The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) generously supports the OpenSteetMap program through a grant from the U.S. Global Development Lab’s GeoCenter. Founding partners are Texas Tech, George Washington University and West Virginia University. Capitalizing on web-based open geospatial technologies, the program seeks to cultivate a generation of young leaders through the YouthMappers Network to unite and exchange on open and shared platforms, in order to create resilient communities and to define their world by mapping it together. YouthMappers enlists and supports the talents of the world’s university faculty and students to expressly link supply and demand for knowledge. It addresses specific needs for geographic information to specific development objectives in targeted countries, creating new, quality, localized geospatial data in unmapped places of the world where USAID works to end extreme poverty. YouthMappers leverages academic community involvement to synergize with and fill a unique niche among a growing set of actors related to volunteer humanitarian or crisis mapping, and to expand action to address longer term and chronic development.
In August 2015, Ecuador declared a state of emergency after Cotopaxi shot ash 7 miles into the air on August 2015. The volcano has since continued spewing ash and steam, causing continued concern for those living in the vulnerable areas nearby. Mapping Mt. Cotopaxi and Surronding Cities is part of the OpenStreetMap program funded by USAID.