OII Talk: Big Data and Putting the World's Vulnerable People on the Map

Posted by dekstop on 22 February 2016 in English. Last updated on 9 May 2016.

Andrew Braye, Jo Wilkin and I spoke at the Oxford Internet Institute earlier this month as part of their ICT4D seminar series. Andrew gave a high-level overview of HOT and Missing Maps, Jo spoke about data collection in the field, and I spoke about my HOT community research. We had a great time! The video is now on YouTube and is about 1h long.

Our slides are all online: Andrew’s intro to Missing Maps (Google docs), Jo’s field mapping discussion (Google docs), and my community engagement analyses (PDF).

Andrew Braye, Jo Wilkin and Martin Dittus speaking at the Oxford Internet Institute.

I particularly enjoyed Jo’s part which starts 7:30 minutes into the video, she gives some background on what happens after HOT remote mappers have produced a basemap. She shows specific examples in Katanga (DRC), Lubumbashi (Congo), Dhaka (Bangladesh), and other places where HOT coordinated field mapping activities with local communities, either using field papers or OpenMapKit on smartphones, covering a wide range of purposes. In Sierra Leone, local motorcyclists collected names and population counts for several hundred villages, which became an important information resource to help curb the Ebola epidemic. According to Jo, since Missing Maps launched in 2014 they have coordinated one field trip a month, if not more… pretty impressive.

I spoke just after. Some of the things I covered have already been posted here, and other aspects will become part of future posts. For now I just want to highlight two charts:

Number of active HOT contributors over time

HOT contributor activity spikes in relation to large humanitarian events.

Cumulative HOT user growth over time

Cumulative number of HOT user accounts. Large events are often also recruiting opportunities, they draw their own crowds. We just have to make sure that we’re prepared and can give people something to do.


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