Over the past few years the ISU GIS Facility has hosted a number of mapathons. Most of our mapathons have a time set aside for mapping in Iowa and then a time where we focus on international projects.
It is amazing what even a small group of mappers can do to add to the OpenStreetMap basemap in a small town in Iowa. Below are three examples of demonstrating how a mapathon event can add to the OpenStreetMap.
1. George, Iowa George, Iowa is a small town in Northwest Iowa. This series of screen shots below illustrates progress made over several mapathons.
2. Ogden, Iowa Another Iowa example is Ogden, Iowa. We starting mapping Ogden in 2015. This story map link shows progress made over several mapping events. As part of this effort we even marked the sidewalks as a collarborative project with Iowa State Extension. After our mapping efforts an individual continued on the IowaView efforts. Today, Ogden has a vivid and robust OSM basemap.
3. Wayland, Iowa Most of our early efforts were not tied to a specific project but were mainly to teach people to use OpenStreetMap and continuing adding to the Iowa basemap. For our mapathon in 2019, we reached out to see if there were any communities that would like help with a mapping project. We were connected with a city clerk from Wayland, Iowa. Below are screenshots of the progress from that day of mapping.
OpenStreetMap is a publicly editable map of the world. It’s is often referred to as Wikipedia for maps. Anyone can sign up for an account and begin adding to the map. Edits to the map are reviewed and validated by other members of the community.
In 2010, OpenStreetMap was used as a humanitarian disaster relief tool after an earthquake in Haiti. Volunteers from across the world mapped buildings and roads from satellite imagery in areas that been damaged by the earthquake. Then teams on the ground were able to use that information to assess damage and begin recovery efforts.
Since that time the use of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap has spread around the globe helping in disaster response as well as disaster prevention and many other humanitarian efforts. We encourage you to take time during Geography Awareness Week to volunteer your time and talent to help with some of the following projects:
Suggested International Projects:
Public Lab Mongolia – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9560/ Public Lab Mongolia (PLM), a local non-governmental organization in Mongolia, is leading the Mongolian chapter for volunteer mappers through the HOTmicrogrant COVID-19 project, as part of their mission to promote open data and disaster preparedness. This mapping will also help with COVID-19 response efforts. This project is to map Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia, is organized by PLM in collaboration with the Mongolian Geo-spatial Association and local universities.
Hurricane Eta – Nicaragua – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9765 Hurricane Eta brought wind, rain and storm surge to the coast of Nicaragua. This project is to finish the basemap of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) by digitizing buildings from MAXAR imagery. Available to beginners, there may be tricky tasks in this project as some areas have been partially mapped with older imagery and vegetation can often hide parts of structures. Maker sure to review the instructions for tips on how to overcome these challenges and provide high quality data.
Today we are celebrating remote sensing, the study of the earth using secondary observations from instruments such as planes, kites, drones, satellites as an exciting and powerful educational tool to help us show changes over time.
This year the AmericaView/NASA team has put together a fun and beautiful educational poster!
AmericaView has a series of over 70 Earth image puzzles to encourage people of all ages to engage with satellite imagery and learn more about remote sensing by offering a fun challenge. The puzzles can be made to match ability or time available by choosing the number of pieces from 12 to 110 pieces. There are also options that allow the pieces to be shuffled or the border to be completed.
Google Earth Engine is a platform for exploring and analyzing satellite imagery. It is available for academic, non-profit, business and government users.
Several members of the AmericaView community have created tutorials to provide a foundation to quickly begin learning and using Google Earth Engine (GEE). If you are new to GEE, you will want to start with this Google Earth Outreach tutorial. You may need to sign-up for a GEE account with an existing Gmail email address.