Don’t know how to get to that trendy new café in town? Don’t worry, I’ve got my trusty Google Maps.
Without digital mapping, our generation finds it difficult to function on a daily basis – from work meetings to social commitments, it helps you find your way. Now, imagine what happens when you need to navigate through a disaster-struck region in a country with no tools or data to navigate through the landscape. Google Maps isn’t always there to save the day [And let’s face it, we all take Google Maps for granted.]
What if I told you that with a computer and an internet connection, you could help search & rescue operations in the poorest of nations, thousands of miles away? As unbelievable as it sounds, it really is possible through the Missing Maps Project.
Putting it simply, the objective is to enable volunteers to map the most vulnerable places in the world, so that NGO’s and individuals responding to a crisis have access to vital data that helps them traverse through the region. There are three steps to the process:
- Remote Volunteers trace satellite imagery into the maps.
- Community Volunteers add local details such as street names and landmarks.
- Humanitarian organizations use this data to plan a more effective response.
The project was founded by the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Humanitarian OpenStreet Map Team, and Doctors without Borders.
You can either donate money to the project, or donate your time by volunteering – the choice is yours.
Vulnerable and at-risk communities around the world are not on the map, literally and figuratively. Maps help response teams move quicker and more effectively. They identify areas with a higher population density, and can plan the quickest route for providing aid.
[Special Mention to the folks at Arup UAE . I managed to catch them engrossed in the process, and they introduced me to the Missing Maps Project. Great work, folks.]
If you’re looking to contribute and are willing to put in some time on the weekends, then B-Change highly recommends you visit the Missing Maps website.
Technology never fails to amaze and help.