What we accomplished
Around 55 to 60 French speaking participants around the world came together for the Mapathon Sans Frontières on Tuesday 17th November.
Our aim was to map part of Niger State, in the north of Nigeria, where MSF teams respond to a variety of different healthcare needs. In particular, this includes providing an emergency response to outbreaks of disease in the region.
Even with the event taking place online, we were all able to improve our knowledge of the importance of maps for NGO’s and, as a result, successfully map 1,365 buildings.
The mapping of 1,365 buildings means being able to find and locate residential zones on a map, how to reach these populations and begin to think about the logistics to be put in place in the event of an emergency.
It was extremely interesting. It was very nice to feel helpful, even from a distance!
Marjorie, Mapathon participant on 17th November 2020.
What we learned
Over the course of the event, we had the opportunity to go on a tour of the world of mapping.
First of all, we were able to talk to Ibrahim Oladiti, an expert on geographic information systems in Nigeria, who explained to us the importance of maps for MSF’s work in the field.
The Mapathon was great, I did it with my mother and we both thought it was very informative and an excellent way to contribute to humanitarian efforts! I look forward to doing it again sometime.
Conor, Mapathon participant on 17th November 2020.
The maps make it possible to establish epidemiological surveillance or to identify the means of access to populations.
Following this, Jana Baerovà, Missing Maps Community Engagement Manager, explained how different NGOs came together to create the Missing Maps initiative to provide NGOs with open access maps.
The Missing Maps project aims to map areas affected by humanitarian crises, such as epidemics, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, and environmental crises. In the event of a crisis, the mapping also serves to facilitate disaster response, medical activities and resource allocation.
One of the volunteers of MSF Luxembourg, Guy Schumann, the CEO of RSS Hydro, explained to us the importance of satellite data in the recent natural disasters in Southern Sudan.
The participants were able to count on the help of a team of volunteers who provided help with the mapping: thank you to Anita, Carla, Carolyn, Leila, Guy, Lionel, Max and Sara.
Cynthia, who is in charge of public engagement in Canada, taught us how to create an account and map buildings, as that the goal of today’s ‘task’.
If you enjoyed the experience or are interested, we will be holding more mapathons, either online or in person. You can also map from home by training with the guides and videos available on the Missing Maps website.
It was a great experience, thank you very much!
Margherita, Mapathon participant on 17th November 2020