Over 40 students volunteered to map Nepal, during #Map4Nepal Lahore Mapathon, to help the agencies providing relief and rehabilitation services in Nepal with more geographic data to use. The mapathon was organized in the wake of the two deadliest earthquakes which hit Nepal a few weeks ago. The Lahore Mapathon 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 mapathon was a part of MapGive series, which is an initiative of the U.S Department of State.
Participants of Map4Nepal Lahore Mapathon
In the mapathon 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 to help digitize the Geo data and put as much information on the maps, as possible. In an activity of 3 hours, the volunteers were trained by an experienced cartographer, Usman Latif, the founder of Digital Marketing Pakistan™. After the training on how to map an area, the participants mapped over 3,200 points, including roads, buildings and areas collectively.
“We should help the world, the way the world helped in Pakistan during massive floods in 2010”, said Usman Latif, the founder of Digital Marketing Pakistan™. “Think of the over 8000 people who lost their lives and about the others who are struggling to get back to a normal life”, he added.
During the whole event, Usman did not only train the participants step by step on how to map, but he also spent the rest of the time training individuals on their desk and helped them in resolving their problems in getting started with mapping.
A small team of social media activists were also blogging the event live on Twitter and Facebook. We were able to trend the topic #Map4Nepal on Twitter in Pakistan.