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Virtual tool helps to include slums on maps

Brazil has 6,329 favelas (which means slums in Brazilian Portuguese), according to the 2010 Demographic Census of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Although they are often overcrowded, a large number of slums does not appear on maps (or, when it happens, are marked only with the name). Ie: are cartographic gaps. However, studies such as those developed by the Rede Jovem Program, which portrayed the reality in the documentary Todo mapa tem um discurso (Every map has a speech), released in April, has been trying to reverse the situation, as shown in Rede Brasil Atual’s story. The organization is responsible for creating Wikimapa, a collaborative virtual tool focused on mapping points of interest and cartography of streets, alleys and lanes of low-income communities still excluded from official digital and graphical representations. In five years, Rede Jovem’s technology included 11 communities in Wikimapa, ten of them in Rio de Janeiro.

“With regard to the absence of these communities in maps, we really refer this to economical interest. Until recently, there was no economic interest in these areas. Today, several companies want to enter in these communities, have their stores and a representation in these places”, says the anthropologist and strategic director of Rede Jovem Program, Patricia Azevedo. The update of maps is done through the wiki-reporters, students selected in the favela and trained to use and multiply the system.

Source: Brazil 247