Successful end of the 25 Mapathon Project

On October 12th the “25 Mapathon project” was finalized with an exceptionally successful public online mapathon. Around 20 participants with various professional backgrounds mapped 2273 buildings in three hours to support a flood preparedness project of the GRC in Togo. Furthermore, they shared their experiences and once more demonstrated how much fun it can be to support a humanitarian project with like-minded people- even when only being connected virtually.

We are very thankful for all participants and German Red Cross (GRC) chapters that supported the numerous mapathons and we want to also thank the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTA) in particular for funding the overall project and for making all of this possible.

Project aim and background

The “25 Mapathons project” was initiated to spread knowledge about humanitarian mapping and GIS within local GRC chapters. It also aimed to intensify the link between the International Cooperation of the GRC and its numerous national volunteers. For more detailed information about the project, please see the blog post “Kick off of the 25 Mapathon project” from July 6th 2020.

Final results

During the final mapathon, the most remarkable outcome of the project became especially evident: A small but solid group of GRC volunteers formed itself over the course of the project. The individual volunteers are part of different GRC chapters and were recruited during the mapathons. After participating in one of the mapathons of the “25 Mapathon project”, they directly joined the public online mapathons which are organized by the GRC headquarter in Berlin and, thus, picked up humanitarian mapping as a hobby. These GRC volunteers are now the biggest contributors to GRC mapping tasks on the HOT Tasking Manager and are a reliable driving force for GRC mapping projects. Plus, they act as multipliers in sense of humanitarian mapping within the GRC chapters.

Still, this is not the only great outcome of the “25 Mapathons project”. During the 25 mapathons, a total of 262 GRC volunteers were trained in humanitarian mapping. Furthermore, 14926 buildings have been mapped by these volunteers not counting roads and rivers, leading to six completely mapped GRC projects.

What comes next?

After laying the foundation for a mapping community within the GRC with the “25 Mapathons project”, we will now focus on maintaining and expanding this community- in Germany and beyond. The monthly public mapathons of the GRC headquarter will be continued to allow for steady exchange and support. To support the organization of future mapathons in GRC chapters and the dissemination of mappings skills, the 25 Mapathon team also created comprehensive training materials e.g., the “Mapathon Handbook” and “Common mapping mistakes and their solutions”.

Apart from that, the GRC HeiGIT cooperation and related projects will allow for further knowledge transfer and exchange in regard to geoinformation technology and its potentials for the important work of GRC.

Please feel free to reach out if you want to learn more 🙂

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