Having a Local Impact
Updated: Jan 4
Greetings, YouthMappers! Brandyn here, President of GIS Association at Geneseo (the Geneseo chapter of YouthMappers) in New York.
YouthMappers.org and Tasks.HotOSM.org have streamlined the process of remotely impacting significant humanitarian projects around the world. We at Geneseo believe it is equally important to serve the needs of our local communities. I hope that by sharing our experience we can inspire other chapters to take on projects that will benefit the communities in which they live, thus enriching their lives and the lives of those around them.
There are many community organizations that can benefit from the types of services that volunteer mapping professionals provide: local parks, conservancies or other non-profits, and municipalities, to name a few. I have a pre-existing relationship with the Genesee Valley Conservancy (GVC) here in Geneseo, due to an internship I completed with them last summer. During this time, Director Ben Gajewski and I decided we would like to facilitate an ongoing and mutually beneficial relationship between the GVC and GIS Association at Geneseo as we enter the 2016 - 2017 academic year.
To streamline acquisition and workflow, I designed an outline template and protocol that would be followed for each newly acquired project. I welcome anyone to download and make use of it if you feel it will benefit your chapter: PROJECT TEMPLATE
Currently GIS Association at Geneseo board member Mandy Wasicsko is leading a short-term mapping project with the GVC to show demand for their Farmland Protection program. Additional projects in the planning stages that will be carried out later in the semester include ground-truthing hikes through GVC-managed properties and utilization of Open Street Map editing software to create mobile-accessible trail data for these properties.
The GVC has been very welcoming of our input and volunteerism, and I expect this new relationship to flourish in the coming years. I encourage anyone to investigate how your services can benefit organizations like the GVC in your localities. The YouthMappers platform has enabled us to have unprecedented global reach. However, it remains imperative that we not only continue to immerse ourselves in our local communities, but also strive to serve them, yielding a higher quality of life for us all.
Brandyn Balch, President
GIS Association at Geneseo, a YouthMappers affiliated chapter