Professor Eyal Weizman has used the £1.05m (€1.2m) funding he was awarded in 2010 to show the efficiency of using advanced mapping techniques to investigate, report, and raise public awareness around human rights violations.
For example, the techniques were used in 2012 to shed light on the deadly drift of a migrants’ boat in the Mediterranean the previous year, which saw 63 migrants die while trying to flee the war in Libya.
With a new £130 000 (€150 000) “Proof of Concept” ERC grant, a multi-disciplinary research team, led by Professor Weizman, will create a new web-based tool to make digital mapping and data visualisation widely accessible to non-expert users.
The new platform, known as MAPP, will offer a new way of communicating. It will make it possible to aggregate information in all possible formats (text, image, audio, video), to assign it with spatial and temporal coordinates, and to share the visual results. Its wiki function will allow remote users to upload additional data and to build live maps of on-going conflicts and crises.
MAPP will initially be developed for use by human rights organisations with the hope to extend it to individual eye-witnesses, reporters and citizens. It could then turn into a new key tool used in education, journalism, activism and public debates.