The Impact of Covid-19 on a New YouthMappers Chapter: A Perspective of Surveyschmappers.
Survey School Mappers was inaugurated in 2019. This student chapter was formed by students of the Ghana School of Surveying and Mapping who voluntarily wanted to better understand geographical information systems and how to use it as a tool for humanitarian data collection, analysis and creation of useful information to help aid humanity at large as part of the global network of YouthMappers.
As a relatively new chapter, we were beginning to better understand and learn how to contribute to OpenStreetMap, how to use it to help make humanity better and the world a safer place.
Then we were hit by the pandemic which lead to a lot of public suspensions and restrictions. As students, the disruption of the school academic calendar affected our activities. We could not engage in any extra activities apart from studying to write our exams. As we were not able to meet as a chapter in person anymore due to a whirlwind of changes that happened with the pandemic, we had to adapt to the new system-virtual mapathons.
In the middle of the pandemic, with all the chaos, it was a relief to be able to do what we love to do, help create data that would be essential for health-workers in the delivery of their services. By mapping Covid-19 hotspots in Ghana with five other YouthMappers chapters in Ghana.
Before the pandemic, we had plans, lessons to learn, but now these aims are not forgotten, just changed to fit the moment we find ourselves in. As the world gets back on its feet, so have we and we are forging ahead to build mappers. Covid taught us the importance of a powerful GIS tool-maps.
As a chapter, we are looking to learn the various limitless ways of using the data that we have the pleasure of contributing to.
About the Author:
Joshua Kwame Bensah-Ziwu is the Survey School Mappers president. He is also the vice president of the Students Representative Council of the Ghana School of Surveying and Mapping. He helped found the Survey School Mappers in the year 2019, and he is the first chapter president of his institution. He is a surveyor by profession.