On Saturday February 13th we got together in the Lindavista Neighborhood with several communities from the Mexico City tech community, it was a joint effort to reach one goal: to map a complete neighborhood in Mexico City.
It was a day before Valentine’s celebration, we were celebrating the love for cartography with the presence of the Mexican chapter of OpenStreetMap, the support from Codeando Mexico a civic hacking non profit organization and the Lindavista Unida neighborhood association.
More than twenty people gathered to hear Miguel Salazar speak about the efforts Codeando Mexico has done to help the Open Data movement in Mexico, but also explain to the neighbors what civic hacking is all about and how to collaborate with Government agencies. Next Octaviano Cerna from OpenStreetMap Mexico explain the open maps initiative and how it will help associations like Lindavista Unida, most importantly why we need open data maps.
Joint effort with volunteers and neighbors
A few weeks before the meetup we had an excellent support from volunteers from the School of Urbanism from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (one of Latin America’s top universities) who spent two days mapping the zone with neighbors.
Miguel Salazar from CodeandoMexico
We got to show them how to leverage the Mapillary app and the selection criteria of the zones to map, based on the Lindavista Unida main goals. Which are to map and gather information regarding:
- Hazardous zones for pedestrians
- Use of Public parking spaces
- Showcase the current state of public parks
- Impact of a recently opened bus route
Neighbors were interested in getting to know parts of Lindavista that they do not normally pass through and see how recent changes in local transportation were affecting them. With the data gathered they could use it to start working with the local government to find a solution.
An Open Data initiative for neighborhoods
The total zone is 9 square kms with 4 main avenues surrounding the neighborhood, like in most parts of Mexico City traffic is a big issue for citizens and parking spots are becoming a luxury for neighbors which have started to use “concrete buckets” to ensure their parking place.
All of this information cannot be transmitted to local authorities without a person to physically examine the current situation. With the help from the Mapillary application they can leverage the data collected by neighbors to gather the necessary information for local authorities to work out a solution to the issue.
OSM Mexico & Mapillary received a recognition from Lindavista Unida
But most importantly they are starting to see the use of open data platforms to solve the current issues facing communities all around Mexico City and with some luck word of mouth will spread so other neighborhoods can take their first steps.
They will not be alone in this effort with OpenStreetMap, Codeando Mexico and neighborhood associations like Lindavista Unida have demonstrated that with the right tools gathering visual information about the current environment is not a daunting task.
We are glad that Mapillary’s mobile application and web platform can be put to good work ;)