The UN Mapper of the month - January 2023
Ronald Ernesto Ontiveros Capurata, Ronald Ontiveros in OSM, is our mapper of the month for January. Ronald, a researcher in remote sensing and GIS based in Mexico, recently participated in the UN Maps workshop held at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Since then, he has continued to contribute, trying to transmit his passion among his students and collaborators.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a researcher in remote sensing and GIS, with a focus on digital image processing and spatial information analysis for natural resources management. As an agricultural engineer with a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering and Integrated Water Use, I am passionate about cartography and GIS, and I enjoy sharing my passion with my students in my courses. I work for the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) at the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) and currently reside in Mexico.
How did you know about UN Mappers?
A couple of months ago, I came across an announcement on LinkedIn about the UN Maps and OSM workshop at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), so I signed up for the course. Through this course, I learned about the work of UN Mappers and their efforts to use collaborative mapping for peace and humanitarian missions. I decided to join the community and contribute as much as I could.
You participated in the training organized by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain) and UN Mappers. How did it seem to you? Which topic did you find the most interesting?
I attended the workshop virtually over the course of four days. The workshop's content was beneficial because it addressed innovative topics and practical tools.
I found the use of online tools like JOSM and Every Door for real-time mapping to be fascinating. I believe that free tools like these can be a great asset for noble causes like the one of UN Mappers, as they allow more people to contribute to mapping efforts in areas where updated information is needed, such as Africa.
When do you map?
I do it after my workday and try to do it daily.
Do you enjoy mapping? Why?
Mapping for UN Mappers allows me to contribute to a subject I am passionate about: geographic information. Knowing that the data created is used by UN Peacekeeping missions makes the work more attractive.
On the other hand, it is an opportunity to "know" other places through maps. At the same time, we work with massive collaboration tools and have the opportunity to meet other community members. I hope to spread this motivation to my colleagues and students to participate in initiatives like UN Mappers, which allow us to contribute from anywhere in the world, regardless of our location.
In which countries do you map the most?
So far, I have had the opportunity to map in Somalia and hope to be able to support mapping in other countries.