Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429 000 malaria deaths.
On Thursday, March 3rd 2016, a world-record humanitarian mapathon took place at Politecnico di Milano in northern Italy. Two-hundred and twelve 10-year old children from nine classes at six elementary schools in Milan province had the unique opportunity of meeting with researchers from GEOlab (Geomatics and Earth Observation laboratory) and HOClab (Hypermedia Open Center laboratory) of Politecnico di Milano, who introduced them to humanitarian mapping. In cooperation with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and Missing Maps, the team led by Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli, Dr. Marco Minghini, Dr. Monia Molinari and Dr. Aldo Torrebruno showed children how to map buildings in the northernmost part of Swaziland in a project for malaria elimination. The results of the mapathon have been incredible: more than 40,000 edits to the map and more than 5,000 buildings mapped in only a few hours of work. Knowing that their maps will be used to help local people in Swaziland, children were simply fantastic in performing the mapping task in a unique, passionate, and enthusiastic way. Some of the young mappers did not want to return to class because they had remaining buildings to map in their task areas.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is calling all mappers to help HOT and our partners eliminate malaria with its biggest project to date. HOT is working on two projects, mapping over 500,000 square kilometers in 7 countries. This project collective is part of the Missing Maps initiative in conjunction with DigitalGlobe, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Gates Foundation, PATH and MapBox.