Google Map Maker in Pakistan

The month of June proved fruitful for mapping enthusiasts, tech buffs, and entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan as they gathered for a series of Google MapUps organized at universities in three major cities: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.

Led by Google Pakistan Country Consultant, Badar Khushnood and a trio of Pakistan’s Map Maker Advocates—Faraz Ahmad, Jabran Rafique and Omer Sheikh—the three events welcomed a total of 150 participants to learn the ins and outs of Google Map Maker. The intent of the MapUps was to guide new users through the process of mapping their cities and neighborhoods while stressing the importance of having a complete map of Pakistan available online.
Recent mapping efforts in Pakistan have been predominantly aligned with relief efforts following Pakistan’s 2010 floods and landslides, as demonstrated by Omer, Jabran and Faraz. Dr. Sayeed Ghani spoke at the Karachi MapUp about Sindh Flood Maps, his community-based geographic information system (GIS) that implements a Google Maps API to assist in disaster management. Dr. Sohaib Khan, who co-hosted the Lahore MapUp, has also focused on flood relief.

On a basic level, the aim of MapUps is to teach new and aspiring mappers the fundamentals of Map Maker, and to bring them together to map their community. Omer explained that “The idea is to get the participants started in the hope that they will continue mapping in the future.” Badar Khushnood and our Mapping Advocates ultimately highlighted the tools and motivation behind mapping, highlighting it as influential, inspirational, and humanitarian.

Google MapUp, NU-FAST, Islamabad, Pakistan
Learn more about hosting a Google MapUp in your own community, and be sure to visit our Advocates and other passionate and helpful mappers in our Map Your World Community.

Garmin: Group therapy

Garmin hosted a group ride last night for the women training for the upcoming WIN for KC Women’s Triathlon. Garmin is the official training partner for this popular local event that welcomes experienced and beginner triathletes. And popular may be an understatement. This year’s race sold out in 10 days and will welcome a field of 1,000 athletes. As part of our sponsorship, Garmin provides opportunities for the participants to take our devices for a test ride and later see their data at Garmin Connect. At last night’s ride, our guests got to try out the multi-talented Forerunner 310XT — our waterproof multisport watch that accurately tracks time, distance, pace, elevation and heart rate (optional) for running and cycling. It also estimates open water swim distance and average speed. Not to mention the feature favored by many — wireless uploads. Jen, an experienced local triathlete who has joined our group rides in the past, said she loves walking in the door after a workout, hearing the beep from her computer and knowing her data’s already been sent to Garmin Connect so she can review it and share it on her own time.

If there’s a triathlon in your future, consider doing some group therapy of your own. If you don’t belong to a triathlon club, connect with other athletes doing the same event and organize group rides or brick workouts. And should one of your training partners skip a workout, share your data from Garmin Connect so they know what they missed!