[HOT] London HOT Congo Mapathon, reflection

Harry Wood mail at harrywood.co.uk
Wed May 7 12:25:18 UTC 2014

Some good reflection from Dan and Nick about our event on Saturday.

There were several factors which made it feel like a great success, as Dan listed. On his third point about the teaching, we need to say a big *thank you to Dan and Nick!*

At the event we had a good balance of OSM beginners, and OSM experts to teach them. Chief among the teachers were Dan and Nick, and with that help the event seemed to run pretty smoothly.

On the field papers thing we encountered a few issues, but in general people coped with the fiddly workflow better than I was expecting. It gave me a few ideas for ways of improving the field papers site and the JOSM plugin. I'll get these into the bug trackers, and discuss them with the tech working group.

And I do have a list of attendee email addresses via eventbrite, so I will use that to try to get people involved more long term (e.g. get them to join this mailing list)

Before that I will be writing a blog post about the event. I also promised a blog post for the ODI (hosts)  Blogs coming soon!


From: Nick Allen <nick.allen.54 at gmail.com>
To: hot at openstreetmap.org 
Sent: Wednesday, 7 May 2014, 0:27
Subject: Re: [HOT] London HOT Congo Mapathon, reflection


You're right, it went extremely well. 

I don't know if Harry is able to get contact information for the
      attendees from bookings, but it would be interesting to ask them
      where they heard about the event. We could also do with feedback -
      did we meet their expectations?

I think most, if not all, of the newcomers were working part of
      the time on http://tasks.hotosm.org/job/459 & I'm planning to contact who I can through that task, providing further information. Although it went extremely well, I felt as if we only scratched the surface in terms of information provided - needed a handout at the end, but who has time to prepare them! I'll send them links to the main learning pages in my message.

The field papers tasks for https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Lubumbashi#Data_table made an interesting change from the normal mapping & I'd like to see more of this type of thing available, as it provides a little variety. I think the system should be refined slightly;

    * If the only thing being added is road names, then less sheets are needed in the atlas (on occasion it took a long time for a page to load, and there was very little to do when it did). 
    * If you zoom out to find the page you have just loaded, you will never find it as they are only visible at the lower zoom levels! - took me a while to find this out, and it needs adding to the info somewhere (LearnOSM & wiki for future jobs)
    * Instead of a written sheet of paper with road names, perhaps a simple .txt file with them typed could be provided, which would overcome the potential problem with accents & special characters as you could just copy & paste.
    * Is somebody checking that there is nothing outstanding?

Thanks are owed to a great many people who made the day such a success. I don't know many names, so it's better if I just leave it as a general thanks.

Nice picture in the OSM main page - just glad the pizza I dropped down my shirt is not visible!
Volunteer 'Tallguy' for https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team 
Treasurer, website & Bonus Ball admin for http://www.6thswanleyscouts.org.uk/ (treasurer at 6thswanleyscouts.org.uk)
On 06/05/14 09:58, Dan S wrote:

Hi all, I thought the London HOT Congo session went really well! Aside from
the actual mapping, the extremely important thing that we did was (a)
attract (b) inspire (c) teach, plenty of newcomers. Reflecting on

(a) How did we attract so many newcomers, to a "non-CNN" need, on a
bank holiday? Did something special happen? I know a couple of people
mentioned MapAction, and a couple of people mentioned ICT 4
Development. I guess those kind of *non-osm* networks are the ideal
places to circulate info about future events like this.

(b) Ivan from MSF was really inspirational in motivating people. I
myself don't have those kind of contacts, and obviously it's only
people from agencies who positively want HOT to help them who can fill
that first-person role, but, well, I guess keep an eye out for more
Ivans? Also, the physical Field Papers that Jorieke brought over from DRC
had a motivational presence too. And so would the Skype connection to
DRC if it had worked!

(c) The format worked well for teaching people - the building-tracing
job was simple enough to grasp, the Field Papers job was available for
keen learners (some newcomers did join in on it), and Nick and I were
useful helping the newcomers one-to-one (as were others of course, ad

Congrats to Harry on the organisation - Best
Dan _______________________________________________
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