While many of the projects we work on require digital solutions, we sometimes get the opportunity to work on innovative hardware projects. In a recent blog post we discussed our latest project, Portable OpenStreetMap (POSM) which facilitates offline mapping efforts, in situations when internet access is not reliable or absent. We are excited to be working on this challenge and are looking forward to testing it in the field later this month alongside our partners Stamen Design and the International Red Cross. Check out the Git repo.
Jubal talking about POSM.
On a recent trip to Washington DC, we were able to see some of the hardware solutions our partners and friends are working on within their own organizations. At the World Bank Innovation Lab, a 3D printer is set up in the kitchen next to their coffee machine. Why not contemplate the next great invention in international development while grabbing your morning coffee? We discussed opportunities to use 3D printers for prototyping, iterative design processes, and creating customizable prosthetics.
At Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI), we visited the Maker Lab where they are working on a number of projects involving remote sensing in the field. They showed us how they are using simple sonar monitors to track river water levels and indirectly monitor flood risks in a number of villages. DAI is working with communities to build this data into an alert system so that local populations can know when they are at risk of being in the flood zone.
At SpatialDev, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver products and solutions that have real implications for people working in the field. Hardware projects provide an opportunity to design solutions that are place specific and work in areas with limited internet connection. It is great to see our friends and partners working on similarly innovative projects.