More than 40 students volunteered to map Nepal, to help the agencies expedite their relief and rehabilitation efforts in Nepal. The mapathon was geared towards training the participants on how to map, and participate in the mapping efforts to digitize the geographic information of Nepal. Over 3200 points, including roads, buildings, and areas were mapped in the workshop.
The Lahore mapathon was a part of MapGive series all over the world, initiated by the U.S Department of State. The event was organized by the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore (USCGLahore) in collaboration with the Digital Marketing Pakistan™, Information Technology University (ITU) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The event was held at ITU, Lahore.
The students used open mapping technology, like OpenStreetMaps, to map the visible roads, building, areas, forests and waterways in different earthquake hit areas of Nepal. The training for mapping was provided by Usman Latif, the founder of the Digital Marketing Pakistan™.
“We should help the world, the way the world helped in Pakistan during massive floods in 2010”, said Usman Latif during the workshop. “Think of the over 8000 people who died and about the others who are struggling to get back to a normal life”, he added.
The event started with an introduction about MapGive by Benson Wilder from the U.S Department of State. Benson talked about the initiatives like MapGive by the State Department and how it is helping the countries around the world whenever it is needed. Usman walked the participants through the steps on creating maps and how to use OpenStreetMaps. From creating an account on OpenStreetMaps.org to selecting a task and mapping the features in the satellite imagery, participants were thoroughly taught about how to map. Officials from USCG Lahore, USAID and UKAID also participated in mapping Nepal. At the end, the participants were awarded with certificates of participation for successfully completing the training on how to map.