Our Story

Global MapAid was created in 2002. At the end of Rupert Douglas-Bate’s Stanford University fellowship, there was a triumph for his fellowship team who put the project forwards to the Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students summer competition. Out of a field of some 30 contenders, the project came in the top three and won $5,000.


The fellowship team, which consisted of 23 students and some faculty, then decided to start a social enterprise not-for-profit. Everyone was then asked to suggested names and a list was drawn up, and out popped the name “Global MapAid“.


Scroll down to look through our history of projects and see what we’ve achieved since then.

To learn more about our Chairman and Founder Rupert Douglas-Bate, click here.


We are fortunate to have Justin Saunders on board as our Chief Technologist. Click here to see the work and expertise that he brings to the team.

  •  - 2020

    World & Britain: Coronavirus & Youth Unemployment Mapping

    Global MapAid makes a hope map showing community and medical response to COVID-19 in the UK, and tracks  coronavirus cases and deaths throughout the UK and the world. In May as COVID-19 appears to be easing, mapping is accomplished to show youth unemployment and youth opportunities in order to illustrate those who will be hit hardest by the unemployment effects of COVID-19.



    Britain: Rebrand

    Global MapAid rebrands as “MapAid” and enlists a team of fantastic volunteers with specialisms in social media, marketing and graphic design to achieve this goal.



    America: George Mason University AI Mapping

    George Mason University, Center for Resilient & Sustainable Communities combines with GMA to start a 4-year development programme concerned with mapping sustainable shallow borehole locations, for irrigation by small farmers in Ethiopia.


  •  - 2019

    Ethiopia: Irrigation Mapping Research

    Visit to Ethiopia, to consolidate partner organisations, and write an enquiry paper on the case for shallow borehole mapping, that led to a presentation to the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in November.



    Britain: Burns Night Fundraiser

    Building on previous success, GMA throws another fabulous Burns Night Dinner Dance fundraiser at the Wheatsheaf Pub, Chilton Foliat.

      Bright map with map pins in it

  •  - 2018

    Ethiopia: Irrigation Mapping Research

    Short visits to local partners in Ethiopia, to confirm their continued commitment and also their leadership role in irrigation support map project, GMA being just an encourager.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Fundraiser Burns: Britain

    GMA pivots away from formal fundraising and throws a Burns Night Dinner Dance at the award winning Wheatsheaf Pub, Chilton Foliat.

      Bright map with map pins in it

  •  - 2017

    Ethiopia & Britain: Irrigation Map Applications

    GMA makes five formal applications to large “innovative donors” for support for irrigation mapping in Ethiopia and British projects. Success eludes, however GMA perseveres. GMA remains grateful to our donors large and small.



    Britain & America: Google

    Google gives a generous grant for Adwords, to promote the website, thus adding to the credibility and reach of GMA.


  •  - 2016

    Ethiopia: Study Map Mission

    Short study to further update and consolidate plans, in partnership with the UK Space Agency and UK Space Applications Catapult. We gathered together several excellent local partners, including the University of Arba Minch, Water Technology Institute, Vita Ireland, Bioeconomy Africa, The Ethiopian Women’s Exporters Association, North South Consulting and the Ethiopian Space Science Technology Institute.



    Brussels: Devex World

    Consolidation of plans for East Africa working with the World Bank and EU personnel. Attendance at Devex World 2016 to share summaries of these plans. Rebrand of GMA with new logo and website.


  •  - 2015

    Nepal: Evaluation Map Mission

    Social Enterprise Solutions Mapping Project. GMA staff complete an intensive mission to Nepal, to gain partners and assess how mapping social enterprise providers could help. Creating a proposal to map entire country, building local partners.

        Bright map with map pins in it


    America: Research on Poverty Indices

    GMA staff complete courses on the Challenge of Global Poverty at the Jamal Poverty Action Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Also complete Mapping for Social Good at TechChange.


  •  - 2014

    South Africa & Britain: Research on Mapping Job Solutions

    GMA staff complete MBA business studies at Henley Business School on Global Social Enterprise, studying drivers of sustainable enterprise development and small-scale capitalism, which will be mapped.


  •  - 2011-2013

    Ethiopia: Microcredit Mapping

    Mapping levels of microcredit in Addis Ababa. Creating a proposal to map entire country, building local partners.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Britain: Vocational Education & Unemployment Mapping

    Mapping vocational education in relation to unemployment poverty. A remote team in Britain & Ethiopia accomplished this task.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Egypt: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Primary objective to set up local team to create maps of poverty and solutions to poverty.

      Bright map with map pins in it

  •  - 2010

    Haiti: Emergency Map Mission

    Primary objective to research locations and boundaries of vocational and trade training programmes and schools.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Afghanistan: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Mapping Assessment Mission. Field visit to Kabul to evaluate the domain of sustainable job creation job survey and mapping.

       Bright map with map pins in it


    Zimbabwe: Mapping Assessment Mission

    5,000 schools in Zimbabwe to be digitally mapped, by volunteer efforts.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    America: Bentley Donation

    Donation. 1,600 GBP donated by Bentley Systems Inc. for future Haiti mission.


  •  - 2009

    South Africa: Desmond Tutu, Patron

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and great champion of Humanitarian causes, becomes Patron of GMA.


    Zimbabwe: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Field visit to initiate Schools & Hospital mapping. Partnerships made with the Movement for Democratic Change Ministers for Health & Education.


  •  - 2006-2008

    Britain: Charity Registration

    GMA in Britain is registered with the Charity Commission for England & Wales.



    South Africa: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Planning for a branch project. Executed a street children’s mapping project in Port Elizabeth.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Donation: Britain

    Donation of 5,000 GBP for core travel funding, from a British millionaire, Mike Edge, from the Bath leadership group ‘Footdown.’



    America: Geographic Emergency Response Vehicle

    Negotiations with Americorps VISTA. Attempt to build a ‘Geographic Emergency Response Vehicle’ to make maps of poverty. Project mothballed, due to recession hitting corporate donors.



    Nepal: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Collaboration with National Society for Earthquake Technology.


    Brazil: Online Mapping

    GMA and volunteers from University of Fortaleza, create an online mapping collaboration tool: WikiMapAid.org, ‘the Wikipedia of humanitarian mapping’ for mainstream non-technical users.



    Emirates: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Field visit to the Emirates, to open dialogue with Emirati government about a local GMA team.

      Bright map with map pins in it


    Britain: Humanitarian Map Icons

    GMA created a brand new set of humanitarian map icons.

       Bright map with map pins in it


    Pakistan: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Making maps for the Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy, an indigenous not-for-profit, to guide donors and other visitors to their projects (after the earthquake in October 2005). Secured a reliable church-based Field Partner, God’s Vision Ministries, with whom we have co-written a proposal for an overseas GMA team.


  •  - 2005

    Indonesia: Post-Emergency Map Mission

    A Short Term Training Mission: Equipping and training the University of Syiah Kuala, Bande Aceh with mobile data collection devices, post-tsunami, led by GMA volunteer Erin Kees, which took place after the December 2004 tsunami.


    Donation: America

    The software mapping company ESRI gave GMA valuable software.


  •  - 2004

    America: Charity Registration

    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati (Google’s law firm) gave 18 months of pro-bono support to have GMA registered as a ‘501(c)3’ read ‘American charity.’ After registration, an initial 34,000 USD was raised for the training and initial deployment in Pakistan, Indonesia and New Orleans, Louisiana. Vodafone US Foundation and Omidyar (eBay) Foundation.

  •  - 2003

    South Africa: Mapping Assessment Mission

    Assessment Mission. GMA visited with long term work intentions.

       Bright map with map pins in it


    America: Donations

    GMA was generously supported by the Vodafone US Foundation and the Omidyar Foundation with startup funding.

  •  - 2002

    America: Fellowship Humanitarian Mapping

    At Stanford University, Rupert Douglas-Bate was funded 70,000 USD for a Reuters Digital Vision Programme fellowship in humanitarian mapping technology. It won a cash prize of 5,000 USD.