Out and About

Oct. 5: Help build maps for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

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Puerto Rico map
OpenStreetMaps

Detailed maps are important tools for organizations doing disaster relief work.

Want to help the relief efforts in Puerto Rico then come to the Young Research Library on Oct. 5 and join a mapathon, in which volunteers will help add building locations to maps of the island. These maps will be used by the Red Cross and other relief agencies.

No experience, knowledge of Puerto Rico’s geography or software installation is required. Participants are asked to just bring a laptop and library staff and UCLA’s Institute for Digital Research and Education geographic information systems experts will teach them how to help with these efforts through some easy-to-learn mapping tasks in a web-based application.

The mapathon starts at noon and will run until 4 p.m. in the library’s research commons, which are located on the first floor.

People around the world are using the OpenStreetMap platform to donate their time to relief efforts from Hurricane Maria, which struck the island Sept. 20. The Red Cross in Puerto Rico has requested help with their relief efforts, and libraries all across the country are responding. 

According to ABC News, as of today only 14 of Puerto Rico’s hospitals had electricity, while 51 were “degraded” and in need of generators for power. Most of the island’s residents still lack access to electricity and clean water.

To participate in the mapathon, RSVP here.

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