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  • Jin Lee, George Mason University

The Importance of Every Little Trace

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

My name is Jin Lee and I am from Mason Mappers from George Mason University.

Jin Lee, a student from George Mason University, and Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs


I volunteered at the 2nd Annual White House Mapathon to celebrate the role of open mapping in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and I got the chance to participate in the President’s Malaria Initiative, USAID, and the Peace Corps’ mapping for malaria prevention in Mozambique, using HOT Task 1988.

White House Mapathon Agenda


During the mapathon, I had the honor to help out the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Evan Ryan. During the mapping session, I taught her the functions of iD Editor and how to edit using the line and area function to trace major roads and buildings, in that particular area. Ms. Ryan picked up mapping quickly, and she completed the Task Area #506. After she completed mapping her area, she mentioned how amazing the role of open mapping is, and how everyone’s work and edits during the mapathon will contribute to help out Indoor Residual Spraying programs in Mozambique—and how Peace Corps Volunteers will be using this data to apply insecticide to the walls of the houses to kill mosquitoes which transmit malaria.

In the past, I have done some mapathons from George Mason University with Mason Mappers, but quite frankly, I was not completely sure how the data from open mapping will help the people in different countries. However, after the White House Mapathon, seeing how the volunteers on the ground use open source data to help in developing countries (e.g. Mozambique plan for the upcoming spray campaign), I was sure that every little trace and edit will provide support in making that particular location a better place.

Lee Schwartz, Director of Office of the Geographer and Global Issues


Overall, this event made me become more passionate about open-source mapping, and I learned that even a single individual like me could help to make somewhere in the world a better place to live in.

Last, but not least, I would like to say special thanks to Dr. Sven Fuhrmann, the faculty advisor for Mason Mappers, who provided this wonderful opportunity to students at George Mason University, Dr. Patricia Solis, who coordinated this event for all YouthMappers across the world, and finally many thanks to everyone who came out and supported this cause-event.

The Group of YouthMapper Volunteers at the White House Mapathon


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