The Perse School

Perse School hosts mapathon to help rural communities in Ghana

17 Nov 2017

Perse students have helped the Red Cross identify 5,000 buildings in rural Ghana with just the click of a mouse at the School’s first mapathon. Almost 70 pupils used aerial footage to map previously unidentified locations.

Earlier in the week, The Perse became the first school in the UK to host a public Missing Maps mapathon event. Missing Maps is a project founded by Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Red Cross and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, which aims to help communities in crisis-prone parts of the developing world through mapping.

The maps created are then made available for free to help pinpoint places in the world that are vulnerable to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, epidemics or conflict.

Students attending the first Perse mapathon were given the task of highlighting buildings from aerial images in a small section of the African country near the River Volta which is prone to flooding if dams fill up too quickly from heavy rainfall.

Their efforts mean the Red Cross will now have a much clearer idea of the communities – estimated to equate to more than 10,000 people – that could be worst hit and be in a better position to cope with any situation.

Head of Geography James Riley was thrilled with the response from students and was “blown away” by what they had been able to achieve during the session.

He said: “We’ve had three classrooms full of pupils who were all inspired to do some mapping and do some good for the world. It’s fantastic they’re so enthused to do this.

“Taking part in this project enables our pupils to feel like they’re able to make a genuine difference, which is very empowering for them.”

Listen to Flora Bates (Lower Sixth) talk about her experiences of mapping and the difference she hopes it will make.

Following on from the success of the first event, another mapathon for Perse students is scheduled for 6 December.

 
 
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