Ignite Talk: Kate Chapman

This is a liveblog post from the International Conference on Crisis Mapping at Tufts University.  You can also follow tweets from the event’s many open laptops at the #ICCM2010 hashtag.

Kate Chapman of Open Street Maps takes the stage for an ignite talk.

She starts by explaining that Open Street Maps is like Google Maps, but open source.  She notes that they are still developing their tool sets.

Chapman shares one tool called “Walking Papers,” a paper map that one takes into the field, marks up, then scans later and adds to OpenStreetMaps.  She also says that they use GPS units; in Haiti, it was a challenge, as GPS is not common there.  She also shares survey tools that the organization uses.

Chapman states that the organization trains “everyone”; they’re teaching language classes (including in Creole), and training trainers to teach people how to use OpenStreetMaps.

“Maps are infinitely useful, but you need to know how to use and create them,” Chapman explains.

She shares a variety of tools that can be used in Haiti, explaining that people are surprised that GPS works there.  She said that volunteers in Haiti are working on camp registration, and that those camps are represented on OpenStreetMaps.  Chapman also notes that they are hosting Information Kiosks in Haiti, with information on camp mapping and training classes.

In the future, notes Chapman, they would like to get satellite imagery for other places in Haiti, and that because of the high risk of flooding, it’s important to have great road data.  Chapman concludes, thanking the audience.

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