The work of the Crowd2Map initiative (seplute is a co-founder of it. We held a mapathon at Technarium last spring and will soon do it again!) has just been featured at The Guardian:

Last month global mappers, working with people on the ground in Tanzania, caused the disruption of a planned FGM ceremony on a teenage girl by using open-source maps and smartphones to find her. The 16 year old was freed from the home in which she had been locked ahead of the ceremony, which though illegal under Tanzanian law is still practised in some regions. An estimated 15% of women and girls aged between 15 and 49 in the country have undergone the procedure.

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[Photograph: Megan Abbott/The Guardian]

Since May, nearly 600 international mappers have worked to help fill in the map around a safe house for girls running away from FGM and other gender-based violence located in Mugumu in the Serengeti district. Their work has resulted in the rescue of several girls and one arrest. Volunteers use satellite photographs on OpenStreetMap, a free crowd-sourced mapping service, to trace roads and buildings from the images, missing from printed and other online maps, and turn them into navigable maps. Other, more veteran mapping volunteers verify their peers’ work.