Mapping for Diplomacy: Join Us on April 5

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Mapping for Diplomacy

Mapping for Diplomacy: Join Us on April 5

The United States Diplomacy Center is pleased to partner with MapGive to host a mapathon on April 5, 2019, from 1:00-4:00 PM in Washington, D.C.  Mapbox, the location data platform for mobile and web applications, is sponsoring the event.

MapGive is a United States Department of State initiative, managed by the Humanitarian Information Unit, that encourages volunteer participation in the global mapping community and facilitates the creation of open geographic data to support humanitarian and development efforts. Quality geographic data helps empower organizations and communities to make important decisions across a range of environmental, economic and crisis management themes. For many places in the world, this information is incomplete or does not exist at all. Digital humanitarians map online to help give others the data they need to build a more sustainable future.  MapGive emphasizes collaborative online mapping as a method to engage with local communities and organizations, with resonant themes including education, urban resilience, public health, and humanitarian response, among others.

Mapathons are unique events that facilitate volunteer participation in a global mapping movement that helps solve some of our most pressing challenges.  Participants will simultaneously learn about the impact of open mapping and learn how to use satellite imagery to create map data through the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform. Through the Open Data Commons Open Database License 1.0, OSM contributors own, modify, and share data publicly.  With OSM both the maps and underlying data can be downloaded for free, for developers or anyone to use or redistribute. Additionally, in many places of the world where there is no commercial motivation to develop this data, OSM is often the best available resource.

The purpose of the April 5th mapathon is to create necessary digital map data for humanitarian and development causes, including combating HIV/AIDS and advancing humanitarian assistance and public diplomacy. The program will include keynote remarks from State Department officials as well as a conversation with a panel of experts from PEPFAR, Secondary Cities, and USAID/YouthMappers. Participants will be provided with a mapping tutorial and will begin mapping, aided by mentors, refreshments, and relevant lightning talks. Please bring a laptop to participate in the mapping. No prior experience with mapping is required!

To participate in the April 5th mapathon, RSVP here.  We hope you can join us!

About the Author: Hilary Brandt serves as Deputy Director at the U.S. Diplomacy Center and Andrew McKenna serves in the Humanitarian Information Unit at the U.S. Department of State.

For more information:

Hilary Brandt
Andrew McKenna