Mapping with high resolution satellite data has become important for strengthening vulnerable places around the world affected by epidemics, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty or environmental problems and so on. Maps with detailed information allows governments to take better policy decisions and aid organisations to offer better assistance to areas in need. It helps people to understand their areas better and also provide in-depth information to country governments to make informed decisions as and when the need arises.
UNITAR-UNOSAT together with the University of the South Pacific (USP) is organizing a mapathon in Fiji to engage academia in strengthening their capacity and awareness raising in line with the Common Sensing project’s capacity development and sustainability action plans.
- To conduct a training of trainers (ToT) for local mapping champions, equipping them to operate future mapathons.
- To provide opportunity to map out unmapped infrastructures and other critical information to support the resilience paradigm in ensuring that all vulnerable places and communities are well mapped thereby ensuring benefits towards disaster preparedness.
Participants will get practical experience in data capturing with Open Source tools that will raise awareness on the challenges of emergency operators and isolated communities fostering socially engaged citizens. The mapathon will help update the existing base maps of towns, cities and rural communities in Fiji.
The trained champions will become the Training of Trainers (ToT) who can help facilitate future mapathon events not only in Fiji but also across other Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) ensuring that updated information is expanded and shared through collaborative mapping efforts.
A Training of Trainer Workshop will be conducted on 26-August to familiarize the participants to create and manage a mapathon as well as to validate OpenStreet Map (OSM) data. The ToT workshop will follow the structure as given below:
- Understand key components before conducting the mapathon
- Understand key components on the day of mapathon
- Understand key components after conducting the mapathon
- Validate data using tasking manager
- Validate data using iD and JOSM
Through this mapathon, a group of ninety participants including students, government stakeholders and community mapping enthusiasts will fill the missing areas in OSM with missing buildings, infrastructure and waterways generating rich baseline data that will benefit all tools and models presently developed under the Common Sensing project including the INFORM subnational index and Exposure Database development.
A Desktop verification and field validation exercise is included in the mapathon and future field surveys will be streamlined into USP’s Geospatial courses, encouraging students to contribute to the much-needed data and validation for OpenStreetMap for humanitarian projects.