The week of November 16-20 is GIS week, and the Central University Libraries new Initiative in Spatial Literacy is sponsoring a Missing Maps Mapathon– humanitarian mapping party! It will take place on Tuesday, November 17th, 3pm-6pm in the Fondren Library Center, and you are invited to attend!  

If you haven’t heard of  Missing Maps, it is a joint effort between the American & British Red Cross, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, and Doctors Without Borders. The objective is to map the most vulnerable places in the world so that NGOs & communities can use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting the areas.  Missing Maps takes an open, collaborative, and community-based approach. It is powered by the enthusiasm and hard work of digital/remote volunteers both at home and abroad.

Missing Maps celebrates its one-year anniversary in November. To date over 3,500 volunteers have attended mapathons in 11 countries, making 12 million edits to OSM and putting 7.5 million people on the map. We at SMU can make a difference in another corner of the world.  Missing Maps is focusing this fall on vulnerable areas in Ecuador, Haiti, Kenya, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, directly supporting local mapping efforts on the ground.

We’ll have a big room in Fondren Library with extension cords, snacks, people available to help set up and train, and good enthusiasm! We’ll have a handful of laptops, but anyone who can bring their own laptop (and a mouse) is encouraged to do so.   Anyone with any GIS experience is also invited to help us train the beginner mappers! Learn how to contribute Missing Maps. 

The mapathon is being hosted by Jessie Zarazaga, program director for the Initiative for Spatial Literacy, and Sylvia George-Williams, Science and Engineering Librarian.

mapathonFlyer


Thanks to Jessie Zarazaga, CUL GIS Specialist and adjunct professor in the Lyle School of Engineering, for this guest blogpost!

Featured image by Missing Maps.