State to launch crowd-sourced mapping project

Mapathon Keralam initiative to help in flood control, rehabilitation

October 21, 2019 07:13 pm | Updated 07:13 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala State IT Mission is set to launch the ambitious Mapathon Keralam project, a crowd-sourcing mapping initiative, which aims at creating micro-level maps of the entire State for identifying all natural and physical assets that will help effectively address the problem of recurrent natural calamity situations.

Through Mapathon Keralam, the government seeks to create extensive local maps of the State covering every nook and cranny.

It will encompass the entire spectrum of details, including physical infrastructure, natural resources and other useful information, for planning and implementing flood control and rehabilitation activities.

The project is led by the Kerala State Spatial Data Infrastructure (KSDI) under the Kerala State IT Mission and supported by institutions such as the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) and National Service Scheme (NSS).

Free online map

The free online map, titled Open Street Map, is used for this mapping project as part of the government’s policy of strengthening activities focussed on free knowledge and Free and Open Source Software.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will kick-start the initiative on Wednesday by addressing volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) from various engineering colleges in the State, over a videoconferencing network.

The students volunteers on Monday organised local mapping sessions at various colleges. Selected faculties from nearly 80 colleges also underwent the master training programme. More organisations, communities and individuals are expected to take up the campaign and hold programmes of their own for developing local map using this platform.

Map My Office

As a pilot programme, a crowd-sourced mapping of government offices, called Map My Office, was earlier launched with the participation of employees.

The maps are to be created online with public participation, and anyone with a computer/mobile phone and an Internet connection can participate in Mapathon Keralam. This data can be availed by students, researchers, start-ups, etc., free of cost for their requirements.

Students, governmental and non-governmental organisations, labour outfits and private sector employees can join the endeavour. With this kind of mapping, locals can identify and mark all the features of their locality, since such information will be highly accurate.

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