Inside The Crowd-sourced Map Project That Is Helping Contain The Ebola Epidemic
Google Maps is so comprehensive that you can use it to plan a New York City subway trip down to the minute. But in the parts of West Africa affected by the Ebola epidemic, Google barely has the roads mapped out. More often than not, the names of villages are missing–and sometimes the village altogether.
“Google’s business model is selling advertising, so it’s simply the business case,” says Andrew Buck, a volunteer coordinator with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). “Starbucks isn’t paying for Google to advertise over there so there’s very little incentive for Google to improve its maps.”
Organizations working in the three hardest-hit countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, need doctors and medical equipment. But they also need something more basic: maps to help aid workers get around the country and do the difficult job of checking village by village for victims of the disease. Read more Here