While many Australians sit in turmoil over our government’s inaction concerning the snowballing ebola virus, a crowd initiative is working to better map the worst effected areas. Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are the worst hit, with humanitarian organisations in desperate need of doctors and medical supplies. The poorly constructed maps that exist on Google are a product of the advertising giants business model.
Cue Open Street Maps an open crowd sourced mapping program that has worked with humanitarian causes to better graph the West African continent. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a branch of the OpenStreetMaps set and they have been collaborating to build this much needed digital resource.
With the creation of better maps comes the improvement of logistics and a better understanding of the affected areas. The HOT created maps are far more detailed than Googles, with all streets and neighbourhoods labelled.
HOT update the maps with volunteers taking on the tedious job of surveying satellite imagery, taking note of land formations, roads, buildings and everything in between.