Mapping Oral Histories in the Amazon Rainforest Using Open-Source

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Join us for a presentation on mapping oral histories in the Amazon rainforest using the open-source geostorytelling application, (

Terrastories is a geostorytelling application built to enable local communities to locate and map their own oral storytelling traditions about places of significant meaning or value to them. Community members can add places and stories through a user-friendly interface, and make decisions about setting certain stories as private or restricted. Powered by the Mapbox platform, Terrastories is designed to be entirely offline-compatible, so that remote communities can access the application entirely without needing internet connectivity. The design of Terrastories is being stewarded by the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT). With the support of ACT, Terrastories will be used by the Matawai Maroons in Suriname, the Wauja in Brazil, and the Kogui in Colombia to map oral histories about their sacred and ancestral sites, former settlements, and other places of significance.

Rudo Kemper, Mapping and Storytelling Manager at ACT, will discuss the journey of Terrastories from a rough idea dreamed up in the middle of the Amazon rainforest to a robust Ruby on Rails application developed by volunteers from Ruby for Good. He will also talk about his own path from knowing very little coding aside from front end design to learning Rails, Docker, and Ubuntu as a result of unexpected troubleshooting in the jungle, and a desire to understand and contribute to the application.

// Agenda //
6:30: Socializing and Food
7:00: Introductions and Announcements
7:05 Kickoff
8:00: Wrap up

// Parking and Metro //
Parking at 2100 - 2300 Clarendon Blvd is free after 6:00. Enter the garage at 2100 Clarendon Blvd and turn right for gated parking in the garage or turn left for metered parking. The ATX is located at Courthouse Metro on the Orange and Silver lines.

// Requirements //
Open to all skill and curiosity levels.