Involving Syrians to Map Reconstruction

Byron South
Saturday, 3:55pm – 20 min
Edward Walsh

The value of VGI platforms like OSM is well established in short term disaster response efforts. The ongoing war in Syria has led to immense infrastructure damage, which will take years to restore. We propose that increased participation by Syrians in VGI data collection efforts can improve reconstruction plans. We present cases where VGI has been used by Syrians during the war and highlight the importance of enabling their participation in future reconstruction through OSM and other VGI platforms. Using quantitative methods, we present a “state of VGI data” over Syria (including OSM) with the intent of understanding the extent to which Syrians may be (or not) enriching data for their country. We conclude by discussing obstacles to attracting more contributions by Syrians and advances that VGI platforms like OSM can make to attract a more diverse contributor base and user base (parties involved in long term development), by enabling facilitated VGI collection.