Today Matt is down at the WaterHackathon here in Washington, DC training water and sanitation experts on how to use the open source toolset TileMill to make fast, custom online maps using data related to water. The hackathon, one of ten happening simultaneously around the world, is organized by the World Bank to bring together technology folks with water and sanitation experts to work on technical solutions to real world problems in the water field.
Matt recently helped create our set of famine maps that we created with USAID and the World Food Programme to show the extent of the famine in the Horn of Africa as well as root causes of it like drought and conflict and early indicators such as rising food prices.
Maps like these could also be used to help better address problems in the water community, perhaps by mapping communities without access to adequate sanitation or clean water against related issues such as health and school attendance. It will be interesting to hear what problems are facing the water and sanitation field and to see how better mapping of data could help them streamline operations and communications, as well as analyze what is happening on the ground.