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Lowering the Barriers to Participation with Field Papers  |  Lindsey Jacks

Field Papers allows people to easily print atlases, sketch on printed maps and then upload them again to transcribe their notes. If that seems vague, that’s not a bad thing. It’s a simple tool with an open ended concept that can have a large impact in everything from inspiring local mapping parties, to aiding work in the nonprofit sector.

Maps can be essential to decision making, including in international development and humanitarian response. However, in many cases the work focuses on areas where access to technology is limited, and both technology and training are costly in terms of time and resource.

Field Papers provides a way to lower these barriers. Handing someone familiar tools (papers and pencil) allows them to be immediately included in the process. Participation is no longer out of reach. The Cadasta Foundation recently sponsored an Outreachy internship to redesign Field Paper’s atlas making interface to make it more user friendly. In addition to discussing the changes we made, I’ll discuss how Cadasta’s been using Field Papers in the property rights space, and what our future plans for Field Papers are.

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