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            ONLINE  International Mapathon - May 17,2021
               
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The Covid19 pandemic required us again to organize our Mapathon on-line. Even if we can only realize the integration goals of the project to a limited extent in an on-line setting, this format does have the virtue of allowing us to reach a much wider audience. 

The initiative for this Mapathon came from OSM Ghana, our partner also for the Mapathons on 06.04.2021 and 08.12.2020. As part of their activities to promote the mapping of Ghana, they also wanted to promote the GIS training of their members and especially to teach mapping skills to women in Ghana.

As with our previous online event, we collaborated with:

  • CartONG (France), an NGO based in Chambèry (France) that provides cartographic and geospatial services to international humanitarian organizations. 
  • Disastermappers, a collective based at the Institute of Geography of the University of Heidelberg (Germany)
  • the Leclara collective in Larabanga, Ghana. For many years, Leclara has been involved in assisting young female villagers with primary and middle school education. In recent years, Leclara has been promoting economic development in Larabanga. They have been involved with mapping as part of a sustainable tourism project.

Recently, we got to know the HuMap Collective from the University of Trier, and happily, they also participated. We will hopefully continue to work with HuMap.

This time we hosted the mapathon (Zoom). At 6 pm we started.  Shortly after the start there were 37 participants.

Each of the above groups briefly introduced themselves. Afterwards, OSM Ghana presented information to the participants about the situation of humanitarian mapping in their country with special reference to the need to engage women. 

A special feature of this Mapathon was that OSM Ghana offered a (breakout room) introduction to QGIS. The goal of this introduction was to show how simple maps can be made using QGIS. OSM mappers, who often have no cartographic training, were offered an opportunity to get an idea of what an be done with OSM data using a GIS.

For the OSM mapping, the 3 HOT projects were presented. All three are located in the northern Savannah region of Ghana.  

Especially for mapping beginners and less experienced mappers -- to give them the opportunity to learn more about OSM mapping tools -- hands-on introductions (in breakout rooms) were offered in 3 languages: English (Alec - DisasterMappers Heidelberg), French (Laure - CartONG and German (Andreas - HuMap). 

The event ended around 8:30 pm. Just before the end, Robert presented the statistics of the mapping performed.