MapillaryEDU: Supporting a New Generation of Mappers

While doing some routine analysis of our photo coverage a few months ago, we noticed some unusual activity in a very specific area in Washington D.C.:

Photos were clustered around 38.9,-77.0, uploaded within the space of a few weeks, by users with email addresses. What gives?

After some masterful investigative work (i.e., emailing the helpful faculty at the George Washington University’s Geography Department), here’s what we learned from Nuala Cowan, Director of the GIS Certificate Program:

“Mapillary was included in an introductory course exploring new geospatial platforms transforming GIS. In an advanced course, students were given a comprehensive overview of OSM and walked around campus using Mapillary and Field Papers to tag buildings (e.g. material, storeys, fire escapes). Mapillary footage was used as backup for verifying and validating info. Mapillary is our eyes and ears on the ground.”

We are thrilled to play a role in helping educators teach the fundamentals of mapping. We’re seeing a growing number of Mapillary users from the academic world, not just in Geography programs but spanning a variety of fields, from Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning to Hospitality, Archaeology and Environmental Science. Here are more examples of the education community using Mapillary:

  • Dar Ramani Huria, a community mapping project for infrastructure planning driven by a collaboration between The University of Dar es Salaam, Ardhi University, the City of Dar es Salaam, and the Tanzanian Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH);
  • A workshop at Portmarnock Community School on how to use Mapillary in preparation for on-the-ground work for #MapLesotho;
  • A mapping party at GeoCampPACA2016 to map rail infrastructure in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, with participation from l’Université d’Aix-Marseille, l’Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, and l’Université d’Avignon et des pays de Vaucluse;
  • Mapping Day at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)] in collaboration with OpenStreetMap Mexico;
  • A walk on the ice by Ed Young, a physics graduate researcher from Princeton University at the Rothera Research Center in Antarctica.

It’s an honor to support these opportunities as they come, but today we’re making it official by introducing MapillaryEDU: a program for the academic community to access our street-level photos and use our geospatial tools for free. We’re kicking off the program at the UCGIS 2016 Symposium—if you’re attending, join us on a photo walk of Old Town Scottsdale, AZ, to see how Mapillary works.

Learn more about the program here, and email us your ideas about how to incorporate Mapillary in your coursework, field trips, projects, or events. We’d love to see your photos on our campus story map!


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