Ethical Mapping with and for People Living with Vulnerability

Room: Track 2 - Panels and Workshops

Friday, 15:00 UTC
Duration: 60 minutes (plus Q&A)

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  • Courtney Clark

This panel is organized by the humanitarian Community Working Group and Erica Hagen, EthicalGeo Fellow and author of “The GeoEthics in Vulnerability Principles”. The moderator is Courtney Clark, Program Director for Everywhere She Maps (YouthMappers) and Manager of Sponsored Projects for American Geographical Society.

The panelists are:

  • Erica Hagen, Director, GroundTruth Initiative; Founder and Trustee, Map Kibera Trust; EthicalGeo Fellow
  • Rosario Casanova, President of the Academic Network UN-GGIM: Americas
  • Edoardo Neerhut, Program Manager, Facebook (Mapillary)
  • Paromita Basak, Intern, Food and Agriculture Organization Headquarters, Project Assistant, C2M2 Project Bangladesh (Bangladesh Open Innovation Lab)
  • Innocent Maholi, Co-founder and Executive Director, OpenMap Development Tanzania

“Today’s world of geospatial technology and data is evolving quickly. However, the lives of those living with vulnerability may not be improving, yet are shaped by these new technologies. The communities who stand to benefit most from improving technologies, including mapping, are instead increasingly left out of key conversations, opportunities, and developments that center around their lives and their data” (Erica Hagen, “The GeoEthics in Vulnerability Principles”). This panel will discuss ethical issues that should be considered while mapping with and for communities living in vulnerability.

Potential lines of inquiry for the panel will include: What is the best practice around balancing a need for good and quick maps and the potential for exploitation? How is ethical mapping with vulnerable populations the same or different from responsible data, or other kinds of ethical frameworks? Who participates in the planning and execution of mapping exercises in vulnerable locations, and who decides who should participate? Who decides what is important, and whose voice is left out? How do we obtain consent from a community, and who provides consent? Who controls the use of information? Who owns the output, the maps, and the resulting data? What is left with those who generated the information and shared their knowledge? In whose interest are projects in vulnerable locations conducted? How do we address privacy concerns related to the use of aerial and satellite imagery, and how can we prepare vulnerable communities? How can we be sure that the benefits of our mapping will outweigh the risks or harms?

Questions are from “The GeoEthics in Vulnerability Principles” document.