GroundTruth was started in early 2010 by Erica Hagen and Mikel Maron to build off of the work of Map Kibera and bring the tools to a wider audience by offering consulting services, trainings, and strategic advising internationally.
Read more about our work with Map Kibera, and our current projects here.
We are a new media and technology consulting company specializing in community-based participatory technologies, especially mapping and citizen journalism, in poor and marginalized regions throughout the world. We help expand the conversation and bridge technology gaps by promoting the use of open data and collaborative platforms. We design projects, tools, and websites to empower people to harness the potential of the internet to guide their own development processes and become more active participants in democracy by amplifying their voices. We help people to use the internet and simple digital tools to report on and speak out about issues they care about by using digital story-telling. We support the development of healthy local and community media.
Expertise: OpenStreetMap, software development, open data and transparency, digital mapping and GIS.
Mikel Maron is a programmer and geographer working for impactful community and humanitarian uses of open source and open data. He is co-founder of Ground Truth Initiative, and of the Map Kibera project. He’s formerly on the Board of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, and President and Founder of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, having helped to facilitate the OSM response to the Haiti earthquake. He’s travelled widely, organizing projects in India, Palestine, Egypt, Swaziland, and elsewhere. Previously to this, he co-founded Mapufacture and worked on collaborative platforms, geoweb standards, and various applications, with a wide spectrum of organizations from UN and government agencies to anarchist hacker collectives.
Expertise: Citizen journalism, feedback systems, open data, community informatics, online journalism, activism and social movements, participatory community development
Erica Hagen is a specialist in the use of ICTs for development, particularly to increase influence and impact of civil society through access to and creation of open information and citizen media. As co-founder of Map Kibera Trust and GroundTruth Initiative, Erica has worked around the world to empower slumdwellers and other poor and marginalized citizens with access to digital tools, including open maps, open data, video journalism, citizen feedback systems and online reporting platforms. She received a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University in New York, where she studied journalism and international development. She previously worked in communications and monitoring and evaluation with organizations such as United Nations Population Fund, Concern Worldwide, FXB, and Unicef. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Reed College.