The UN Mapper of the month - February 2024

Introducing our February 2024 Mapper of the Month: Rajendran Keerthana from Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. Fresh off completing her Geography Bachelor's Degree at Eastern University, Keerthana has a keen interest in Geography and geospatial technology. With a solid academic foundation, she brings a fresh perspective to our global community. Read below to learn more about her journey!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Rajendran Keerthana, and I live in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. I recently completed a bachelor's degree in Geography from Eastern University. I am a person who developed an interest in Geography during my school years. This interest has led me to explore the geospatial field

How did you know about UN Mappers?
Last year our lecturer Mr.Suthakaran introduced us to the UN Mappers community and organized a training program for us. After this program I learned more about UN Mappers. 

You participated in our training at the Eastern University. How did it seem to you? Which topic did you find the most interesting?
This training provided a wonderful opportunity to acquire knowledge across various dimensions. I benefited from the guidance of the course coordinator, Severin Menard. I learned about major dynamic categories in mapping, with the most intriguing aspect being Smartphone Android apps for OpenStreetMap. In today's digital world, these techniques have made it easier for me to navigate the application, and now, they are crucial keys to mapping for me.

Professionally, I believe that the extraction of data from OSM for use with other applications was extremely revealing and useful for me. I had performed the operation a few years ago, but at that time, I had to create my own database management system (which was quite time-consuming). Therefore, seeing that the operation could be performed in a faster and simpler way has meant acquiring very useful knowledge and significant time savings. 

When do you map? (Weekends, free time, in your working time?)
 I mostly map during my free time. I like to spend this time contributing to OpenStreetMap.

Do you enjoy mapping? Why?
I started my mapping journey in OpenStreetMap in 2012, to add an unmapped remote village to the map.  I learned to use editing tools such as ID editor and JOSM and actively contributed to mapping. Since then, I have found even greater enjoyment in mapping. The UN Mappers training program was a turning point for me, enabling me to both learn more and engage with other communities. OpenStreetMap is waking up the world to the power of geography, this science of integration, and has the framework for creating a better future. I have always been fascinated by maps and cartography. It is a great platform for the current generation

In which countries do you map the most?
I currently aim to contribute to mapping efforts in all countries, but my primary focus is on mapping in Sri Lanka, Japan, Sudan, and occasionally in other countries.


Rajendran Keerthana