1169. Janet Chapman
Janet Chapman, from London, is the co-founder of 'Crowd2Map Tanzania', an online mapping project which has united over 10,500 volunteers worldwide to map rural communities in Tanzania to help end female genital mutilation and aid community development.
Janet, a former teacher for 30 years before becoming a Trustee for the Tanzania Development Trust, established the project alongside Lithuanian Citizen Science Coordinator Egle Marija Ramanauskaite after meeting at the Mozilla Festival and exploring options to involve Tanzanian schools in citizen science. Since 2015, they have been adding previously unmarked buildings, schools, hospitals, roads, and villages to OpenStreetMap with the help of volunteers worldwide and on the ground in Tanzania. The initiative is now being used to help support girls fleeing FGM in remote communities in Tanzania, FGM activists and police on the ground are able to use the maps on their phones and on paper to find and rescue the girls at risk, particularly during the annual “cutting seasons”.
In a personal letter to Janet, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The innovative online mapping project you created is not only engaging thousands of people worldwide in citizen science, but is making an extraordinary difference for girls in Tanzania at risk from female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is an abhorrent crime against women and girls, and your inspirational work is invaluable in preventing young people in Tanzania from facing this barbaric practice.”
“I am very grateful to receive this award on behalf of ‘Crowd2Map’ and everyone in the open mapping community that has helped us. Anyone with an internet connection can help so please join us!”