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News — 24 October, 2022

Cayambe: Risk management in volcanic areas

Risk management in volcanic areas in Ecuador is a necessary activity in which open mapping plays an important role. From the LATAM Hub we took a first step to achieve this goal.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a city in the middle of volcanoes. The non-active volcanoes Casitahua and Pululahua are very close to the northern urban area, and the active Pichincha volcano is also quite close to the city. Fairly close are the Antisana, the Cotopaxi and the Cayambe, which if they erupt would affect the nearby towns and in some cases the city of Quito itself, mainly with the emission of volcanic ash, as has already happened in the past, and depending on the volcano and the force of the eruption, could even affect the city’s water sources with landslides and others.

In this context, when Mayah Cueva from AEON Art Gallery proposed to us - to the Hub and Openlab Ecuador - to organize some mapping activity with this topic of volcanic risk, we quickly accepted and elaborated an action plan. With many coordination involved, several activities were finally carried out -see all on the project page- of which the main ones were: mapping in the city of Cayambe and the Mapathon at the Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Quito.




The activity scheduled for Friday, September 9, had the participation of 20 people and took place between 9am and 6pm. In order to carry it out, the efforts of various organizations and institutions had to be coordinated, such as: HOT, OpenLabEc, Tierra Pura, Youthmappers/GeoMap Espe, Municipality of Cayambe - Risk and Tourism Offices, Red Cross and the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute.

Points of interest were mapped in 5 communities in the area: Santo Domingo 2, Paquiestancia, Cariacu, Pesillo and La Chimba; all located in the area of influence of the Cayambe volcano. For this purpose, there was a bus from the Municipality of Cayambe, which allowed the deployment and subsequent withdrawal of the mapping teams according to the previously established route and schedule.

During the mapping work itself, carried out with various mobile tools such as Mapillary, Street Complete and Organic Maps, staff from the Municipality of Cayambe, the Red Cross and the Geophysical Institute were introduced and given basic training in the use of these tools.

Testimonies of the participants in the mapping outing can be seen in the following videos on Instagram: Esteban Brboric (cyclist and guide), José Franco (Red Cross), Daniel Sierra (Geophysical Institute), Cristian Almeida (Municipality of Cayambe - Risk management), Dayana Andrade (Municipality of Cayambe - Tourism).



The activity -carried out on Saturday, September 10 at the National Polytechnic School- was attended by 11 people in person and 3 people virtually. The team in charge (OpenLabEc, HOT and Youthmappers/GeoMap Espe) made an introduction to OpenStreetMap, HOT and the mapping work as such, using the Tasking Manager for the Reventador 1 and Cayambe zones.

The people who participated showed a good degree of interest, learning the basic mapping techniques and helping to complete the mapping in the determined areas of the mapathon. They also expressed their willingness to participate in future similar activities.

Testimonies of the participants in the mapathon can be seen in the following videos on Instagram: David Molina, Jessenia Vallejo, Solange Yepez.



We believe that this first step to carry out collaborative mapping actions in Ecuador will soon be replicated, both with the organizations that participated in this activity and with others that have become interested as a result of it and have contacted us for future collaborations.

The strengthening and animation of the different OpenStreetMap communities in Ecuador is also a result of this activity that is already beginning to be seen and that we will continue to support.