The OSM Project Senegal: joining Tech Camp Dakar 30-31 August 2012

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I am starting a second short trip (28-August – 2-September) to Dakar where HOT has been invited to be part of the TechCamp organized these 30 and 31 August by the US Embassy to facilitate sessions around OpenStreetMap and mapping. We'd like here to thank the organizers for choosing HOT, our friends and partners from JokkoLabs – a co-working space in Dakar - who recommended HOT to the be part of the Camp, and finally, the Fondation de France and the Association OpenStreetMap France (OSM-FR) for their continued support. All made this second trip to Senegal possible.

This Tech Camp is specifically targeted towards helping to address the issues that NGOs and Community-based Organizations are facing while working in Senegal around rural development and agriculture. Mapping and OpenStreetMap is one of the technologies that have been retained for this camp which will provide a ground for presenting the OSM project, running mini mapping parties to demonstrate the tools and approaches to ground surveys and mapping.

This will eventually sparkle group discussions and brainstorming towards using these approaches to address some of the issues faced by the Tech Camp participants and through them actors of the agricultural sector and of the rural development in Senegal. By its focus around rural development and agricultural sector issues, this Tech Camp will complete the reach of the OSM Project Senegal in the rural parts of the countries since most of our first trip took place in urban areas with mostly urban actors. The Camp will also be an opportunity to meet again with most of the actors of the open source movement met during our first trip. Ultimately, there will be also a learning dimension for the OSM Project Senegal in this Camp with some local mappers stepping in and co-facilitating some of the sessions to expand the experience gained since the initial mission of HOT of last May/June.

Throughout this event, these days in Dakar will help reconnecting with the OSM mappers in Dakar, as well as the individuals and groups met in May/June and continue identifying ways forward for the OSM project in the country. This will happen through a mix of meetings as well through a mapping party held on the last day of the trip likely in the digital campus of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) organized jointly by some mappers, JokkoLabs and AUF. Given the recent flooding it is likely that the focus will be on flood mapping, but feature also some other mapping aspects such as surveying in rural areas uncovered by satellite imagery or advanced topics for the most experienced.

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