The Island – Barbados
Barbados is an Eastern Caribbean island that was a British Colony until 1966 when the island finally became an independent state. The island is still popular with British tourists, among other nationalities, and boasts an average of 40,000 tourist visits monthly. Of the Barbados’s population of almost 300,000 people, around a third live in the vibrant capital city, Bridgetown. Historically, the economy of Barbados had been dependent on sugarcane farming, but in the past 30 years the local economy has expanded into the tourism and manufacturing sectors. In recent years the government has begun to recognize the importance of a cleaner and greener environment and great efforts have been made to preserve coral reefs that surround the island. Barbados’s iconic blue and yellow buses serve the general population and especially cater to the student population of the island, as school children even travel for free when wearing their school uniforms.
A New Era of Mapping
When the idea that the international Moovit Ambassador group could come from all corners of the globe to utilize their honed mapping skills and help people somewhere else than their locality was discussed, there was a marked show of enthusiasm from the group itself. Multiple Ambassadors were ready to embark on a mapping style known as Remote or Armchair Mapping; this refers to mapping from afar and knowing that you, are not going to directly benefit from your actions, but rather someone you’ve never met will gain and are unlikely to even know they have you to thank. This is an authentic example of selfless utilitarianism! When the suggestion of Armchair Mapping was posted on the global Ambassador Facebook group, several members took it upon themselves to research possible suitable locations. We defined suitable as a place with a reliable source of public transport information that could be easily accessed online by this energetic, but nevertheless, remote team and a place where trip planning capabilities were not yet available. The Ambassadors discussed several options and it was Marcio from Brazil that came up with the winning suggestion of the island of Barbados, for fitting all of the above criteria.
For the first display of this outstanding multicultural group synergy that we’re now dubbing as Moovers without Borders, 6 Ambassadors, each from a different country, were involved in mapping the entire island of Barbados’s 84 bus routes. We would like to mention them all by name, Sinisa from Croatia, Milos from Serbia, Marcio from Brazil, Marios from Greece, Gerard from Spain and Bogdan from Romania. The team took just 2 weeks to map the island’s route network with seamless coordination. Together, they decided who would map which routes, exchanged ideas and potential solutions; when mapping dilemmas occurred. As the first ever project of its kind in the Moovit Community came to fruition, Community Manager Gabriella reflected, “It’s inspiring to see how contributors from all over the world came together to use their skills to help others. I’m so proud to be part of such an incredible community!” Thanks to the team Barbados is now available on the application and open to the public to use their local knowledge to add value to the network with features on the app like stop edit and any islanders are welcome to join the mapping Community.
Stay tuned for more inspirational Moovers without Borders like this one in the new year.