Using interactive maps to monitor violations: a new technology to enhance community monitoring tools and citizens' contribution to information.

Aug 16, 2022

2:20 - 3:10 pm


Elham Al-Jadri opened the third session of the second day of the Fourth Point Conference Iraq, that held on July 23, 2022, on the use of interactive maps to monitor violations. After that, the session facilitator invited Muhammad Abdullah from INSM Network to take the conference stage.


“There is a large amount of data that we do not get benefit from, either because it is not important or because it is not clear.” This is how Muhammad started his show about the use of interactive maps, adding that the data can be classified through these maps and arranged to be more clear and easy to read by the recipient.


And that there are many interactive maps that provide a lot of data, such as the map of harassment in Egypt, which helped many women, as well as government authorities, to know which places where harassment increases, and from the maps also a map showing the spread of the Coronavirus, a map showing cyber intrusions, and a map showing the extension of the cable Internet.


At the end of his presentation, Muhammad clarified how to use maps by mentioning some applications, including "Google My Map”, and this application is completely free through which the map can be used for any activity you need, and also "Ushahidi" application that has a free part and a paid part that also provides maps that can be used for different activities.


Elhama Al-Jadri the facilitator of the session asked Muhammad about how to fill these maps with information. Is there ready-made information or is it uploaded directly?


Muhammad clarified that the data may be ready, as it is in the data that published by the Ministry of Health about the latest statistics of the Coronavirus, this can be used, as it is in the map of monitoring human rights violations of the Ansam network. A person, whether he is the one who was subjected to a violation or someone he knows, can upload the data on the map with directly.


Then giving the chance to the public to ask, "How do you protect a person from violating his rights while you take data from him such as his geographical location and some personal data? And as we all know that nowadays sharing the geographical location is one of the most dangerous things?"


Muhammad answered, it is not necessary for the person who is subject to a violation to share his personal data on the map, such as his email, name and other personal data that he considers to be a threat to his life. As for the geographical location, how can we classify the data if we do not know the location of the violation, so it is necessary to know the violation is not the position of the person himself.


Is mapping for human rights violations an open source map? Can researchers access the map's database to create reports in a different way from what the map provides?


Muhammad clarified that the map provides some data to researchers and blocks some data in order to preserve the privacy of those involved in violations. The map is not completely open source because there are limits to dealing with this sensitive data.


At the end of the session, Muhammad indicated that the data is somewhat secure, because the companies we deal with, such as Google and Facebook, are the ones who sell the data to other companies, but we say it is somewhat safe because we do not collect it in order to sell it, but to help people.