Mapping Dog Waste

Last month, we were involved in a project that mapped out water drains in urban areas to show how community participatory mapping can be used in preventing urban flood issues. The project which took place in Seoul, South Korea, was a part of UN-GGIM-AP (www.un-ggim-ap.org). We surveyed 164 water drains with volunteers, and found that only 20% of them were functional (25% were covered by something to avoid drainage smell, and 55% was filled or blocked by garbage).

Back in the States, an interesting IMRivers project has been ongoing with the Maryland DNR. Students have been working with Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Storm Drain Stenciling (www.imrivers.org/stencil).

Storm drains were designed to be the fastest and most efficient way of getting rainwater off streets and parking lots. Unfortunately, water that flows into the storm drains carry trash and sediment from the street, fertilizers, toxins from pesticides, household cleaners, gasoline and motor oil. All of this rainwater in the storm drains then ends up in the local stream or river.

If you or your group want to make a similar map for your community, let us know! This can also be a great project for students to learn and get involved in urban water issues. IMRivers is a great tool to use for citizen science and civic engagement. Let us know if you would like to do any projects involving civic/citizen engagement using community participatory mapping like IMRivers. Also if you have any interesting mapping stories to share please let us know!

Contact gis@vertices.com

NRDC- Renewable Energy for America

I found this really interesting map on Natural Resources Defense Council’s website that shows existing and planned renewable energy sources across the United States. I think it is super important to look into and input renewable energy sources, and that the US should continue to be open in incorporating lasting energy efficient sources of power. I feel like many other nations are ahead of us in making the switch from non-renewable to renewable sources, so lets continue to step up! Take a look at the map and see what green energy sources are in your state or soon will be. The map shows wind, solar, advanced biofuel, biodigesters, geothermal, and low-impact hydroelectric facilitates that are currently in the US and planned to be built or operated soon. Check out the site to see the energy map for the US or take a closer look at each state on www.nrdc.org/energy/renewables/energymap.asp.

This map shows all the existing renewable sources in the US.
This map shows all the existing renewable sources in the US.

Posted by Intern Eva Gerrits. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Nepal Relief Map- immappler.com/nepalrelief

Our team at Vertices created a community map that will help the people of Nepal and those there assisting with relief. This map found on immappler.com/nepalrelief, provides a quick and easy way for earthquake victims to add information about the aid they need. By making a visual public map, earthquake relief teams and individuals can see where and what type of aid is needed in a specific area.

We used information from quakemap.org and created a map using our program Mappler. We determined different aid categories that will help the people of Nepal and added need to know variables such as if victims of the disaster need water, food, shelter, or medical aid. We continually add new information to the site, and those in Nepal can add their own data to the map as well. People in the area can either log in and create an account or just sign in as a guest, and are then able to quickly fill out the information they want to be made public. This map makes it easy to see what areas need help and with what exactly they need help with. This horrific disaster has damaged large areas, and injured and killed many people. The Vertices team hopes this map makes it easier to help those in need! Please share the link on social media to spread the word- immappler.com/nepalrelief

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 10.59.15 AM

NOAA Marine Debris Program

“The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts, users, and inhabitants free from the impacts of marine debris. Our mission is to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve our nation’s marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy, and people.”- Mission Statement marinedebris.noaa.gov

This great program is doing all they can to keep our water safe, clean, and healthy. Through educational programs, hands-on relief work and working hand-in-hand with the government, non-profits, and the community,  the NOAA Marine Debris Program strives to improve the ocean everyday.

An interesting feature, that you can find on their website, is a map that shows where the MDP is currently working on projects. Some of the projects happening now include the clean-up in the San Diego Bay, trash removal at a NY salt marsh, and modifying crab traps in Alaska. Check out the rest of the project here.

Screen shot 2015-01-29 at 1.28.44 AM

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com

Galveston Bay Foundation

The Galveston Bay Foundation, a non-profit established in 1987, helps to manage issues and concerns of the Galveston Bay, located along the upper coast of Texas. This estuary serves a variety of uses such as commercial and recreational fishing, and marine transportation. Also, the bay area is the petrochemical production capital of the nation, where petroleum refining occurs. In addition Galveston Bay is also a place for hobbies such as bird watching and boating, and currently half the population of Texas lives in the Galveston Bay watershed.

With all of these activities and uses, pollution is a major concern and this foundation does all they can to minimize contamination. One of the many ways that the bay is protected is through the Galveston Bay Action Network. This interactive mapping tool powered by Mappler, is a way that the public and authorities can report and view water- related pollution in the bay area. Below shows the map where you can go for information and to post findings yourself.

Screen shot 2015-01-07 at 1.29.55 PM

If you are ever in the area and see something then report it! This interactive map is a great way for the public to interact and show concern which can lead to authoritative action. To learn more about the Galveston Bay visit- galvbay.org. To learn more about Mappler visit- www.mappler.net

Posted by Eva Gerrits, Intern. Click here to see the site. Contact gis@vertices.com