Thursday 13 November 2014

Strategy Building Mapping Workshop

The strategy building mapping workshop took place in Lima from the 10th -12th of November.  The incremental steps to be taken to halt the unwanted change were identified in both Barrios Altos and JCM. 

In JCM, strong pressure from land traffickers is claiming large areas of land upslope. The opening up of roads and selling of plots is leading to the fast urbanisation of areas considered in physical risk. The trafficking is creating conflicts on the territory, not only because of encroach on the perimeter of existing settlements, but also and more importantly, because it is increasing risk for those living lower down the slope.    
The JCM mappers identified and marked all the pressure points from the land trafficking activities, noting the areas which needed to be conserved as open spaces. The main strategy which emerged, is the need for each settlement to form a Committee for Open Spaces, recognised and registered in the Municipality, as well a larger association bringing these different committees together. Exploring all the legal avenues and the various front to work in parallel to stop land traffickers, they agreed that the recognition of the committees have to go hand in hand with the recognition of the territory over which they will exert their rights. They will produce a map of these open spaces and seek to have it certified by the municipality.

Barrios Altos, having shared the progress made so far with the mapping of their own block, developed the steps and time frames to strengthen the internal organisation and gain greater visibility towards the outside. Priority areas were identified on the map, in order to first reach out to those who are in imminent threat of eviction. In this way, organising around particular problems was seen as the way to strengthen collective action and widen the network. Other steps included the contact with already organised groups and getting newspapers to publish and make visible particular issues. To support this, maps of evictions, change of use into storage and  water distribution, will be produced.

Friday 25 April 2014

Virtually Reconstructing Lima: Drones, Community Mapping and 3D printers

The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, the Bartlett Development Planning Unit and the Swiss NGO Drone Adventures, joined local partners in Lima from the 2nd to the 11th of February to map the two case study areas of Barrios Altos and José Carlos Mariátegui. Communities from Lima engaged in a mapping expedition using cutting edge technologies such as mapping drones, to explore new innovative 3D mapping pathways for areas that are undergoing an otherwise 'invisible' change.

Capturing and visualizing the current view of the city opens up possibilities for a more complete understanding of the environment we live in, leading towards a participatory and sustainable planning process. The first workshop was successfully completed, and the results are fascinating. The team is currently in Lima to engage in a second mapping workshop, and is working closely with Fora Ciudades Para La Vida, and community organisations.

Barrios Altos, animation from ScanLAB Projects on Vimeo.

José Carlos Mariátegui, animation from ScanLAB projects on Vimeo.

The drone outputs were sent remotely to London from Lima, in order to be 3D printed. The aim is to create an installation suitable for community planning purposes in the two areas. The 3D outputs are converted into meshes and are then printed using a Makerbot 2 Replicator.

For information about the 3d mapping work please contact @en_topia on twitter
For information about the field work please contact Adriana Allen or Rita Lambert

Sunday 6 April 2014

ReMapLima Drone aerial for Tracing in OpenStreetMap

Great news! The aerial photo shot with a Sensefly eBee drone, in the Jose Carlos Marietaguil area as part of the ReMap Lima project, is now available in OpenStreetMap for tracing. The areal is donated by Drone Adventures to the OpenStreetMap Community and is of very high resolution, "capturing multiple square miles down to zoom level 21 — plenty for street level mapping".
The imagery is hosted on Mapbox, allowing anyone to Log in as an editor and start mapping.

JCM area is currently unmapped and an area which goes through constant changes.  CASA, DPU and Community members from Lima, will soon be joining back to Lima towards the development of the online mapping platform.

Here is the link to start mapping:

JCM, Lima Peru

For new OSM users, note that you can create an account in OSM. To load the aerial on the online editor, add a Custom Background and paste:{zoom}/{x}/{y}.png

Drone Adventures released also four new UAV imagery layers of their recent deployments for tracing on OpenStreetMap. For more information please visit Alex Barth's blog.

JCM area, Lima Peru , via Alex Barth

Within the first 3 days the area is already being mapped:

View Larger Map
OpenStreetMap - Current Edits

Monday 3 March 2014

Collecting spatial information using Twitter

How do you engage people to communicate important information about their environment?
Most of the collection-type methods developed for crowdsourcing information on the field such as epicollect, require the installation of a specific app, or logging-in to a specific account and some training by the users. Logging-in into specific systems make apps temporary, only used for the specific time that they are required. However if we want to engage a continuous dialogue, we should think about applications that are constantly accessible by the user.

As such, twitter, has become very popular over the years and we found that it was already used by some of the mappers. Social Networks have already been used by official parties to explore the possibilities of communication with the public. However, up to this point, there was no customized real-time collection system.

The BigDataToolKit developed by Steven Gray in CASA UCL was used to collect real-time the different twits that related with specific spatial problems. The system is not User ID dependent which makes it ideal for the purposes of emergency reporting by participants using their own systems. The collector allows storing of critical information provided by the user with also the ability of including media such as photos. In the field work of Barrios Altos, the system was extremely useful for submitting uncategorized information such as cellphone antennas but also reporting illegal storage spaces. Moreover, a very important use of twitter in this project, is the use of its real-time nature for emergency reporting such as the cases of evictions in Barrios Altos. Results shown above!
If you want to be among the first to collect data from your social network, you can try it here.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

And together, it happened.

Monday 10th February PM. And so we close this first workshop 'Mapeando desde el Cielo, Mapeando desde el Suelo' (Mapping from the Sky, Mapping from the Ground); but not before agreeing the plan of action until we meet again in April 2014. This has truly been one of the most enriching learning experience.

Refining the variables

Monday 10th February PM. We come together in a plenary with the mappers from Barrios Altos and Jose Carlos Mariategui to share fieldwork experiences. The reflections made pointed to the importance of making visible what is already known, but also the discovery of new aspects through the transect walks. For many, the technical input was appreciated as a means of gathering the information in a systematic way. But more so, the mapping workshop is appreciated for highlighting the need and importance of organization amongst the inhabitants; this, not only to resist unwanted change, but drive the desired visions for the respective areas.

We revisit all the variables previously discussed with the mappers. Having undertaken the transect walks, those that need refining become evident. We discuss and contextualise these further in preparation for phase two in April.

Monday 10 February 2014

3D Reconstruction

We are starting the reconstruction of the 3d model and so far its looking great. Model will be sent remotely to London for further processing and printing.  

Making the contradictions visible

Sunday 9th February AM- The mapping team prepares to walk the landscape in three areas. Tracing and juxtaposing  the borders of the current occupation, the proposed limit in certified plans, and the foreseen future expansion for each of the 'Agrupacion Familiar', reveals a complex and contested field of actors. As described by one of the mappers these include, the first comer, the corrupt, the tourist and the newcomer.

A struggle to transpose the plan prepared by a quantity surveyor, devoid of any reference to the topography, onto the aerial photograph. The disjuncture between these two is stark.

Combing Barrios Altos

Saturday 9th February AM. We divide in teams, working on either side of the chosen axis and stopping at key points to gather more detailed information. This pilot walk reveals that the labyrinthine typology of the buildings in Barrios Altos hides many aspects such as land use, that cannot be noted through observation only from the street. The pilot walk is seen as key to refine the research questions, the information to be gathered and the method.

While mapping, the leaders of Barrios Altos, also take this opportunity to reach out to their neighbours and inform them about how to acquire basic services as well as resist eviction.

Sunday 9 February 2014

A closer look

Barrios Altos Area today. Image via Drone Adventures.

Sunday 9 February PM. Incredible results from Drone Adventures! These "close to real-time" updated images were incredibly valuable in yesterdays and today's field work, as people depended on the aerials captured from the mapping drone to define critical territorial borders in areas undergoing otherwise 'invisible' change..
These limits were later mapped in greater detail by local mappers, who walked the boundaries using GPS trackers. Details on the field trip in JMC and Barrios Altos to follow..

Sneak Peek - Mapping drones in Lima

Monday 3 February PM. Pilot flight of a mapping drone in the JCM settlement in Lima Peru with DPU, CASA UCL and Drone Adventures. The team had to reach a height of about 2000m. to capture the whole area. Great launch!

For the mappers interested in our location, we were here:

Mapping from the sky completed!

Saturday 8 February PM. While several members of the local community were watching the deployment of the “avioncitos”, we completed the mapping of the Barrios Altos + Lima-city-center areas. The eBee drones made a wonderful job in mapping more than 4 square kilometers of the capital under the “attentive supervision” of the local birds.

Saturday 8 February 2014

phone mapping

First day at the workshop Thursday 6th February pm

Saturday 8 February PM.The use of phones for mapping have shown great potential, even for users who are not familiar with the use of smart phones. Several applications allow customization of crowdsourcing information and new technologies can aid in speeding up many time consuming processes.

Popular applications such as twitter has great potential for future uses, as it is already known to some of the mappers. However, the workshop identified categories that require the use of survey type collectors. For Barrios Altos, there was a need of crowdsourcing information from land uses of individual buildings, to building condition and census data. Twitter was used as a method for submitting uncategorized information and cases of emergencies.

Early visualizations of geolocated information from the field work in Barrios Altos shown below. Results send directly from Lima to London at CASA UCL.

Tracing the axis of change

Friday 8 February PM. The discussion takes us to explore wanted and unwanted processes through various axes of change.  Tracing such axes takes us to identify six streets where different visions of Barrios Altos meet. These range from heritage preservation to the defacing of the area through the peppered emergence of storage. Still to be ascertained is the correlation between de facto occupancy rights, de jury property rights and the many grey areas in between that threatened both the possibility of preserving the historic heritage and popular dwelling of the heart of Lima.   

Why to map?

Friday 8 February PM. Community leaders and residents from Barrios Altos, CIDAP and the DPU team come together to plan the mapping that will be done on the field tomorrow. We start by discussing WHY TO MAP.  Mapping is identified by the communities as a means to document and denounce otherwise invisible processes of change such as slow evictions. It is also seen as a strategic activity to understand trends and ongoing processes of chance by institutions and real estate developers. Last but not least, mapping is seen as a tool to capture the physical and social architecture of Barrios Altos and the room for manoeuvre to promote strategic interventions.  

Friday 7 February 2014

Mapping from above - mapping from below

Thursday 6 February PM. Twenty two women and men from  10 community organisations in the extensions of Jose Carlos Mariategui come together  with the team from DPU, CENCA, Foro Ciudades para la Vida and CASA to decide what to map. Zooming out to the wider territory of the quebradas reveals a map of constantly shifting borders and interactions and the community mappers decide to make this the focus of the fieldwork on Sunday. The borders define not just the current territory but the multiple visions and practices that converge in shaping the area, from the slow occupation of the slopes and the traces of quotidian actions to dwell the ravine, to the 'pop up' developments driven by informal land trafficking.

Expanding the possibilities for spatial analysis

Thursday 6th February AM. While the Drone Adventures team continues rendering the high resolution images captured in Jose Carlos Mariategui, the output from the pilot flight is printed to be used as a basis for the discussions with community mappers later in the day. Although the image above was captured at 500 metres from the ground, the level of detail is impressive and the possibilities for spatial analysis exciting!

Thursday 6 February 2014

“I want an ‘avioncito’ too!”

Wednesday 5th February PM. Excited about the flight of the drones or 'avioncitos', the kids from 12 de Octubre in José Carlos Mariátegui were eager to be part of the landing crew.