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thinkWhere Helps Humanitarian Missing Maps Project

Brian Baglow

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thinkWhere Missing Maps

Scottish geolocation technology company thinkWhere is supporting the global humanitarian Missing Maps project by hosting a series of mapathons in its new Stirling HQ.

The Missing Maps project is an open, collaborative project to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, to enable international and local NGOs and individuals to respond more effectively to crises affecting those regions.

On June 13 2018, thinkWhere, Scotland’s geographical information specialist, will bring together around 50 local community volunteers, including members of the thinkWhere team, to work on a Missing Maps data capture project, the fourth time the company as hosted an event of this kind.

Open Source Mapping

The Missing Maps data capture process involves a task area being selected from a list of ‘active’ Missing Maps projects.  Using aerial photographs as contextual information, mapping volunteers then digitally trace road networks, buildings and other landmarks to create map features within their designated project area.

The map features become the detailed content of OpenStreetMap which provides worldwide coverage digital mapping, is free-to-use and highly accessible. It provides a common source of information, eases collaboration, and gives a much clearer understanding of where critical infrastructure and roads are located in affected areas.  Globally, there are now in excess of 120,000 mappers involved in capturing and editing OpenStreetMap data.

To date, Missing Map volunteers and events, such as the ones hosted by thinkWhere, have seen more than 12 million edits to OpenStreetMap and has put around 7.5 million people on the map.  Data is captured, edited and validated online using the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Tasking Manager, a cloud-based data management tool recently redeveloped by thinkWhere.

Alan Moore, CEO of thinkWhere, told DIGIT:

“We are committed to building, growing and supporting a Missing Maps community in the Stirling area to help support this extremely important humanitarian cause.

“In collaboration with our enthusiastic local volunteers, we really can, and will make a difference to the lives of others across the globe. In addition to the humanitarian and networking aspects of a mapathon, they are also extremely educational.

“At events hosted by thinkWhere, we invite guest speakers involved in humanitarian work, to talk about their own real-life experiences to help demonstrate the significance of the work being done by our local mapping volunteers.”

If you would like to participate in the thinkWhere Missing Maps event, (free) registration is now open.

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Brian Baglow

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