The intent of the MapUps was to guide new users through the process of mapping their cities and neighborhoods while stressing the importance of having a complete map of Pakistan available online.
The month of June proved fruitful for mapping enthusiasts, tech buffs, and entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan as they gathered for a series of Google MapUps organized at universities in three major cities: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
Led by Google Pakistan Country Consultant, Badar Khushnood and a trio of Pakistan’s Map Maker Advocates—Faraz Ahmad, Jabran Rafique and Omer Sheikh—the three events welcomed a total of 150 participants to learn the ins and outs of Google Map Maker.
Recent mapping efforts in Pakistan have been predominantly aligned with relief efforts following Pakistan’s 2010 floods and landslides, as demonstrated by Omer, Jabran and Faraz. Dr. Sayeed Ghani spoke at the Karachi MapUp about Sindh Flood Maps, his community-based geographic information system (GIS) that implements a Google Maps API to assist in disaster management. Dr. Sohaib Khan, who co-hosted the Lahore MapUp, has also focused on flood relief.
On a basic level, the aim of MapUps is to teach new and aspiring mappers the fundamentals of Map Maker, and to bring them together to map their community. Omer explained that “The idea is to get the participants started in the hope that they will continue mapping in the future.” Badar Khushnood and our Mapping Advocates ultimately highlighted the tools and motivation behind mapping, highlighting it as influential, inspirational, and humanitarian.