A tale of a mapper from Uganda.

Picked this story from the OpenStreetMap IRC room – it’s is this very well written blog post by Rich about his thorny experiences in Uganda collecting data for OpenStreetMap.

http://blog.wonderfullyrich.net/2010/01/uganda-treats-you-right

At the time I thought it was ludicrous that they would suspect a white umuzungu as a terrorist, especially one with such as bad cover story that it took hours to explain what openstreetmaps was, that it was a volunteer activity, and that my reasons for doing this was primarily altruistic and maybe I can make money off selling it later

In keeping with some earlier posts:
Indian Nokia map collectors imprisioned
Mapping as a Terrorist Activity

mapping is terrorist activity

Get ready to be followed and spied upon for creating a free map.

Superintendent Brett Lovegrove Head of Counter Terrorism for the City of London Police at the “Project Griffin Conference” in Edinburgh, talked about “hostile reconnaissance” to help spot potential targets:

“This means noticing people who suddenly start appearing at a café and perhaps draw maps of the surrounding area.

Understandably, this is bad news, as we love going to cafes and making maps! Here’s a photo of us at a Starbucks during Leeds OpenStreetMap mapping weekend:

Terrorists at Leeds Mapping Party
image copyright kevin whitworth

Kyle Gordon from Openstreetmap has penned an open email in response to Lovegrove’s advice.

We are in danger of being arrested and unfairly held for a 4 weeks (possibly 6 or 7…) under anti-terrorism laws, just by doing our hobby