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  • Writer's pictureCarter Darper

New Approaches to an Old Favorite: Google Mapping Parties

At iLab Liberia we usually host a mapping party every month. During the mapping parties, locals and expats come at iLab to map public buildings, their favorite video club, cook shop, neighborhood streets or businesses using Google Map Maker. We play some Liberian music, have soft-drinks and snacks, enjoy the ocean view during breaks; it's a great time all around.

During previous mapping parties we realized that, most folks stopping by to map didn't have an in-depth knowledge of Google Map Maker (or any mapping tools) and some didn't even have gmail accounts; having a gmail account is a pre-requisite for using Map Maker. These were issues that limted the amount of places and roads that were being mapped each of our mapping parties.

So for our latest mapping party last Friday, we introduced few new approaches to increase mappers' understanding of how to use Map Maker and how to make the most of their mapping time. From 5-6pm before the actual party, we had a mapping tutorial for all the new mappers and a station for people to open gmail accounts. During the actual mapping party we divided the 41 participants and gave them 45 mins each to map before rotating in the next group; this was in part because we only have 15 computer stations and also because with more than 15 persons mapping at once, the V SAT internet connection slowed down to a crawl.

By applying these strategies, we noticed that all 41 participants were able to smoothly map places and roads of the choice. We believe that if we incorporatete the strategies we used, we can have more data on the public map of Liberia very soon

Luther D. Jeke

Director of Training


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