Digital Finds

joseph dot reeves at thehumanjourney dot net

Three inspirational mapping projects

Nov 03, 2009 by Joseph Reeves

Summer in Kabul

AJ Ashton has a really interesting blog post about mashing together Afghani street data, topography and election results for his map Summer in Kabul. AJ writes:

This tile set was created entirely from publicly available data. I used elevation information from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, road information from OpenStreetMap, and provincial and district data from Afghanistan Information Management Services. The tools I used were entirely open as well, with the free-software library GDAL handling the elevation interpretations, and Mapnik handling the roads, borders, and labels.


Philippines Ondoy

The Humanitarian OSM Team are calling for people to help map the area affected by Typhoon Ketsana. The group MapAction are already using the results to help victims of the typoon.

DigitalGlobe have donated high quality recent aerial photography for the region; you just need to click here to start tracing the imagery into OpenStreetMap.

Map Kibera

My final inspirational mapping project is probably my favorite of the lot: Map Kibera. The introductory text is simple and powerful:

Kibera, widely known as Africa's largest slum, remains a blank spot on the map. Without basic knowledge of the geography of Kibera it is impossible to have an informed discussion on how to improve the lives of residents of Kibera. Young Kiberans will create the first public digital map of Kibera.

There's a lot more information about the project on the site and it's something I'm going to follow closely; this is exactly the sort of reason I get excited about things like OpenStreetMap (see also my post about Uganda a wee while ago). All three projects are truly inspiring though; Open Data and open tools used to improve people's lives. Fantastic.

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