New cohort of interns join us from 6 countries

By Janet CHAPMAN – Project Leader

Last year we hosted our first cohort of interns recruited as part of the Youthmappers Everywhere She Maps initiative which was a great success. You can read quotes from some of the participants here.  Building on that we were delighted to recruit 12 more Youthmapper interns for our second cohort.who started at the beginning of October. They come from 6 different African countries and we organise training via Zoom and WhatsApp delivered by their mentor GIS specialist Herry Kassunga and variious outside experts. They also participate in training delivered as part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Data Interns program.

We are continuing with our monthly mapping groups training, and have set up a new group in Shinyanga.  We are also mapping school journeys with Ikondo School in Kagera, who have particularly dangerous routes during the rainy season as you can see in this photo.  

We are also now mapping in Singida in the area around the village development project we are about to start in partnership with EuCanAid. This will bring access to water, a clinic, and improvements to the primary school in Mduguyu village. This area was very poorly mapped so we set up this project and have been training field mappers to add their local knowledge.  We will then produce village and district level maps for the community. 

We are also continuing to map areas where girls are at risk of FGM, particularly in the lead up to the cutting season expected in December. 

Finally we are busy helping organise the second State of the Map Tanzania conference. This will be a hybrid conference so we hope many of you will be able to join from wherever in the world you are – we already have a brilliant range of speakers confirmed, and the call for talks is still open. 

Thank you again for your generosity which enables this entirely volunteer run project to keep going.

You can donate on our Global Giving page

Reflections on our 4th State of the Map Firenze

It was wonderful, if slightly overwhelming and sometimes surreal to finally meet so many fellow mappers again at SOTM Firenze last week, as well as so many new friends that I’d only interacted with online. This was my 4th in person event and it reinforced not only how much Crowd2Map has grown since Brussels 2016 but also how the mapping community has changed.

State of the Map 2022
State of the Map 2022

In 2016 arrived in Brussels late at night, a bit disconcerted to find that I was sharing a bed with a stranger – Miriam from GeoChicas. We quickly got over this surprise and she became a great friend and ally, even visiting the FGM Safe Houses we work with in Tanzania en route to FOSS4G 2018. In Brussels I was a newcomer who knew no one. I tried to navigate the seeming chasm between the brown shirted craft mapper gang and the humanitarian team. In Firenze I was very pleased to note much less of this divide. Arriving felt like coming home after a long journey, meeting so many people from previous events and others for the first time IRL.

Particular highlights for me were talking about the impact of our Digital Champion project, meeting colleagues from Missing Maps HOTand Youthmappers who I’d only interacted with online. Kristen Tonga’s talk on the challenges of mobile mapping in rural Tanzania really resonated with our experiences setting up our Digital Champions program, and we look forwards to working with her going forwards.

Ilya is always enthusiastically working on something interesting and this year was no exception, we’re looking forwards to working with him on Every Door soon. The We’re also looking forward

We were particular proud that Binyam Dele Youthmapper Ambassador from Ethiopia wants to replicate our work fighting FGM there.

Greatly looking forward to next meet up – particularly State of the Map Tanzania in January 2023 and hope to see many of the mapping community there either in person or online!

As Crowd2Map turns 6, we celebrate the work being done to empower rural communities in Tanzania

Crowd2Map Tanzania has a cohort of 16,000 volunteers based in Tanzania and around the world, all of whom are driven by a passion to help rural communities in Tanzania and to ensure girls and women in these areas are empowered. As we celebrate 6 years of mapping, we take a look at some of the work and partnerships that we have developed to ensure Tanzania is mapped.

Crowd2Map Tanzania has been training local activists (NGOs), Local Government, communities and Youth Mappers Chapters in Tanzania on open data and mapping and how can they integrate mapping knowledge with their activities to solve community challenges.

Some of the tools used for mapping and open data that Crowd2Map has been training these group on are:

  • Smartphone applications such as Maps.me, OSMAnd, ODK and Mapillary for mapping features around their community and collecting data for different uses
  • Other tools that require the use of a computer for mapping and Data collection such as ID Editor, JOSM and Kobo toolbox

Some of the NGO’s have managed to win Community mapping microgrants and are running projects in their communities in various areas in Tanzania to share mapping and open data knowledge with a wider audience.

Tanzanian NGOs who have been trained include:

  • Agri-Thamani based in Bukoba Tanzania are running garden community mapping and Schools mapping project in their community
  • Red Cross Katavi community are mapping vulnerable areas around Mine sites in Katavi
  • Good Harvest Organization who were trained in the use of Open Data Tools and other internet-enabled devices
  • LAVISHENI group in Mwanza mapping vulnerable areas for GBV cases in their community
  • Institute of Rural Development and Planning College in Dodoma Youth mappers are mapping Dump sites in Dodoma
  • Serengeti Tourism College Youth Mappers are involved in mapping health centre facilities in Mugumu-Serengeti

Institute of Accountancy in Arusha (IAA) Youth Mappers, Tumaini College in Arusha Youth Mappers, Institute of Rural Development and Planning Youth Mappers in Mwanza are still continuing with mapping Training.

Miller’s Group in Muleba Tanzania, Kibondo mapping Group, ESTL NGO are still continuing with mapping and Open Data training.

Local Government in Serengeti and Singida are now involved in mapping and Open data training conducted by Crowd2Map.

We are seeing a great deal of interest from these local and broader organisations who are understanding of the benefit of accurate maps for the growth of Tanzanian communities.

You can watch the recording of our 6th birthday event here (you will be taken to YouTube).

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can find out more and get involved here.

Using mobile technology to improve the farming of crops in Tanzania

Farmers receive training

On 26th April 2021, Hope for Girls and Women kicked off a programme of agri-technology farmer training in Matare, Serengeti. This exciting collaboration between Hope and PlantNuru, Kenya, provided training that explored the use of digital technology to help farmers protect their crops. Not only does this support the local community with their work, but also provides the opportunity to engage attendees in education and conversation around gender-based violence.

Farmers explore practical training

There were 20 farmers and 7 community leaders involved in the two-day session which was opened by Serengeti’s District Executive Director.  The District Agricultural Officer and District Community Development Officer were also in attendance.

Day one covered the types of disease that can be found in cassava and Maize and how to differentiate between diseases and their impact to crops.

The team then looked at the approaches that can be used to mitigate the infection of these crops, providing a solution on how to plant cassava and maize when you want to increase your production and possible ways of planting cassava for seed.

Day two included a practical session on how to record crop-type data by using PlantVillage app. This included a visit to a maize and cassava farm where disease identification exercises were carried out. Attendees were shown how they can use the  PlantVillage app for the detection of diseases and Pests. Farmers can seek advice from extension officers who are close by as well as from other users, using the app.

This is an innovative new stepping stone for farmers to benefit from agri-technology, which will help the production of their crops.

Twenty farmers were given smart phones at the end of the session.  As well as the PlantVillage app, their phones were installed with maps.me and the ODK form to support the reporting of GBV/FGM cases. All farmers signed the contract upon receiving their phones to commit to use their phones for the targeted work.

20 farmers participate in training

There was very positive feedback from the farmers involved in the session who welcomed this opportunity to enhance their output and support their local community, including vulnerable girls and women.

The PlantVillage app can be downloaded on the GooglePlay and Apple App Store.