Mapathon Malawi @ Cmotions

21 November 2017

Article written by Wouter van Gils, Senior Consultant

Both for our clients and in our day-to-day lives, it is entirely normal for us to use detailed geographical maps. Whether we want to show a potential cultural visit to municipalities, find directions to a cashpoint, calculate the ideal walking routes for a door-to-door visit or to plot the nationwide origin of telephone calls onto a map: it is easy to do and a lot of geographical data is freely available.

However, in some parts of the world geographical information is unlikely to be available even though it is in tremendous demand. Local relief workers can work far more effectively with access to good maps. Good maps mean relief workers can see exactly where the affected villages and houses are located and whether they can be reached by road.


Missing Maps

At Cmotions we host regular events entitled “Who Cares?” where we work for social causes. Using Missing Maps we can do our bit in mapping an area that is urgently in need. Missing Maps is an initiative by the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières. Volunteers with no prior knowledge come along to a Missing Maps Mapathon and make maps for charity. Using recent satellite images, volunteers can fill in roads, buildings and rivers. These maps are used by doctors and relief organisations in developing countries to get an overview, to find their way around and for data analysis.


Cmotions held a Mapathon on Friday 17 November 2017. During the Mapathon, 15 colleagues from Cmotions joined forces to map an area of Malawi. The maps mean Malaria can be tackled more effectively in areas because relief workers can clearly see where there are houses and how they can get to them. Koos Krijnders, a retired cartographer and a volunteer for the Red Cross, led us through the session. Over the course of a few hours, we added thousands of buildings and miles of roads and footpaths to the map of Malawi. Local relief workers verify and enhance the input to make more and more people accessible for the treatment and prevention of Malaria.

If you would like to host a Mapathon too or provide your own help in mapping areas, ? Register on Openstreetmaps, check the current projects in need of help or find inspiration in local initiatives.

Finally: we all spend a lot of time on our smartphones. Did you know you can make a contribution with just a few minutes each day on your smartphone? Download the Mapswipe app which shows whether there are buildings to be seen on recent satellite images with a simple swipe or click.



Do you want to know more about this subject? Please contact Wouter van Gils using the details below

Wouter van Gils, Senior Consultant

+31 6 15 46 99 17

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