In crisis situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, avalanches and health epidemics, having up-to-date digital maps can make a huge difference in the success of disaster relief efforts. Sadly many parts of the world are still poorly mapped, hampering relief when it’s desperately needed.
Now platforms like OpenStreetMap allow literally anyone with an internet connection or a mobile device to help out. Code for BTV, in conjunction with the UVM Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, is hosting a training event during National Open Data Day on March 3 from 12-4pm at two locations: The Generator (40 Sears Lane in Burlington) and the UVM Aiken Lab, Room 101, Aiken Building, UVM. Both sites are wheelchair accessible.
This is an easy way for anyone to make a meaningful contribution to any disaster worldwide. In about 30 minutes we'll walk new participants through everything needed to help improve community map data around the world as well as right here in Vermont. And if you want to go deeper, introduce yourselves to some of our GIS (Geographic Information Systems) pros and discuss some interesting ways that our community can take these efforts even further.
Anyone can participate, so please bring a friend. No previous experience required - bring a laptop or use a machine at the labs. Just rsvp at our meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/CodeForBTV/events/247134472
Crisis Mapping 1-2-3!
1) Create an Open Street Map account
Simply visit www.openstreetmap.org and register as a new user if you haven't done so already.
2) Pick a task from the Humanitarian Mapping Task Manager
Go to tasks.hotosm.org and search for a project to begin mapping. This event is going to focus on the Lake Chad Region, but there are always dozens of projects available to choose from.
3) Start mapping!
The most basic mapping will be putting buildings and roads on the map. This is the most vital information for relief organizations, and the foundation of most mapping information. Just scroll down the project page and click the orange "MAP" button. You can select a specific region, or you can let the site assign you a random region. And you're off!
Tutorials & Info
The Humanitarian OSM Team has some excellent 2-minute tutorials that are good refreshers on how to add to the map.