On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Monroe Community College (MCC) Mapping Corps held the first mapathon for Webster Thomas High School's introductory GIS class in Rochester, New York . MCC Mapping Corps is the first community college in New York and the second in the United States to join YouthMappers.
During the event, high school students worked on digitizing roads and buildings in Tanzania in support of the Tanzania Development Trust project focused on the high incidence of extreme poverty, early marriage, and gender-based violence in rural Tanzania. The task description on the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team task manager explained that NGOs on the ground need better road and residential area data to facilitate their outreach work and our mapping would directly address those needs.
In the beginning, we realized that we did not give the students enough information during the training to help them clearly identify the shapes of buildings and distinguish between roads, paths, and canals. After a little practice and more guidance, the students understood how to interpret the imagery and were able to successfully map parts of the project in a little more than an hour of time.
The event was a success thanks to many MCC Mapping Corps members: Khem Kardariya, Wayne Howard, Claudia McDaniel, Catherine DuBreck, Lauren Houtenbrink, faculty advisor Professor Jonathon Little, and the MCC Office of Student Life and Leadership. We held a second mapathon for MCC faculty and students in April shortly after this event.
“Thanks so much for having us today. The kids were affected by how easy it is to make an actual difference,” said Steve Fedor, Webster Thomas High School teacher.
Khem Kardariya is a student at Monroe Community College's Brighton Campus majoring in Business Administration.