My first #MapLesotho mapathon experience today!

We are now joined by Ts’epo Matthews Matlou, a 2nd year computer studies undergraduate reading at the Limkokwing University of Creative Techonology.

Ts'epo Matthews Matlou

Ts’epo Matthews Matlou


I should start by saying that I was educated by brilliant people in Ha Hlalele school in Maseru district. I remember some Irish people from Action Ireland coming to the school in 2011 and really helping us by improving the school. I stayed in contact with Mark Whelan who is involved in the Action Ireland Trust. I saw some posts on social media he was making about #MapLesotho and I was intrigued. So I followed the conversation on twitter and then met up with Lebohang Marekimane and Hlompho Mota who were involved with the Fingal County Council training this year and gave me individual time. I was hooked!

Today I attended my first Mapathon, being held in the National University of Lesothi as part of the inauguration anniversary of the institution. I met some great people including Seitebatso Mohlahatsa and Lineo Mothae who really filled me with enthusiasm for participating in the task of making the online map of Lesotho. There were NUL students there as well as Planners.

I learned so much in one day. I learned about using the HOTOSM task manager for the western side of the country to take a tile of Lesotho and what a good tool it is. I learned how to draw using the line for features like roads and rivers and the area for features like  villages (we mark residential) and woods. I’m very new to this, but I could see how a little practice would allow me be really accurate and very fast in the near future. I intend to reserve the tile that contains my village of Ha Hlalele.

Tile #126 containing my home village of Ha Hlalele

Tile #126 containing my home village of Ha Hlalele

What I got very excited about was that at the same time as 20 of us were in NUL a few assistant physical planners were mapping from Qacha’s Nek. And even more exited by the news that small groups in Brussels (Belgium) and Portmarnock (Ireland) were helping us as well.

I am going to keep up this openstreetmap and learn to use more tools and JOSM to do my part to map this country #MapLesotho!

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