Lately OpenStreetMap became the “go to” mapping platform in response to the natural disasters – see for example the efforts around the April 2015 Nepal earthquake and the October 2015 Afghanistan earthquake.
OSM has found a home not only when dealing natural disasters, but also when dealing with all sorts of crisis involving new geographies.
Take for example the current EU migrant crisis: when millions relocated from (mainly) the middle east and Africa to EU countries – not a natural calamity, but a situation involving a large number of people finding themselves in a totally new geography.
Last month, we (together with other members of the OSM community) announced our support for TechFugees, an initiative where technical solutions were created to assist refugees to find their relatives and to easily integrate in the adoptive countries are created.
Today, we want to draw attention to another extremely useful initiative: the Moin refugee app (more details at http://moin-refugee.de), an app developed by an agency in north Germany (Kiel) to support new arrivers during their first weeks in the cities of north Germany.
Moin wants to become a mobile welcome guide, an icebreaker for all the refugees. As its creators said “Where a long journey ends, another one starts, Moin is a way through German government system”.
First of all the app provides support for a multitude of languages as not all the newcomers know German: the app is available in German, English, Farsi, Kurdish and Arabic.
The main information centers and useful POIs are marked on the map (i.e. city halls, ONG offices, support centers) with detailed contact & process information (what offices you need to go to) and working hours. A direct collaboration with the Tatenkrake NGO will provide direct access to volunteers that can act as a direct contact person.
All the data & functionalities are available in an offline fashion (connect once via wifi and you’re ready to go) including POI search (all OSM points of interest) and address search.
To extend the app, the developers are looking for support (more volunteers) to help them write new content & translate the existing German content to English, French, Arabic, Pashto, Persian (Farsi/Dari), Tigrinya, Serbian, Albanian and Macedonian. If you are capable to provide a helping hand please reach out directly to them.
We salute the guys from Markenwerk for their initiative and we are proud to power their technology stack.