On Tuesday 15th January 2015 VOZ Director, Doug Specht, joined #GeoMob to present ‘Legitimizing UGC with GIS; Documenting human rights abuses’ – a presentation that drew upon VOZs work and case study’s of people who have been able to hold human rights abusers to account by geotagging abuse videos. This presentation was a snippit from the longer presentation that VOZ will be giving as part of ENCA’s ‘Violence of Development’ event in February.
At VOZ we are committed to continued research, both alongside our users and drawing from academia and industry. Here we present a blog of some of our own research papers and findings.
The November edition of the Environmental Network for Central America Bulletin featured an article about how VOZ began life. Many people are aware that VOZ was born from an ENCA project to map Canadian owned mines in Central America, however this short article goes on to explain the reason why the mining map needed a new mode of thinking, and how from a crisis of conscience VOZ was born.
On Saturday 29th November the TUC played host to the 2014 Latin America Conference in London. VOZ was there presenting on the case of El Salvador versus Pacific Rim and how digital tools might be used to support grassroots voices.
In November 2014 Doug presented “ Securing Human and Environmental Rights through PGIS ” at the AGI’s annual GeoCom Conference in Warwick, UK. Based upon research carried out for VOZ, the research was supported by the University of Amsterdam, Universidad del Valle, and the University of Westminster. Drawing upon case studies from Colombia and Syria the paper sought to explain how locally generated geo spatial information can be used to promote human rights, suggesting that it is maps and PGIS, rather than social media that is needed to highlight human rights and environmental abuses in a way that moves us beyond documenting abuses and towards holding those responsible to account.
Last week we showed you how to get better connected with VOZ, this week we explain how we are building our networks.
We believe that one of our most important jobs at VOZ is to make sure that the reports added to the map are seen. Last week we showed you how you can connect, and that we currently reach up to 30,000 people per week, but we don’t think that is enough, which is why we will be working hard to promote VOZ through our partners and events.
The following is a response to the High-Level Panel Session ‘Big Data for Humanity‘ hosted by The Peace Informatics Lab (Leiden University), in cooperation with the Leiden Centre of Data Science, New World Campus and Leiden University Campus The Hague and held on Monday 18th August at Leiden University Campus The Hague, Netherlands.
Our Managing Director presents the following presentation at the Esri User Conference in San Diego
Maps have been shown to be an incredibly important resource, especially in the environmental sector, but the costs are often prohibitive to their creation. This research is examining how publicly created online maps are able to support human rights and environmental justice.
This research project sought to explore the links between digital media, PGIS and social movement organisations in Tolima, Colombia. The primary aim of the research was to examine how knowledge is created and disseminated through digital media and GIS in the region, and whether there exists the infrastructure to allow for this. The second strand was to ascertain if this has had a significant impact on the way grassroots movements work and produce collective actions.
At the beginning of the development of VOZ, we took a first version of the application out to Colombia and worked with Social Movements with an interest in environmental and human rights issues to plan out how VOZ should work to best support the work of SMOs around the world. Below follow a synopsis of that time.
VOZ began life as a project for the Environmental Network for Central America (ENCA). An online map was produced showing all Canadian owned gold mines in Central America, and the human and environmental abuses associated with each.
This map was useful in supporting articles by ENCA and bringing to light the extent of mining activities, but was limited by being difficult to update and having little connection with local populations.