Faridah Nakabugo is a student of Makerere University Kampala, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Land Surveying and Geomatics. She has been mapping for almost 2 years now. Faridah is among the many youthmappers and a member of the Geo YouthMappers chapter in Makerere University. As a mapper, She has had a big chance to travel round the country and outside, meet and interacted with people from outside her region. Faridah says mapping has equipped her with skills such as working with different data collection and analysis tools. It has also greatly helped her improve her communication skills and opened her up to the “global world”.
“Mapping is simply a lot of fun that comes along with meeting new people each single day and saving lives each time one makes an edit to open street map.” Says Faridah
Qn: How did you get in to mapping, your education or passion or mapping just did land in your laps?
Ans: Well, in my programme we study a great deal about GIS, Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry courses and the like but not open-street mapping. So, knowing about OSM started with “Mapping financial inclusion in Eastern Uganda project” that was introduced to one of our lecturers and HOT required to get volunteers that would participate in data collection. I was among the lucky ones that were picked and from that day to now…, I haven’t looked back as a mapper but rather growing a bigger and bigger mapper. So proud.
Qn: Why did you think of getting involved in community mapping for HOTOSM?
Ans: My first project as a HOT volunteer was a very nice and exciting experience. It opened me up to knowing a lot about HOT and OSM and what they do in helping save lives and effecting development by just putting the world on an open map. This gave me all reasons to join the community mapping.
Qn: Why is it critical to map our community social, development on financial service and provide the data as Open data in platforms like OSM?
Ans: The datasets provided by OSM volunteers are very critical and useful in development aspects and resilience. It is better that this data is free as purchasing it may be so expensive and this can gradually slow down the development processes.
Qn: What’s your opinion about open data in Africa especially. Can it change our innovation for social development?
Ans: Yes, it can greatly change our innovation landscape. Open data gives wider knowledge and deeper understanding on what is where and this guides decision making at lower costs as it doesn’t require to again pay data collectors.
Qn: Who is the target audience for the data collected in the Mapping Financial Inclusion in Eastern Uganda? And why was this project important?
Ans: Financial service deepening Uganda (fsdUganda), banks, Melinda and Gates foundation and people. This data was mainly important to provide an understanding of how financial services are distributed in the country. This aids knowing where more energy should be invested. The data would be used to aid decision making for example banks needed to know where they could direct efforts for mobile money agents banking.
Qn: Youthmappers Leadership fellowship, what is the main focus of this initiative?
Ans: Instilling leadership skills in the youth around the world. It also aimed at establishing a toolkit that would be referred to by youth mappers around the world.
Qn: How has mapping transformed your view of the Earth? As it given your more understanding of Earth phenomenon like climate change, disasters, and such?
Ans: It has widened my knowledge and concern about disasters, disaster response and resilience. I used not to know that disasters such as floods happen that often around us. I used not to really mind, but now, it’s one of my first concerns.
Qn; Any last words to mappers out there.
We should never stop mapping. Every single day our world changes and so do the “problems” around us. It is so wonderful a feeling to save a life by just an edit and this we should never stop. A big “great work” to all mappers out there…. Let’s develop our world; OpenStreetMapping is one way of contributing to this development .