Mila Frerichs - Developer, Consultant

Mila Frerichs

Developer, Civic Hacker
Geo- & Data-Geek

Inspiration

Help families in need: MapSwipe

A new app launched a little more than a week ago called MapSwipe. And it is great; I try to use it every day.
You help families with mapping certain areas of the world. But it is mapping you can do without a geospatial background.

What’s the purpose

With every swipe and tap, you help put families on the map

That’s how they describe their app. And it is that simple. You will help map families so that in a humanitarian crisis they can get help from Humanitarian organizations.

And, although it may be hard to believe, millions people around the world are not represented on any accessible map.

As sad as it is it is the truth, and you can help change that. There are several organizations and ways you can help map the world and make a difference. For example HOTOSM (The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) has a TaskManager where they ask you to map certain areas of the world. But you need to know OpenStreetMap and how to edit maps and should be comfortable editing maps. It is an awesome effort and thousands already helped them.

Making it easy

Mapswipe makes it easy to help and contribute. Your task is to look at satellite images and find certain things in these images. The current maps ask you to find houses and roads. And with every tap you map something and with a swipe you get a set of new images.

Let’s have a look at how this works.

  1. Download the app :) Here is the link: App Store Google Play Store

  2. Select an area of the world

  3. Start mapping. :) You can either single tap if you’re sure and it get’s green, or double tap if you’re unsure or even tap thrice if the image is bad and you can’t see anything.

MapSwipe

Then you swipe left to get the new images.
You can even work offline and download the map and map on your commute when your internet connection is not very good. (very handy).

The Missing Maps project is a collaborative project in which a large and committed community of NGOs, academic institutes, companies and most of all individual mappers map vulnerable areas in OpenStreetMap. By using MapSwipe to identify where communities are located, you also give these mappers the ability to use their talents to map the towns and villages in these areas without having to search through miles of jungle and bush to find them, saving time and helping to put valuable data into the hands of field teams even faster.

Start by downloading the app and read this tutorial and the introduction blog post