Map your world, with help from ISIS

Students in Victoria Szabo and Richard Lucic‘s capstone course ISIS 200 have produced a “mapping toolkit” that includes a list of devices, directions for using the devices to collect mappable data, directions for creating maps with Google Earth, and a website to organize this material.

The initial purpose of this mapping toolkit is for Duke Engage students in partnership with WISER (Women’s Institute of Secondary Education and Research) to produce useful maps to facilitate the planning of community facilities and ways to impact gender disparities in health and education in Muhuru Bay, Kenya.

Students produced a helpful website:

The mission of is to help you map your world. We believe that maps are power, a power that should be shared by everyone.

During this course, students investigated mapping technology and devices, and decided which ones should go to Kenya as part of the toolkit, based on the needs of the project and the conditions in Kenya. They produced documentation and worked out best practices for mapping, in consultation with researchers in Kenya. The recommendations and documentation they produced can be used by anyone who’d like to map their world.

Watch Victoria Szabo, Sherryl Broverman and students in the course talk about the project.

At the final presentation of the project, students were asked about the challenges they faced when exploring the technology and creating the project. They described the challenges of coming together as a team, keeping up with rapidly changing technology to determine the best way to map, and creating a way for people in Kenya to make maps with their data despite intermittent electricity and rare access to the internet.