Mapper of the month: Racky (Ivory Coast)

- Pierre Parmentier


His homepage and his contribution page.

Hello, Racky. Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, I’m Ly Racky from the OpenStreetMap community in Côte d’Ivoire. I live in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. I’m a telecom engineer by training and I’m passionate about digital mapping.
How and when did you get to know OpenStreetMap?
I discovered OpenStreetMap in 2013 through some classmates, with whom we then founded the OpenStreetMap community in Côte d’Ivoire. From then on, my first contributions and many social actions to improve the living conditions of the people started with the panacea of free digital mapping.
How do you use OpenStreetMap?
Today, OpenStreetMap is part of my daily life. I use it for my travels, my contributions, my maps. The computer-smartphone combination is my ally for the execution of all my tasks.
How do you map? In which area ?
On the one hand, I usually use my smartphone for data collection in the field. On the other hand, the computer is my preferred tool for data editing. I don’t have any particular area, I map in several African and European cities
What are you mapping? Do you have a specialisation ?
I would say no, my priority is the mapping of all points of interest that can help a community, researchers, students and also other stakeholders.
What is your greatest achievement as a contributor?
Collecting data on an entire city in western Côte d’Ivoire. And that was in a fortnight. I was there with a partner. It was a Herculean task. But, thanks to the passion for cartography and self-sacrifice, we managed to achieve the objective.
Why are you mapping? What motivates you?
To help popularise OpenStreetMap and to let our communities know that a free and open source solution exists for maps, data… And to participate in the development of the OpenStreetMap community.
What are your ideas about expanding the OpenStreetMap community??
In my humble opinion, the presentation and training workshops are still the key to attracting more people and making the community known.
Do you have contacts with other cartographers?
Yes, with members of my OpenStreetMap Côte d’Ivoire, Africa community and some cartographers around the world. They are great people and they keep the mapping bug alive in our countries.
What is in your view the greatest strength of OpenStreetMap??
For me, the free use remains the foundation of OpenStreetMap and its contributors
What are the largest challenges for OpenStreetMap?
Building awareness, having more visibility like Google and not skimping on updates.
How do you stay on top of news about OpenStreetMap?
My reference is weeklyOSM for information on the OSM world. I also participate in webinars on OSM technologies and finally the OpenStreetMap lists.
To conclude, is there anything else you want to share with the readers?
I would first like to say a big THANK YOU for this interview and then invite all the new and old contributors to take as their leitmotiv passion, patience and perseverance during this exciting adventure which is the mapping of our territories.

Thank you, Racky, for this interview.

Translated from French by Pierre Parmentier with