Mappler Crowdsource Map Connects NJ Residents with Open Gas Stations After Sandy
Scholars Organizing Culturally Innovative Opportunities (SOCIO) is a Rutgers-sponsored organization that predominantly serves “at risk” Latino students at Franklin High School in Somerset, New Jersey. Enrique Noguera a current GSE student, Nathaly Noguera, GSE alum, and Jonathan Robles, Rutgers alum, founded SOCIO three years ago as a college access, civic engagement program that works with high school students to help them succeed before, during and after college. IMSOCIO is a partnership between SOCIO and Dr. Wansoo Im, a Rutgers University Professor, aimed at helping the community and demonstrating the impact that these students can have when they are dedicated and goal oriented.
On Wednesday October 30th, SOCIO students, alumni, and founders assisted Dr. Wansoo Im, and his team of Geographic Information Systems specialists to create and update an online crowdsourced map of open gas stations throughout the tri-state area. The project, called Mappler, which started as a small initiative quickly grew into a valuable resource for many community members.
Students on the SOCIO team created a student-run call center to keep motorists informed with up-to-date information regarding open gas stations while also consistently updating the map. To ensure the map had current data, Motorists were also able to update the map through the website, or by downloading the application that was available for the iPhone and Android. The students committed 12 hours per day to run the operation until November 6th when they trained community volunteers and Rutgers students so that they could return to school later that week.
The Department of Energy, Homeland Security (FEMA), and the White House directly reached out to the students to utilize the data set and express their appreciation for their volunteerism and their demonstrated commitment to serving the tri state area.
As they unpack the educational value of the SOCIO team’s mapping experience, students have been invited to present their work to the Franklin Township Board of Education. Moving forward, the students plan to mobilize other members of the Franklin High School community to continue supporting the families that were significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The story received coverage from the following networks / newspapers: The Huffington Post, NBC Latino, New York Times, Washington Post, The Township of Teaneck, Citydata.com, NewJerseyNewsroom.com, NorthJersey.com
Learn more about the map at mappler.net/gasstation.
SOCIO was developed in 2010 in hopes of giving students the opportunities they needed to attend college. The Rutgers Graduate School of Education is proud to be connected to the faculty, alumni and students associated with this wonderful initiative that has allowed high school students to gain valuable volunteer and work experience in an educational environment.