National Missing Maps mapathon

Posted by escada on 16 April 2016 in English (English)

Today, the geography departments of 7 Belgian universities organised a national missing map mapathon. We had about 190 subscriptions divided over 7 locations in Ghent, Brussels, Namur, Li├Ęge and Leuven. The organizers had contacted the press (written, radio and TV). So after hearing about the mapathon on the radio a few more people show up.

The team in Ghent

We were lucky enough to find enough experienced mappers to give introductions and help the people in all locations. I had the honor to do that for the session in Ghent. This was my first time, after just helping out on 2 previous missing map parties.

A chat channel was set up so the organisers could stay in contact and around noon we had Pete Masters tuning via Skype to give some background on the projects.

Video chat with the other teams and Pete Masters

The original plan was to map in Swaziland, but on Thursday Pete asked us whether we could work on South Kivu, because they need a map of this area for teams that leaving on Tuesday for a vaccination program against measles. We were more than willing to switch projects. We started around 10am, and by noon all three tasks were finalized.

In the afternoon we worked on some other projects (among them the original one in Swaziland)

Unfortunately, I cannot give you the final numbers, as I was still helping hope some people that showed up after hearing about the mapathon on the radio. I believe more than 23.000 buildings were mapped during the day. Hopefully someone else will report about this.

We also had a visit from the national TV, and they had a pretty long item in their journal at 1pm. the tv team

You can the see the result here (in Dutch). You can also listen to one of the radio interviews.

I would like to thank everybody (mappers, approvers, the universities and the "tutors") for this wonderful experience. Hope the see you again.

Location: Stationsbuurt Zuid, Gent, Ghent, Gent, East Flanders, Flanders, 9000, Belgium

Comment from joost schouppe on 16 April 2016 at 18:59

Registrations kept coming in as we got on national radio in the morning. It got to 230.

I'll try and make more statistics later, but yes, on Idjwi we mapped over 23.000 buildings. I suspect a slightly smaller amount in Swaziland.

Not only did we make the national public television (VRT) , also the largest national commercial channel VTM. Both of the Flemish region, looks like the French speaking media didn't pick up on it in the same way.

Comment from joost schouppe on 16 April 2016 at 19:47

I had a look at Swaziland. We did ANOTHER 25.000 buildings!

The mappers were also looking for more things to do; they improved about 800 roads too.

Comment from escada on 16 April 2016 at 19:54

Thanks Joost for those numbers. Amazing !

Comment from joost schouppe on 16 April 2016 at 20:11

201 mappers completed a square. I'm not kidding.

We completed 1641 squares in total.

Biggest completer of squares was tastrax, who only worked on Kivu. Then fpriem, mitruc and lbataille all marked over 30 squares as finished. tastrax was actually helping from somewhere deep in the south of Tasmania if I'm correct. The other three are all new mappers!

Comment from tastrax on 16 April 2016 at 21:48

You are quite correct Joost, I am located in Tasmania, Australia. Whilst I may have completed the most squares, many were devoid of buildings as they were the tiles in the water! The credit deserves to go to your new mappers. I was amazed at how fast the tiles were completed.

Comment from Polyglot on 17 April 2016 at 00:04

I guess that's what happens when you give students of cartography a new toy to play with :-)

I agree that it was a big success. Personally I didn't make many pictures. I was busy enough presenting and helping people out. Since I don't know iD, I taught them JOSM right away. Getting started takes a bit longer that way, but I think it's worth it. I really have to get those instructions done by next time though...


Comment from Polyglot on 17 April 2016 at 00:16

Oh look, there is a brand new project for Swaziland:

For those mappers who already start to suffer from withdrawal :-)


Comment from dkunce on 17 April 2016 at 00:21

Great job everyone. Sorry the leaderboards were down again Missing Maps is just too popular for our servers to keep up :)

Comment from GOwin on 17 April 2016 at 03:50

Good job! Thank you.

Comment from escada on 17 April 2016 at 09:59

We had a very mixed audience, people from the geography department, old students, students and people from other departments, someone from OSGeo Belgium and a good number of people that got interested through the news items. There was also a couple that returned after their first Mapathon in January. People showed throughout the day, as late as 5pm. So I was happy I used iD. I did give some introduction to JOSM just after lunch

Comment from frederiklarsen74 on 18 April 2016 at 07:00

Looks like an interesting event! And quite a bit of publicity too :)

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