Booster Grant: A Program to Increase the Utilization of OpenStreetMap Data by Local Communities in Indonesia
There are many things to implement free and open spatial data, such as disaster response mapping to evacuate the victims, road network mapping for transportation systems, and so forth. However, those can only be implemented when spatial data is available. Participatory mapping, as a collaborative map-making process utilizing OpenStreetMap as a freely accessible platform, involves the active involvement of government, scholars, and communities as key stakeholders. This approach is essential for collectively identifying and mapping geographic features, especially in disaster-prone regions, where sharing spatial data has historically posed significant challenges in Indonesia. The goal of participatory mapping is to generate and share openly available spatial data that can be accessed by the public, addressing the need for collective and accessible information in these areas. From the beginning of 2022 until the end of March 2022, Indonesia witnessed over 1000 natural disasters, resulting in approximately 1.5 million individuals affected, as reported by the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) of Indonesia.
To address the demand for comprehensive, up-to-date, and accurate spatial data, specifically in disaster-prone areas, the non-profit organizations Perkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia (POI) and Open Mapping Hub Asia-Pacific (OMHAP) have collaborated through the Booster Grant program. This program aims to financially support local communities in Indonesia who are and have currently engaged in mapping activities using OpenStreetMap data. With the aid of this financial support, it is expected that the visibility of the mapping project will enhance people’s understanding of the benefits of free and open technology. Consequently, this increased awareness will encourage more people to engage in mapping activities, contributing to the production and utilization of spatial data.
Starting from the Community Meet Up 2022 held on 5 November 2022, with 60 attendees, including scholars, local communities, and disability groups; POI officially announced and extended invitations to the participants to join the Booster Grant program. In addition to introducing the Booster Grant program, the event featured six speakers who covered three main topics: sustainable communities, toponym standardization, and various OpenStreetMap (OSM) practices adopted by local communities.
Through this program, POI and OMHAP engaged the local communities to collaborate in utilizing OpenStreetMap data in various areas, including disaster resilience and climate change, public health, natural resource management, sustainable cities and communities, and capacity building and inclusive mapping. Moreover, the local communities interested in participating in the Booster Grant were required to submit a proposal outlining their planned activities and budget.
On 10 January 2023, POI and OMHAP jointly announced the selection of seven local communities who would be awarded a grant of Rp. 30,000,000 each. Additionally, the following local communities have been chosen to execute their ideas through the Booster Grant program.
- SpaceTime UGM: Improving the Quality and Utilization of WebGIS-based OpenStreetMap Data in Updating Information on Routes and Facilities for Trans Jogja Bus Stops
- Wana Karya Lestari: Participatory Mapping for Special Interest Tourism Development – Mount Slamet Hiking Trail via Baturraden (Baturraden Track)
- Barakati Indonesia: Mapping with OpenStreetMap in the Miangas Island Region as Indonesia’s Outer Islands and Youth Capacity Development in Community Service Missions
- TERAS Community: Development of Women Farmer Groups based on Agricultural Management Land Maps
- Niskala Institute: Preservation of Ciamis Regency Cultural Heritage through OpenStreetMap Data
- GeoSDS: Mapping of Ambulance Emergencey Response Time in DKI Jakarta
- Maluku Peduli: OpenStreetMap Training and Mapping for Disaster Response Communities in Maluku
During the initiative, POI played a crucial role as the facilitator, offering continuous guidance and support to the seven chosen communities. POI achieved this by conducting field visits for each team, ensuring a smooth implementation of their activities. The implementation phase of the Booster Grant program occurred from January to March 2023. Despite encountering various challenges, such as a lack of reliable data sources and infrastructure to integrate data into the OpenStreetMap system, difficulties in community engagement and collaboration, and the need to maintain accuracy in mapped data for long-term use and integration into local disaster management plans, all the teams managed to overcome these hurdles. The sequence of activities then concluded in an online event named the “Closing Ceremony Booster Grant 2022,” where each team showcased their final outcomes.
The successful implementation of the Booster Grant program resulted in the realization of innovative mapping initiatives by the seven recipient communities. These projects yielded significant outputs, including the mapping of 268 buildings on Miangas Island, 517 buildings around Mount Slamet, and 2,486 buildings in Maluku by Barakati Indonesia, Wana Karya Lestari, and Maluku Peduli, respectively. SpaceTime UGM mapped 370 bus stops in Yogyakarta, creating a WebGIS for bus route mapping. GeoSDS mapped 71 ambulance services in Jakarta, resulting in a WebGIS and map analysis for ambulance service area coverage. Wana Karya Lestari and Maluku Peduli successfully mapped 9.85 km and 12 km of roads around Mount Slamet and Maluku, respectively. In total, 22 maps were produced, including two maps of Miangas Island (Barakati Indonesia), five maps of ambulance service area coverage (GeoSDS), one map of distribution farmland (TERAS Community), ten maps of infrastructure in Tehoru district (Maluku Peduli), and four maps of heritage sites distribution (Niskala Institute). These accomplishments demonstrate the local communities’ ability to generate spatial data that can serve as valuable planning and decision-making tools, particularly in the context of disaster mitigation, thereby benefiting the local community.
These activities are expected to mark the inception of broader adoption and application of technology and spatial data for the betterment of societies, particularly building a resilient society in disaster. As a local OpenStreetMap community in Indonesia, POI remains dedicated to actively promoting the unrestricted use of OpenStreetMap data. POI will continue to actively support the capacity-building efforts of all societal members in generating high-quality data through participatory mapping.