Uganda Martyrs' University Nkozi mapped(5th University)

Opening remarks

The last leg of the Road Trip took place at Uganda Martyrs' University Nkozi on the 21st of September 2012. This was after mapping with students from four other Universities outside Kampala.

Uganda Martyrs' University (UMU), Nkozi, one of the Uganda's private Universities, is found in Mpigi District. The team mapped with students from the Faculty of Built Environment as opposed to the usual crowd of computing and information technology students.

Their expectations were different as one would expect: these were land use planners to a good extent and not software developers!

We had less than half a day to collect data, edit in Java OpenStreetMap (JOSM) editor, upload to the OpenStreetMap (OSM) server and tell about each group's experience. Time was not our best ally: we decided that the OSM wiki page would be a good reference for the participants.

Data collection and editing

UMU is a beautiful University with well kept lawns, flower gardens, walk ways and well labelled buildings. It was therefore easy to collect the geographical information using the GPS unit. The interface offered by JOSM was familiar ground for the participants since most of them had used similar tools before to sketch buildings, paths and land use. We also had access to high resolution bing satellite imagery which made editing easier.

We had to use JOSM for iMAC and the at resources were a good read.


1.) Why use OSM instead of other commercial maps?
The OSM wiki page and more here may answer this but not exhaustively.

2.) How is the quality/authenticity of data ensured for future users?
This OSM wiki page is informative.

3.) How could we add contours to OSM?
OSM data can be downloaded from websites like Geofabrik and loaded into geographical information systems like QGIS. Two data layers can be merged using the merge tool.

Some of these questions are looking to find the application of OSM data in our work or studies- this was good for both the team and participants.

Despite the tight schedule, notable changes were made to the map . Initially, the area was bare. Many thanks to the team: Douglas, Julius, Geoffrey, Ketty and the students who updated the map.

Extras: Equator visit

The mapping team took the mapping training further (this time without the students): this got us to the spot that the equator (an imaginery line on the earth's surface, equidistant from the north and south pole) supposedly passes.

First we were in the southern hemisphere and a second later we were in the northern hemisphere! (the north and south hemisphere only separated by a line). Aside from the monuments that show the equators path, there were also 'magicians' doing their water magic. We decided to check if the GPS units would actually read latitude 0 degrees North and South- we were not disappointed! What better way to crown the mapping road trip with a visit to the equator monument.

Read also

Road Trip 2012: The Story
1st University "The Gulu University" report
2nd University "UCU Mbale" report
3rd University "Uganda Pentecostal University" report
4th University "Mbarara University of Science and Technology" report