Distributing 5,000 Paper Maps in Dhaka
Happy beginning of summer!
Sorry again for time between our updates but we are quickly learning that the work of building open infostructures in places like Dhaka takes time to ensure its success. We have been erring on the side of caution and working with our local partners to quietly let the word out in Dhaka since we were not sure how the official authorities - the local government and bus operators - would react. After a couple small public presentations by our local partner, we received word that the local government was supportive of our collective initiative.
Of course, distributing paper maps in a city as bustling and unpredictable as Dhaka was also not as easy as we first imagined. Several of our attempts were paused due to hartals (city-wide strikes), political violence, the factory collapse just outside the city in Savar (which you can take a bus to from Dhaka), and an impending cyclone which threatened but fortunately spared Dhaka.
Today, though, we are thrilled to announce that as we speak, those 5,000 maps that you helped sponsor are getting into the hands of locals in Dhaka (which means soon you will get your copy too). If you can’t wait, you can sign up to join our flock at www.urbanlaunchpad.org/alpha and download the digital copy as well as be a fan of our Facebook page, which is where we will announce our updates to our supporters in Bangladesh.
This is fortunately not the end of our updates - in fact, we hope it is just the beginning. We have been approached by local organizations to sponsor the second version of the map and are scheduled to return to Dhaka to join our growing flock there to create a map that this time will hopefully be up to 95% correct. We are also working on an exciting initiative in Dhaka that we hope to tell you more about when we can.
Until then, please enjoy the pictures, let us know what you think and thanks again for your encouragement and support!
on behalf of the Urban Launchpad team