Or how a Geographer is helping provide humanitarian aid in Uganda

On Tuesday 22nd the York and District Branch of the Geographical Association hosted Dr Jonny Huck from the University of Manchester.  The 60 strong audience were treated to an absolutely inspiring lecture.  Jonny began by taking us through the history of map making and how cartographers used to fill the spaces they didn’t have accurate data for with drawings, text or just made things up; check out the Mountains of Kong which appeared on African maps until 1928 but do not even exist!

This lead us into his work in Uganda where he and his team are using cutting edge mapping techniques that anyone can get involved with – watch this space for a Bootham ‘mapathon’ event in the near future – to map an area where the outlawed group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) mutilated over 400,000 people in a prolonged civil war.  By mapping where people live Jonny and his team have been able to start getting medical assistance, prosthetics, trauma counselling and theatre based education workshops about disability, to communities which have been forgotten by most of the world.

The power of maps and the unique way that Jonny’s team are combining man-power with machine learning to help speed up mapping the blanks in Uganda for such powerful good inspired us all.  If you would like to get involved and help with the mapping, then please follow this link http://huckathon.org/about.html