[OSGeo Africa] [Fwd: [SDI-Africa] Let’s build a better map of Southern Sudan]

Gavin gavinjfleming at gmail.com
Sat Jan 8 09:15:11 EST 2011

Let’s build a better map of Southern Sudan

Sudan will be voting from in a referendum from Sunday, January 9 to
decide if the South will become independent from the North. The
referendum is part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005
ending the Civil War, which lasted 22 years and led to the deaths of an
estimated 2 million people. Analysts fear the possibility of renewed

Sudan is a huge country (2.5 million km2), with an estimated population
of 44 million people, but it’s poorly mapped. Without basic geospatial
information, it’s difficult for humanitarian agencies and first
responders to monitor and evaluate the risks and current needs, target
their efforts, and mobilize proper resources. At times like these, it is
critical to have good maps on roads, settlements, voting stations,
hospitals, buildings and other services – with both local and official
names - to generate better, faster responses.

This is one of the goals of the Satellite Sentinel project, which is
using imagery, field reports and Google Map Maker to conduct human
rights monitoring along the border between North and South Sudan. This
effort is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between Not On
Our Watch, Google, the Enough Project, the United Nations UNITAR
Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), the Harvard
Humanitarian Initiative, and Trellon, LLC.

If you have knowledge of Southern Sudan, an interest in mapping, and
some free time, you are encourage you to join the effort. With tools
such as Google Map Maker and Sudan Vote Monitor, you have the
opportunity to take concrete action by improving the map, helping to
monitor and report human rights violations in near-real time and
providing insight into the socio-political climate prevalent in the
country and region.


Global Call for Action:

Together let’s build a better map of Southern Sudan. Your local
knowledge and mapping contributions of schools, hospitals, and landmarks
will be extremely useful to the humanitarian community to quickly build
a picture of the situation, especially in these areas of interest. Items
that you can map: 

      * Towns and town names (Arabic and local names especially) 
      * Roads (in-town roads as well) and trails 
      * Displaced persons camps 
      * Cultural landmarks 
      * Geographic landmarks 
      * Schools 
      * Orphanages, shelters etc. 
      * Hospitals 
      * Community centers 
      * Border crossing points 
      * Nomadic camps 
      * Markets and large cattle gathering points 

This is an opportunity to utilize the power of community engagement
through mapping. You are welcome you to get acclimated to Map Maker
through Getting Started page, and then invited to join the
Sudan-specific discussions. [France Lamy, Program Manager, Google.org].




Gordon Ojwang'

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SDI-Africa at lists.gsdi.org
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