Crowdsourcing Open Defecation Through Aerial Imagery
Open defecation is a massive problem; over 1.2 billion people defecte in open, public space having wide sanitiation implication for public health, disease control and drinking water . The identification of these areas isn’t as big a problem but it is dangerous;http://mappingnobigdeal.com/2011/03/03/how-to-map-open-defecation-areas. Aerial imagery could be used firstly to discover open defecation areas and demarcate the size of the area. Once the data exists for a specific area you can then monitor change, seeing if the open defecation areas are getting smaller or bigger, if new ones are forming.
Cameras are eveywhere. Drones and weather ballons are becoming popular. Once the imagery is stored (an exercise for the team – how best should this imagery be stored?) it should be accessible from a WMS server so it could be loaded into GIS packages or served as an online map. Previous projects around this field have included openaerialmap.org, however failed because frankly, they were ahead of the curve. Due to the opportunity to gather images and the ubiquity of devices to collect them the time is now.
A tool which connects the dots of existing image capturing devices and documentation/’how to’ that could be used for mapping the locations and geographic size of an open defecation area. It will be used directly in Tanzania, starting mid-December, if built. Then applied to different projects globally.
Aerial and satellite imagery are criticial for monitoring change and providing information for mapping.