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The world is a connected place. We live in proximity to one another not only through physical means but also through cyberspace. With a simple internet connection, we as human beings are ever more present and felt from the far reaches of our homes connecting with those who live a world away. No longer is physical distance a barrier to keep individuals apart. The sharing of ideas, emotions, hopes, fears and everything in between can be translated with a single post or a click of a button. The internet is a powerful place. It has been known to unite people together but also has the destructive ability to tear us apart. However, when used for good, each connected user has the power to bring mea

How to Use Humanitarian Openstreetmap Data in Research

You have a great research idea. You know the location and the type of data you need. But where can you get the data sets from? Openstreetmap [OSM] can be a great source for many projects because it offers vast, detailed data sets from all over the world. There are two ways to access and download OSM data. First, you can use an outside website, such as Humanitarian Data Exchange [HDX]. The geo-datasets on this site have the advantage of being broad, detailed, and updated on a weekly/monthly basis. In addition, there is an excellent search feature where you can filter data by location, format, and organization. Most importantly, you will want to check the “geodata” box in the search to ensure

Mapping at the Forefront of Fighting Urban Displacement

Hi! My name is David Zaro and I am currently a rising sophomore at George Washington University studying International Affairs and Geography. Before my YouthMappers Virtual Internship this summer, I had little knowledge of open source mapping and its practical applications, having just been introduced to the field of Geography in my first year of college. As I learned more about the countless ways OpenStreetMap and other open source data technologies are being applied, I became curious as to what kind of impact this was all having close to home. With only a few quick searches, I discovered that as of 2015, the city of Los Angeles has formed a team of geospatial experts to tackle to problem

Where Virtual Mapping Reveals Veritable Refuge

“Girls in safehouses, we stay with them until the end of the seasonal cutting. At the end of the season, we visit their families in order to reconcile and improve the social welfare of the community. We consult with them to let them know that FGM is illegal in our country, but yet they continue on. They cut without thinking that their daughters are stable, and will want to follow their dreams” said Rhobi Samwelly, founder of the Mugumu Safe House, a place for girls to escape the threat of female genital mutilation. Rhobi, as she likes to be called, was responsible, in coordination with Crowd2Map’s founder, Janet Chapman and the United Nations for the late September #EndFGM Mapathon, or femal

YouthMappers: Putting Together the Soybean Value Chain Puzzle

This blog was written by Faustina Lina Yebooah, Anthony Acquah and Daniel Osei, students from the University of Cape Coast chapter of YouthMappers. The Soy Innovation Lab (SIL) has collaborated with YouthMappers on a student project to generate geographical information systems (GIS) data on the spatial configuration of key installations within the soybean value chain in and around Kumasi, Ghana. This blog post originally appeared on the SIL's Notes from the Field blog on 23 August 2018. -- The past two weeks have been a real eye opener for us. In retrospect, it is amazing that we moved from knowing next to nothing about soybean and its processing to being pummeled with tons of information an

YouthMappers: Kobo Toolbox Aids Agribusiness Collection

​This blog was written by Ebenezer Boateng, Confidence Kpodo and Godfred Eshun Afful, students from the University of Cape Coast chapter of YouthMappers. YouthMappers is a consortium of university chapters dedicated to the use of GIS data to better understand issues in regions of extreme poverty where USAID works. The Soy Innovation Lab (SIL) has collaborated with YouthMappers on a student project to generate geographical information systems (GIS) data on the spatial configuration of key installations within the soybean value chain in and around Kumasi, Ghana. This blog post originally appeared on the SIL's Notes from the Field blog on 23 August 2018. Over the years, data collection has been

YouthMappers: Student Experiences With Processors On Site in Kumasi

This blog was written by Kwame Odame, Gladys Adjei and Kingsley Kanji, students from the University of Cape Coast chapter of YouthMappers. The Soy Innovation Lab (SIL) has collaborated with YouthMappers on a student project to generate geographical information systems (GIS) data on the spatial configuration of key installations within the soybean value chain in and around Kumasi, Ghana. This blog post originally appeared on the SIL's Notes from the Field blog on 23 August 2018. --- After a series of interactions with Dr. Peter Goldsmith and other resource persons from the USAID and the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), we were poised to get out into the field to experience the reality of the ma

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