EcoMappers, the OpenStreetMap community of Rwanda, celebrated Open Data Day on March 9, 2024, with the participation of representatives from various organizations and students. The event’s theme centered around “Mapping Nyarugenge High-Risk Zone for Disaster Preparedness,” with the goal of generating open data to aid areas within the Nyarugenge District of Kigali City, Rwanda, in their disaster preparedness efforts. The event was organized and encompassed a range of activities designed not only to contribute to open data but also to enhance the knowledge of Youth and stakeholders, empowering them in decision-making processes.

The event also served as an occasion to commemorate Open Data Day and International Women’s Day, recognizing and celebrating the significant impact of women across Rwanda.  It aimed to provide training opportunities for young girls, equipping them with the skills to contribute to open data development. The emphasis was on elucidating the importance of open data for the advancement of various development initiatives, underscoring its pivotal role in fostering progress and resilience in communities.

By fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among diverse stakeholders, the event sought to foster a culture of data-driven decision-making and empower individuals, particularly Youths,  women and young girls, to actively engage in shaping the future through open data initiatives. Through these efforts, EcoMappers, OpenStreetMap community reaffirmed their commitment to leveraging data for positive social impact and sustainable development in Rwanda and beyond.

Event Outline:

Training Sessions:

  • Beginner Training: Introduction to ID Editor for contributing to Open Data development and Humanitarian Response. Participants signed up for OpenStreetMap.
  • Advanced Training: Usage of Java OpenStreetMap (JOSM) Editor for advanced mapping and contribution to Open Data development and Humanitarian Response.

Guest Speakers:

  • Mr. Ivan Buendía Gayton – Product Innovation Manager & Humaintain Advisor from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, discussing open data development, free software like QGIS, and the importance of community participation for driving open-source data and knowledge.
  • Ms. Hajar  El Ouafi from TomTom – Speaking about the necessity of women’s inclusion and diversity in open data development.
  • Mr. Esdras RWAYITARE – Emphasizing open data development and its importance, particularly in geospatial data for humanitarian response, focusing on Rwanda’s susceptibility to natural disasters.
  • Mr. Bernard Hakizimana – Geospatial Expert highlighting the significant contributions of open data development to the country’s development, with a special emphasis on youth participation, considering Rwanda’s high youth population.
  • Mapathon:
    • An intensive Mapping Party (Mapathon) lasting three hours, wherein participants contributed to open data projects on the HOT Tasking Manager.
    • Mapping Nyarugenge High-Risk Zone for Disaster Preparedness was the focus project, aimed at identifying high-risk zones in Rwanda, susceptible to disasters like flooding, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
    • Participants dedicated two hours to trace ground features, aiding stakeholders in utilizing the data effectively.

The celebration of Open Data Day by EcoMappers, the OpenStreetMap community of Rwanda, holds immense significance for both the present and future of our society. Through initiatives like mapping Nyarugenge High-Risk Zone for Disaster Preparedness, we underscore the unique importance of open data in addressing critical challenges such as disaster preparedness and response.

By generating and utilizing open data, stakeholders gain invaluable insights that empower informed decision-making processes, leading to more effective responses to societal needs. Also, by providing training opportunities to youth, particularly young girls, we invest in the next generation of leaders and innovators, equipping them with the skills to contribute meaningfully to open data development and sustainable progress.

The celebration of Open Data Day not only highlights the impact of data on stakeholder decision-making but also emphasizes its role in fostering community sustainability and resilience. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, we reinforce our commitment to leveraging open data for positive social impact and sustainable development in Rwanda and beyond.

In essence, Open Data Day serves as a reminder of the transformative power of data-driven initiatives and the collective effort required to harness this potential for the betterment of our communities. As we reflect on the successes of this celebration, let us reaffirm our dedication to promoting open data principles and advancing towards a more inclusive, transparent, and prosperous future for all.

About Open Data Day

Open Data Day (ODD) is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. Groups from many countries create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities.

As a way to increase the representation of different cultures, since 2023 we offer the opportunity for organisations to host an Open Data Day event on the best date within a one-week period. In 2024, a total of 287 events happened all over the world between March 2nd-8th, in 60+ countries using 15 different languages.

All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use.

In 2024, Open Data Day was also a part of the HOT OpenSummit ’23-24 initiative, a creative programme of global event collaborations that leverages experience, passion and connection to drive strong networks and collective action across the humanitarian open mapping movement

For more information, you can reach out to the Open Knowledge Foundation team by emailing You can also join the Open Data Day Google Group to ask for advice or share tips and get connected with others.