We are happy to announce the official membership of the GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University with the disastermappers heidelberg in the Missing Maps Project. The objective of the Missing Maps Project is to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, in order that international and local NGOs and individuals can use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting the areas. Also it aims at supporting OpenStreetMap, specifically the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), in developing technologies, skills, workflows, and communities.
The humanitarian mapping project is an open collaboration founded by Humanitarian OSM Team (HOT), Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), American Red Cross and the British Red Cross. Apart from these founding members, cartONG, the Netherlands RedCross and the Clinton Health Access Initiative support the project as formal members. Now the GIScience Research Group Heidelberg University with disastermappers heidelberg became the fourth additional member of the collaboration. GIScience Heidelberg is dedicated to support the work of the Missing Maps Project through several activities related to research & development, teaching & outreach (Mapathons) etc.
The GIScience Research Group Heidelberg University has a long time experience regarding crowdsourcing and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). Thus, OSM data quality assessments and the usage of OSM data for (emergency) routing or in disaster management (e.g identifying critical infrastructures) are core topics of the research group since several years and will continue to be an active area in research, development and teaching.
Since the launch of the Missing Maps project, the disastermappers heidelberg and GIScience Heidelberg organized several joint activities like Missing Maps Mapathons and practical workshops. These activities led to a closer cooperation with the Missing Maps team. For example a multi-step workflow was developed conceptually and implemented technically by the disastermappers heidelberg in cooperation with the MissingMaps team to facilitate the work of the volunteers. This is the base for the new mobile MicroTasking App being developed by Missing Maps right now.
We are looking forward to working together with the Missing Maps Project putting the worlds vulnerable people on the map.