A partnership between college friends has resulted in high-tech mapping to help bring clean water to the Central African Republic. An article on the Cedarville University website tells how Jay Hocking, country director for Water for Good, a Charis Fellowship cooperating ministry, and students in Mark Gathany’s Geographic Information System (GIS) class at Cedarville, worked together to create high-resolution images of villages in the country, allowing for a census of the area. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
High-Tech Mapping Brings Clean Water To Africa
One Geographic Information System (GIS) class at Cedarville University is using high-tech mapping skills to help bring clean water to Africa.
Mark Gathany, professor of biology at Cedarville, wanted to help his GIS students transfer the concepts they were learning in class to a real-life current application.
A friend of Gathany’s from college, Jay Hocking, posted on Facebook in November 2019 that he was looking for crowd-source help to process images for a project by Water for Good, a faith-based organization dedicated to bringing clean and lasting water to the Central African Republic.
Gathany reached out to him immediately, and soon after, his class started working on aerial imagery interpretation and processing in December 2019.
“Hocking took a drone on his trip to Africa and flew it over five to 10 villages, allowing the drone to take pictures at regular intervals,” Gathany said. “He then took an image processing software to put all of those images together into one large image called a mosaic from which we did the meticulous image interpretation. By doing that, we could create high-resolution imagery and distinguish features from the surroundings, counting each home in the town.”
Ultimately, Cedarville students worked on this project as part of a census to determine how many people lived in a certain area so Hocking’s team at Water for Good might know how many wells should be drilled in a given area. “The takeaway from that was we could see the total number of houses in every village and from that they could create an estimate of how many people lived there,” Gathany said.
Click here to read the complete article.