Each year natural disasters and disease epidemics kill tens of thousands and displace millions of people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are 'missing' from any map. First responders lack information to make decisions for relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project to put communities on the map. We crowdsource volunteers to map missing areas to provide humanitarian organisations and governments with the information needed to address these problems.
Missing Maps is in a period of expansion, and needs support to do so. We have successfully grown from four founding members to fifteen NGO and research partners, and have attracted over 24,000 volunteers worldwide to contribute to the project. To scale further, we require funding to grow our team and develop new partnerships.
How does your innovation work?
Maps are created through two innovations:
Web-tool: using the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Tasking Manager, users can trace digital maps by drawing roads and buildings over satellite imagery. It takes about 5-10 minutes to get started.
App: using the MapSwipe app, users can identify buildings and roads in remote places around the world.
Validation tools: maps are validated on the ground by local volunteers, who add meta-data of place such as street names, and identifying hospitals.
What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?
All NGOs which have used Missing Maps services to provide maps have commented and blogged that it improves their capabilities to respond to issues in the field. Some examples are:
In the last two years we have mapped the homes of 30 million people who have never been on the map before, enabling them to be included in policy and programmes they never would have been counted. Our objective is to map the homes of 200 million people by 2021. By putting vulnerable people on the map, we can provide the data that will change the way in which aid is distributed, and SDGs are measured.