Christian Long

Lalitesh Katragadda: Making Maps to Fight Disaster, Build Economies

In TED Talks on May 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Reflection by DEVEN P.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Lalitesh Katragadda: Making Maps to Fight Disaster, Build Economies

In 2008, over a hundreds of thousands were in need of help in Myanmar due to Cyclone Nargis. The U.N. helped as much as they could. However there aid was limited because there were almost no maps. Help from the U.N. and other organization couldn’t make there way because they did not know where the hospitals were. This problem is not confined to just Myanmar, it is a global dilemma. In fact 85 percent of the world remains unmapped. Hernando De Soto, a Nobel Prize nominee, discovered that developing uncapitalized land is extremely beneficial to a countries economy. In India there is over a trillion dollars of land just waiting to be developed, just imagine the economic growth if there were just maps that would show the uncapitalized land. Google has come with a solution they created a program called Google Mapmaker. The program lets anybody make a map of where they live, from a hospital to a local business. As of now about 70 percent of the world is mapped thanks to Google Mapmaker. The maps helped Haiti in its time of need, the earthquake that occurred earlier this year. There other map making sites such as Wikipedia’s Open Street Map and that let you do the same thing. There is still 30 percent of unmapped land, which in my opinion is still way too much. Especially if this time that we live in is known as the Information Age or the Attention Age.


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