolas.chavent at hotosm.org> Email: 
> nicolas.chavent at gmail.com <mailto:nicolas.chavent at gmail.com>
> Skype: c_nicolas Twitter: nicolas_chavent

- -- 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ravilacoya

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