The UN Mapper of the month - September 2022
Bartosz Racławski, “ptarac” in OSM, is our Mapper of the Month of September. Bartosz is a Polish forester, a passionate naturalist and ornithologist who participates both in national and international Openstreetmap humanitarian projects. This month, we honor him not only for the quantity of his contribution, but also for the high quality of them. Bartosz is furthermore an active participant in our Discord server!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an OSM editor from Poland, a forester by education, and a passionate naturalist and ornithologist. I work in the State Forests. Due to the nature of my work and interests, I spend a lot of time in the field so I know how important it is to have access to up-to-date maps.
How did you know about UN Mappers?
In April, I found information about the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) online, probably on Facebook, and found the HOT Tasking Manager. This is where I found the UN Mappers initiative. One of the places where humanitarian action is needed is Africa. UN peacekeeping missions in Africa are worth focusing on my activities in OSM outside my country. Another aspect of participating in UN Mappers projects is knowing where to map. I try not to be just staring at satellite imagery and "clicking" on a task. In the beginning, I look at photos from a given area on the Internet. I am checking the UN mission website which will use my mapping. This often helps to draw conclusions from what I see in the satellite imagery in the editor.
When do you map?
In my spare time. Apart from the OpenStreetMap edition, I also practice Aikido, hiking, climbing via Ferrata, riding a bicycle, and pack rafting.
Do you enjoy mapping? Why?
Before I used to be a user of the paper map, and until now I still like its value and use it as a backup source. Nowadays, I mostly use electronic maps. I started my adventure with GIS almost 20 years ago in college. I gained knowledge and skills in the field of geoinformation during my professional work, training, courses, and postgraduate studies at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences.
I have been actively mapping in the OpenStreetMap projects since February this year. Although I set up an account on OSM in mid-July 2020, JOSM scared me then. Now I am not so afraid of JOSM! OSM offers a wide range of information that is useful in providing help and in emergencies. In this area, I work at the national level in the OpenStreetMap Polska Association, among others in the AED mapping project in Poland (https://aed.openstreetmap.org.pl). I actively supported the creation of a map for war refugees from Ukraine at https://dopomoha.pl.
In which countries do you map the most?
I most often map in Poland. Recently, I have mapped in Central Africa and Somalia.