Missing Maps #mapathon @ NatureScot

One of the perks of working for NatureScot is that they encourage you to take a day per yea and volunteer on a charitable project. This year some of the staff from our GIS team organised a number of Missing Maps events, one of which I was lucky enough to find a place on.

In case you’ve never heard of Missing Maps or the work they do, I’ve included a short video here.

We kicked off the event by getting everyone set-up with accounts on OpenStreetMap and watched a couple of quick video tutorials to get us up to speed with the kind of tasks we’d be spending the day completing. We then looked at the beginner level projects available on the HOT Tasking Manager and decided to work together on Project #5529. When we picked it, it was a high priority project with very little mapping completed on it. We felt we could make a real impact here by dedicating 19 volunteers’ time across both morning and afternoon sessions.

Tina from the GIS team posted to their twitter account throughout the day, including the following photo of us all deeply focussed on spotting and annotating buildings across Tanzania.

As a team, we managed to contribute a 12% boost to the project’s mapping goal and even more importantly there are an extra 19 trained and engaged volunteers out there contributing to the project in their spare time.

The idea of contributing to OpenStreetMap can be quite intimidating to new users, particularly when you know people will be referring to your maps in the field to assist in their humanitarian works, but it’s really not that difficult and you get to make a real difference.

If you’re still aprehensive, Missing Maps have a list of public events similar to our day on their website.


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