Open Street Map (OSM) in Bangladesh

The movement of OpenStreetMap started in Bangladesh in 2010 by Mr. Ishtiaque Ahmed. It began with the benevolent help of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. A small active group of volunteers started working to make it a success in Bangladesh, and the participation is growing day by day. I have been involved in this project since March, 20111, and after departure of Mr. Ishtiaque for his PhD degree at Cornell, I led the development of OpenStreetMap and related research in Bangladesh. I left the team for my PhD in 2013, but have been in touch with different people working for OSM in Bangladesh.

OSM in Bangladesh

Mapping the country: Since the inception of OSM community in Bangladesh, a small group of active participants are working voluntarily to make OSM a success here. We have made numerous training camps. A few projects have been completed, and some other projects are in progress.

Location Based Intelligent Advertisement using OSM

This application helps the registered shop owners to introduce the offers to a nearby consumer and let him know what is around with audio and map support. This application also aids visually impaired people in shopping. We also focus on the benefits of using an open source map over a commercial one.


Location Based Advertisement (LBA) has become today's most personal and direct marketing channel that provides customers more relevant information, personalized message, targeted offer about products and allows marketers to reach a specific target audience by creating campaigns. Location-based advertising (LBA) is a new form of advertising that integrates mobile advertising with location based services (LBS) to provide location-specific advertisements on consumer's devices. With the help of LBA, it is possible to target population at the right place and the right time. By taking advantage of a consumer's real world position, location based advertising delivers relevant ads for products and services. In this paper the features and usability of the application, “Location Based Intelligent Advertisement using OpenStreetMap” are explained and how this type of OpenStreetMap (OSM) based LBS application is effective for Bangladesh is discussed. The application helps the registered shop owners to introduce the offers to a consumer who is in close proximity to make them take those final steps to enter his store and let the consumer know what is around him with audio and map support. Additional feature of this application is for visually impaired people so that they can shop easily. We also focus on the benefits of using an open source map over a commercial one in this respect.
OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a world-wide campaign for developing open source maps. The prospect of such open source maps is very bright in commercial, educational and political points of views. With the burgeoning growth of cellular phones, the necessity of location based services is increasing day by day. Starting from the 3G mobile applications to cheap SMS-based services, we need maps everywhere. Various applications of digital maps are also seen in different national and international issues. Hence, OSM has been growing at a rapid pace in different parts of the world. However, it is a bit challenging task to develop this sort of voluntary efforts in the developing third world countries like Bangladesh. In this paper, we discuss the present conditions and initiatives taken for making OpenStreetMap a success in Bangladesh. Then we discuss about the various sectors that can be directly benefitted by the use of OSM in the context of developing countries like us and finally, we present the shortcomings and challenges that we face while developing OSM for this region.

Our Team

Me with my colleagues and students!


Hasan Shahid Ferdous


Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed


Md. Rashidujjaman Rifat


Shubrami Moutushy


Sohaila Binte Ridwan