On Thursday July 26, students from Emory’s Goizueta Business School participated in a Missing Maps Map-a-thon to put the Ayeyarwady Delta, an area in Myanmar, on the map.
Missing Maps, founded by the American Red Cross, the British Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the Humanitarian Open Street Map Team, aims to reduce risk, help speed up recovery efforts and ultimately foster community resiliency by mapping out vulnerable areas throughout the world—before a large-scale emergency or disaster occurs. The project plans to map 20 million people, word-wide, and has already seen success in Bangladesh, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
The work is done in three steps:
Step 1: Volunteer mappers map out designated areas using satellite imagery, laptop computers and Open Street Map software.
Step 2: Volunteers work in local communities to add detail, like street names and hospital names.
Step 3: Organizations and educational institutions around the globe plan risk-reduction projects and help advocate for solutions to better access remote areas.
Emory student, Charlotte Higgins Iati, 21, commented on why she wanted to help as a volunteer, stating, “This is a great opportunity to use a skill I am learning about and by using technology not everyone has access to, I can help an area of the world that otherwise could not be reached.” She went on to say, “I would love to be involved with the Red Cross after graduation and use data analytics to help others.”
Thursday’s Map-a-thon was hosted by Red Cross Georgia Region Tiffany Circle member, Ginger Baxter and held in collaboration with FedEx Corporation. Members of the FedEx team, including Donald W. Comer, Staff Vice President Operations Analysis, were present and joined in, right along-side Emory students, to put Myanmar on the map.
Once an area has been mapped, it becomes part of the Open Street Map database and is immediately available to anyone in the world. If you’d like to learn more information about holding a Missing Maps Map-a-thon in Georgia, please contact Kelly Sharon by e-mail at Kelly.Sharon@RedCross.org.