German Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction: Mapping Local Knowledge with the Sketch Map Tool

The 2024 Fachtagung Katastrophenvorsorge (Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium) centered around the theme “On the Edge? Disaster risk reduction in uncertain times.” Held in a hybrid format on April 22 and 23 at the Tagungswerk Berlin, this conference served as a platform to address the challenges, opportunities, and current developments in disaster prevention and management amidst a backdrop of climate change, health crises, and social and geopolitical tensions on both national and global scales.

Our workshop, titled “Mapping local knowledge with the Sketch Map Tool – potentials and challenges of participatory mapping,” introduced our tool designed for collecting local spatial knowledge. The first part of the workshop was dedicated to introducing the tool, during which participants were familiarized with its functionalities and provided with real-world examples demonstrating its successful implementation. This session laid the foundation for understanding the tool’s capabilities and potential impact.

The core of our workshop revolved around hands-on engagement with the Sketch Map Tool, fostering discussions on the potential applications of the Sketch Map Tool in various contexts. From disaster preparedness in schools to search and rescue operations, the tool’s versatility sparked creativity and innovation among attendees. Additionally, we addressed the challenges associated with the tool from a user’s perspective, including insights into the challenges to visualize the geodata-output of the tool with limited GIS knowledge and considerations regarding data protection and privacy. This underscored the significance of ethical considerations when utilizing such technologies.

We extend our gratitude to all participants for their engagement and interest in our work. Moving forward, we are committed to further development of the tool to empower communities and mitigate the impacts of disasters on a global scale and support sustainable development. To find out more about the tool and its use cases, please read this blogpost.

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