After writing first doctoral dissertation on OSM at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I have been actively working to build OSM community in Nepal. The reason is simple: Nepal desperately needs open map as there are no other sources of good map data. For this purpose, I have established and currently leading a non-profit company named “Kathmandu Living Labs (www.kathmandulivinglabs.org)“. Through this organization, I am playing instrumental role for expanding and deepening mapping work in Nepal. We are beginning to get a very good response from government and other big organizations. For example, a group of municipalities have expressed their interest to work with us and we worked with one of them in the third week of February 2015 to map 10,000 buildings on OpenStreetMap.
While many people focus on the product (i.e. open map data) in OSM, I am equally fascinated by the process (participation, engagement, collective action etc). I spend most of my time in more strategic work: sensitizing, training and helping people to understand the value of open mapping as a key infrastructure for humanitarian response and development work.
My interest and expertise lie at the intersection of digital media, civic engagement, and collective action with particular focus on crowdsourcing and social media. I am particularly interested in promoting citizens’ access and use of social/mobile media for transforming their lives and enhancing democracy, governance, and development.