Open Source Mapping in Latin America: Collaborative Approaches in the Classroom and Field

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

Open source mapping platforms (such as OSM) are innovative tools that can enhance student learning and engagement in Latin American geography courses. Use of these tools can also facilitate new collaborations between students/scholars and communities responding to social and economic challenges in Latin America. In this paper we discuss use of these tools in three different educational settings. We begin by describing the work of YouthMappers, a new international network of open source mappers that formed in 2015 with chapters in Latin America. YouthMappers can be a resource for geography departments anywhere in the world interested in developing open source mapping skills and projects. We then provide three examples from our own department of how open source mapping is used to build skills, enhance data collection and foster international collaboration between US and Latin American researchers and students. We conclude by discussing the benefits and challenges of employing these tools in the classroom and the field.