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Mapathon for Nepal
Although organized with short notice and during the height of second semester finals period, the Mapathon for Nepal was largely successful in introducing students, staff, and affiliates from across Boston to the Humanitarian OpenStreatMap Team's tasking manager platform. The two hour session, organized by Graduate School of Design (GSD) students and Nepalquakeaid was sponsored by the Center for Geographical Analysis (CGA) and the GSD's Masters in Design Studies: Risk and Resilience program. The mapathon was able to bring together individuals not only from the GSD and CGA but also from Tufts, UMass Boston, Harvard Kennedy School Masters in Public Policy, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, GeoAdaptive LLC, the local Nepali community, and more.
The event looked to encourage a wide range of people to contribute to maps facilitating better short and long term response and recovery in Nepal; introduce more scholars to the easy-to-use open data OpenStreetMaps tool; as well as build and support a network of enthusiastic volunteers engaged in issues of risk, crisis and response, policy, geospatial analytics, planning, resilience, and others.
Moving forward the intention is to have more integrated involvement with both expert mappers and other schools or organizations in the area. Please look out for future Mapathons, whether or not you have related experience, and feel free to contact us at Nepalquakeaid with any other questions or suggestions!
[Event report: Shanika Hettige, Harvard Graduate School of Design]
See also the Harvard CGA Resources for the Nepal Earthquake