Friday, October 30, 2009

The Kaspi Team

Volunteer Mappers in Kaspi

Yesterday we returned to Kaspi where a fantastic team of volunteer mappers helped us make a great public domain, digital map of the area. During the brief ceremony the participants took their certificates and gave a couple great speeches. Thanks so much for getting involved in this project!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dedication and Gratitude

Volunteers from the Karaleti IDP settlement

The dedication of our Community Organizers and volunteers has been immense, and it really shows. Most of the major towns have been beautifully mapped, including Gori, Kaspi, and Kareli, and over 40 villages have been completed as well. A hearty thanks to the local youth development NGO Biliki for connecting us with volunteers from nearby communities, and an additional thanks to CENN for providing us with shapefiles to help plan out our work! Most of all, thanks to all the volunteers who are getting involved in the first public, digital map of Shida Kartli! Cheers!

Nino discovers how to map in the rain

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Planning and Outreach

Planning the weeks ahead

Because the focus of this project is much wider than simply making maps, Community Organizers regularly strategize to maximize efficiency, engage volunteers, and build relationships with community members. It's important to work with local people in every region where we map, so maintaining an outreach strategy is an ongoing part of the process of community organization.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gori Mapping Party

Gori Community Organizer Team

Meeting Volunteers at the Gori Mapping Party

On Saturday we held the first mapping party in Gori, effectively launching our project to map the Shida Kartli region of Georgia. Our fabulous community organizer team trained local volunteers in GPS mapping and teams roved around the grid-like streets of Gori, collecting street information and points of interest. At the end of the day mappers uploaded their data to our server, and Gori's really started to grow!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Training Launched in Gori

JumpStart’s public domain mapping project in the Shida Kartli region of Georgia began on Monday. During a week of training, community organizers will explore various topics, including community-based Wiki development, GPS mapping, volunteer organization and planning. During the course of the training organizers will make plans to implement the two-month public domain project. The week will be capped by a Gori mapping party on Saturday, where volunteers will get a first taste of the project and with luck, Gori will be mapped! Work in Shida Kartli will be conducted on JumpStart’s public domain server, and as regions are completed they will be imported into OpenStreetMap.

During the course of the project, organizers will also offer trainings and promote community mapping beyond Shida Kartli. As the regional map data improves, we’ll also explore practical applications of the data in the Caucasus and promote trainings on the side of technical development and use of open data.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

OSM Mapping Party

On Saturday we organized the first OpenStreetMap mapping party in Tbilisi. Twenty-four people participated, and for most it was an initial look at OSM. Mappers went out in groups and explored some of the nooks and crannies of Tbilisi's winding streets and steep staircases, and we all gathered at the pub at the end of the day to learn a bit more about OSM and add our data to the database. Luckily several of Tbilisi’s experienced mappers were present to show everybody the ropes and get the new folks involved. A group of students from the American Academy of Tbilisi were in attendance, and are planning to start a mapping club at their school. As community mapping expands in Georgia, this will be a fantastic model on which to base other clubs around the country!