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Jan 16, 2019

Learning the Workings of Open Street Mapping

A one-day training workshop took place on Monday in Belize City where officials from government agencies and N.G.O.s worked together on open street mapping. Open street maps are completely user-generated and run by the community. In this case, the Belize Red Cross has begun the process of gather data to update the maps in Belize in order to better respond to disasters. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Open street mapping is a collaborative effort that anyone could partake in. It’s a project aimed to create a free editable map of the world. In Belize, the Red Cross gathered volunteers from government agencies and N.G.O.s to help map communities in Belize using satellite images, community sources and drone photography. The purpose of this exercise is to map areas in the country in order for officials of the Belize Red Cross and other groups to effectively respond to a disaster.

 

Frederick Hunter Jr.

Frederick Hunter Jr., Disaster Management, Belize Red Cross

“What this exercise should do is prepare us better to be there , to know our areas so we can respond quicker should happen like hurricane, earthquake, fire, disease outbreak any kind of disaster scenario. As well as to do the damage assessment afterwards. We can go into areas that are inaccessible with the drone and get a good picture of what’s on the ground when we can’t get in there with vehicles or on foot because of flooding.”

 

Brought in to assist in the training, the trainer workshop was Daniel Joseph, a GIS officer for the American Red Cross.

 

Daniel Joseph

Daniel Joseph, GIS Officer, American Red Cross

“People can suggest changes and can map what is important to them in their own communities. Those changes are instantly available for any organization whether it is the Red Cross, the government or somebody opening a shop to access that data and understand their community. Maps are an extremely powerful tool and by making it open you are giving that tool to anybody who needs or wants to use it.”

 

Besides gathering information, the Street Mapping Project aims to identify vulnerable communities.

 

Frederick Hunter Jr.

“We know which are the more vulnerable areas, coastal areas and river valleys when it comes to flooding so we naturally tried to start the mapping in those more vulnerable areas that are at risk from normal or regular disasters.”

 

Hipolito Novelo, News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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