Over the last few months Fingal County Council and mappers in Lesotho have been working hard to create an accurate base map of the country on OpenStreetMap. With vastly better maps, the planning and delivery of services and facilities across Lesotho such as healthcare and education can be greatly improved.
University students, urban planners and other interested members of the community have been using satellite imagery and their knowledge of the areas to add detail to the map including, houses, roads, public sanitation infrastructure, hospitals and schools. To amp things up Ciarán Staunton from Fingal County Council contacted Mapillary and proposed the idea of sponsoring smartphones that could then be distributed to the top 10 mappers with the most edits. We were thoroughly impressed with what MapLesotho had already achieved up to this point and so it made absolute sense to work together to create more accurate maps of Lesotho.
The competition took place across 7 weeks between the 13th of July and August 31st and proved widely successful. Here are some interesting stats that outline how phenomenal the efforts of MapLesothoto contributors have been: * 3.4 million nodes added during the competition (3.6 to 7 million nodes) * Ultimate winner Tshedy was in the top 10 of mappers around the world during August * August 28th was the most successful day in MapLesotho history with 252,185 nodes added over just 24 hours. * Lesotho, with a population of only 2 million and a land area of 30,355 square km was in the top 5 countries for modifications 14 times over the 7 weeks.
The top 10 winners as you can see from the leaderboard got there through enormous hard work with almost 2.5 million nodes edits between them. There is still much work to be done in adding building and point of interest information to the map and this is where Mapillary can assist. Often satellite data in the area fails to provide a detailed overview of the shape or the purpose and use of the building. Additionally, a mapper can add information on road surface quality, shape, and road direction.
With smartphones equipped with Mapillary, OSMand, maps.me and OSM Tracker, the winners are now enabled with powerful mobile mapping tools. The phones were at last awarded on Wednesday, October 7th and presented to the winners by the Chief Physical Planner of Lesotho, Masetori Makheta.
It will be exciting to see how these new tools are used in Lesotho and how we can apply the lessons to other part of the world where more accurate maps are vital. Follow the country on Mapillary and explore townships as they are mapped.
Mapillary would especially like to thank the tireless contribution of Ciarán Staunton, Dave Corley, the Fingal County Council and of course the the Lesotho mappers themselves (tshedy, ntebo, Mpaleng, Lineo, Fifi1984, manobby, nuts2001, Kupie, Tsholo, Mampho Shale) and the many other brilliant mappers who have been contributing both from Lesotho and around the world.