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Maps for Making Change: second workshop begins today

1 February – today, the second workshop of the Maps for Making Change Workshop kicks off at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. A joint initiative from the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and Tactical Tech, this three-day event concentrates on the application of geographical mapping techniques for progressive social change in India. The workshop will equip participating rights advocates with the skills and knowledge they need to develop and use digital maps in their work.

The workshop facilitators are international digital mapping rights activists, design professors and rights-minded techies including, friends of Tactical Tech, Henry Addo from the popular crowdsourcing platform, Ushahidi and the Mediashala team. Kate Morioka, information analysis and visualization coordinator for Tactical Tech, is there running a session on “Participatory Mapping Process and Techniques.” This evening she will also be screening Tactical Tech's latest project, “10 tactics for turning information into action,” a documentary film about rights advocacy in the digital age. Two chapters of the film, Tactic 3 “Picture it: visualise your message,” and Tactic 7 “Make it simple: how to use complex data” should be of particular interest to this audience. Between them, these chapters cover stories of rights advocates who used maps to visualise the crisis in Darfur, conflict in Lebanon, farm subsidy payments in Sweden and human rights abuses in Tunisia.

This week's workshop follows the one-day introductory session which already took place in December last year in Delhi. According to the CIS, the project is filling a much needed gap in Indian rights advocacy. In the few weeks that applications were open, the organisers received seventy high quality and detailed applications from individuals representing advocacy groups throughout the country. The final 25 they selected, “mirror the diversity of India's struggles,” say the organisers. The participants consist of grassroots activists, NGO workers, artists and researchers whose work ranges from fighting for clean rivers in the Himalayas to monitoring the national implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005).

To find out more details about the participants, facilitators and the workshop curricula, see the CIS website.

Image: 'Mapping a conflict in Real Time' by Samidoun in Lebanon. Taken from Tactic 3 of "10 tactics for turning information into action."