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Refugees use citizen science and kickstarter to map their camp for themselves

by Futures Centre, Nov 19
1 minute read

The Bourj Al Shamali refugee camp in Lebanon has hosted refugees since 1948 as a ‘temporary solution’ – it is now an overcrowded, informally constructed concrete city. Its residents don’t even have access to an accurate map of where they live – online maps are of too poor resolution, and detailed maps are witheld by the governments and agencies that have them.

A local citizen science group is now using balloon-mapping as a “DIY aerial photography tool” to create the first-ever residents’ map. Funds to finish the map are being raised on kickstarter, bypassing reliance on traditional centralised institutions. This map will then be used to help the community to analyse their environment and plan and advocate for improvements to the camp.


This signal was originally written on 19 Oct 2016.

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