Last Mapathon coming up!

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We’re going to miss you Jo!

It was so great to see the turnout at last week’s mapathon!

We mapped the inhabited areas and visible infrastructures in the villages in the DRC-Uganda border area in response to the 10th Ebola outbreak in the DRC in August 2018. (Project #5259 – 2018 Ebola, Mwenda, Nord-Kivu, DRC).

Our final mapathon of the 2018/19 academic year will take place on the 20th of March from 3-4pm at Bush House NE 6.05. We hope to see you there!

New term, new Mapathon! – February 2018

IMG_20190206_150618One month into the new term, we had a mapathon in the Geography Department this week! This time we used Amnesty International’s Decoder platform. Our project was looking through satellite imagery of Raqqa, Syria and identifying buildings to narrow down the windows of damage when they were destroyed.

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Check out Amnesty International’s website to find out more about the work they are doing and why they have chosen to track strikes in Raqqa.

Join us in our next marathon on 27th February 2019 that will take place from 3-4pm at Bush House NE 6.05.

 

Missing Maps Mapathon – November 2018

We had a great night last week at the Missing Maps mapathon that we hosted in the newly refurbished Bush House Exchange Space at King’s.

We had around 120 people from across London, from MSF, the Red Cross and many more.

Enthused with energy from the Missing Maps Mapathon, we then had a second mapathon in the Geography Department this week! This time we were mapping to help end FGM in Tanzania. Check out Crowd to Map Tanzania’s WordPress Site to find out more about the work they are doing to #endFGM.

Next Mapathon! 9th March 2018

Join us in a mapathon to help us put the world’s most vulnerable people on the map. Our next event will take place on Friday 9th March, 2018, 12.30 – 1.30pm in Room K4.32 of the 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.

We’ve not yet chosen a location or post-disaster region to map in this event. But as you can see from the Humanitarian Open Street Map tasking manager there are multiple tasks ongoing and we might contribute to one of those. But if you have an idea for a region you think is important to map, drop us a line to let us know and maybe we can investigate.

Mapathons are a great way to learn some basic GIS skills whilst catching up with friends. 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 9th March, 12.30 – 1.30pm in K4.32. All are welcome.

Missing Maps Mapathon – 3rd October 2017 (#3624 – Missing Maps: Malakal, South Sudan)

Well, it’s been a busy old month here at King’s, and we’ve not had time to update you on the amazing Mapathon we hosted back at the start of the month!

We had over 150 people register for the event, ranging from new mappers to some well known faces. We had mappers, validators and a JOSM training session… and of course. copious amounts of pizza!!

It was a great night, with an amazing atmosphere and some great pop-up talks from MSF UK, the Tanzanian Development Trust, Red Cross, experts, non-experts, people who were new or who wanted to share ideas, and some of the King’s staff too!

Images: Aga, Celine and Jo

#3624 – Missing Maps: Malakal, South Sudan:

The Missing Maps Mapathon on the 3rd October, centred on Malakal, South Sudan. We were mapping this area as recent insecurity has resulted in population movement; creating lots of new dwellings, with others disappearing. Missing Maps wanted to update existing maps and consolidate the road network in order to make it easier locate populations.

The clashes that started in Juba on July 2016 and spread to other areas of the country opened a new chapter in the protracted war that has affected the Republic of South Sudan since December 2013. The actual political status of the country is based on a weak and volatile peace process and political situation at National level with still unpredictable consequences for the near future. This deterioration of the context through the year has worsened the deep humanitarian crisis that has been affecting the South Sudanese population.

In Malakal operational area, Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues being the only actor able to provide quality secondary level (including severe malnutrition) and access to critical services such as Kala Azar, TB, HIV. In addition, MSF is the actor with longer experience responding to medical humanitarian emergencies in the area and with the proper levels of acceptance and expertise to continue doing it in increasing tense environments.

Results:

Somewhere near to the end of the night we were on around 70% complete, with 10% validated.

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A proportion of the mappers made it to the pub to continue discussion, make friends and generally have a relax.

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On checking back today, we are now on 99% complete with 11% validated thanks to the ongoing contributions of the mappers.

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New year, new Missing Maps Mapathon!

King’s will be hosting the next London Missing Maps Mapathon on the 3rd October 2017!! Join us this Mapathon to help us put the world’s most vulnerable people on the map.

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.

This event will take place on Tuesday 3rd October, 2017, 6pm – 9pm in the Geography Department on the 4th floor of the Strand Building – details of the mapping task and booking TBC – watch this space!!

Thamesplastic Mapathon, 18/01/2017

Plastic is one of the most notable traces of contemporary society. Its ubiquity in our daily lives, from toothpaste micro-beads to shopping bags, makes it also the culprit of a large portion of environmental pollution.

Given its high buoyancy -among other factors- plastic debris can quickly and easily accumulate in channels and rivers, eventually leading to the sea. Water bodies present in proximity of urban areas are particularly prone to experience such processes, and the Thames river is no exception.

To answer this pressing socio-ecological issue a comprehensive research project Thames Memory & the Exploration of Future Dust is currently being led by King’s College London Departments of Geography, Chemistry, Informatics in tandem with Thames21 and the Thames Estuary Partnership. Such project will result in a large temporary art installation created by artist Maria Arceo with the tide of plastic litter collected from Thames’s shoreline; a concrete testament exposing the magnitude of the problem.

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To support Maria’s effort, and in the hope of one day experiencing a cleaner Thames, the KCL Humanitarian Mappers team has gladly hosted an ad hoc mapathon on February the 7th to raise awareness on such issue.

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During the night of mapping & pizza, more than 40 volunteers traced onto OpenStreetMap the outline of Thames’s tidal shores taken from satellite imagery.
Throughout the evening there have been talks from a range of experts about the creative and scientific aspects of the project, ranging from KCL Geography’s own Dr. Michael Chadwick
to members of partners organisations Thames 21 and the Thames Estuary Partnership.

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Throughout the event, novel mappers not only have had the chance to strengthen their GIS skills by contributing to an Open-Source initiative (OpenStreetMap); but furthermore have produced a richer map of the Thames beaches that will help KCL artist in residence Maria to identify where she can collect waste plastics in her year long campaign to collect rubbish along the entire tidal Thames. All in all, not a bad result for a single evening of mapping!

And what about you?  The KCL Humanitarian Mappers team is waiting you at the next event. As always, bring a laptop along (and a computer mouse!). We’ll provide pizza and drinks, and a good excuse to map. Beginners most welcome!

Faith, James and Michele