No big deal?? Yeah right! This is an excellent and detailed step-by-step process on how to do mapping in remote areas, and for a great purpose as well (the successful referendum held in Kenya. Check out my blog post Transparency + Accountability = Democracy, Kenya Style to see how mapping was used there).
Here are the steps in quick preview (go to the main article to see the details):
1. Season planning.
2. Try to acquire existing maps or make people create them from memory.
3. Get contacts in the area prior to your arrival.
4. Meet community leaders.
5. Find a guide who knows the area and the people.
6. Go to a local bar and have a beer. ** key to any successful mapping process! – DR
7. Go for it. Map!
8. Write a working diary.
9. Present the results to the community.
10. Finish your work.
11. Stay in touch.
Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
Mapping hardly accessible, rural areas, is always a challenge. Each area differs so you have to tackle it in its own special way. Yet some basic steps are always the same. I have written some of them down. In July, Mildred and I went mapping on Mount Elgon as contractors for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on behalf of Map Kibera.
They needed information regarding polling stations in the area for their work on election monitoring. The information included geographic location, accessibility – both physical accessibility and the availability of cell phone service, information related to infrastructure of these stations, and speed of travel to each individual station.
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