Thanks to Dr. Debbie Fugate for linking me to a new initiative by her Humanitarian Information Unit at the U.S. State Department. The goal is provide governmental assistance to OpenStreetMap in order to strengthen its valuable use when populations are at risk any where in the world.
As a flagship initiative of the Department’s Open Government Plan, MapGive -- managed by the Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) -- serves as a nexus of expertise in OSM for the Department’s domestic bureaus and diplomatic posts, other U.S. Government agencies, and other governments through international fora, such as the Open Government Partnership. We are especially proud to work with other institutions that focus on open mapping, including USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, and USAID's Global Development Lab; the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery; and the Peace Corps.If you have ever asked: What has the government done for me and others, here is a good answer!
MapGive draws together mappers offline and online, spotlighting campaigns through State Department social media and providing easy-to-use analysis and visualization tools. These campaigns are also supported by launching “mapathons” that bring together university students, NGO workers, mapping enthusiasts, and other volunteers – from the novice to the expert. The State Department recently partnered with USAID’s GeoCenter at the Global Development Lab and George Washington University to help map Bangladesh, with American Red Cross and Missing Maps to support the Ebola response, and with the National Geographic Society on a series of events during National Geography Awareness Week.