The Mapping Across Borders Open Source Mapping Training is an international program which seeks to provide organizations working in the Global South with the knowledge and tools they need to plan monitor and evaluate their activities in a much more concrete and useful way
Over the past three years Mapping Across Borders has delivered their training programs to over a hundred trainees, from countries around the world. Our curriculum starts from the most rudimentary skills and progresses to highly specialized techniques, depending on the course offered and the level of ability of the students present.
Every course starts with getting to know the abilities of the students present and the goals that each student hopes to accomplish by the end of the course. From there the instructor is able to modify the pace and structure of the class to make sure that each participant not only comfortable, but leaves the class knowing that they are able to bring new skills and abilities to their work.
Once the course begins, The teaching style of this class is based on a 30% theoretical, 70% practical split. This means that each course topic is first explained with a lecture on the concept and then applied right away with either data that students have supplied from their own organization, or with the data supplied by the instructor.
Mapping Across Borders courses can covered a wide variety of topics. While we cannot enumerate all of those which can be covered in detail here, there are a number of commonly covered topics listed here:
- Introduction to Geographic Information Techologies
- Introduction to Spatial Data
- Vector Analysis
- Raster Analysis
- Topographic Surveys for Satellite Data
- Hotspot Analysis
- Location Buffers
- Open Source Software Comaptibilities
Our philosophy is that training does not just exist in the classroom. The majority of learning in mapping happens once students leave the classroom and apply their skills out in the field. This is why Mapping Across Borders is dedicated to following up with students as they continue to learn. This isn't just rhetoric, either. Students are able to use this website to continue their learning, free of charge. This website not only serves as a space to find interactive lessons and how-to's from class, but also a burgeoning social network of other like-minded students and experts who can answer any questions that come up when putting theory and lessons into practice.
That's not where it stops however, Mapping Across Borders takes this approach one step further and provides each of its members with access to a powerful resource called "Micro Volunteering" through its expert volunteers. This means that while novices are completing their first projects, there are experts who are linked into them, in roles of both adviser, analyst and cartographic specialist.