First mapathon of the term, 14/10/2016

Join us in a mapathon to help us put the world’s most vulnerable people on the map. Our first event of the autumn term will take place on Friday 14th October, 2016, 1pm – 2pm in the Pyramid Room (K4U.04), King’s Building.

Across the Global South, many millions of people are vulnerable to natural disasters, health and development issues. Yet many of these towns and villages remain unmapped. This makes it difficult for first responders, governments and NGOs to reach these people and understand the spatial dimensions of problems they face.

It’s been a pretty wild week in the world of hazards, with Hurricane Matthew causing major damage across the Caribbean (plus a volcanic eruption in Japan and landslides in Taiwan). Consequently, the digital community of mappers has been very busy working on tasks in the Humanitarian Open Street Map tasking manager – with 1,000 mappers adding 180,000 buildings to Open Street Map in the last few days alone! With this in mind, it’s quite hard to know exactly what we will be mapping on Friday, as new tasks are being created and completed at quite a pace!

If maps of Hurricane Matthew damage in Haiti are still required, we will contribute to this task. However, other hazards are never too far away, so if this task is complete, we will work on mapping to help preparedness in Malawi. Malawi is one of the world’s least developed countries, which also experiences a range of natural hazards (such as earthquakes and floods) and humanitarian issues such as epidemics. By creating richer maps of the roads and buildings in Malawi, this will help humanitarian organisations, governments and scientists better understand and address these issues.

This is a great way to learn some basic GIS skills whilst catching up with friends over coffee and donuts. For more advanced mappers, this might give you ideas for research projects based on crowdsourced data or FOSS software. Either way, the KCL Humanitarian Mappers Team are on hand to help! Join us on Friday 14th October, 1pm – 2pm in the Pyramid Room. Bring your laptop and lunch. All are welcome.

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