New community map helps Ukrainian refugees navigate a new country
I discussed the U-Map with its marketing coordinator Tereza Vaisová from the Česko.Digital platform:
“Česko.Digital is focused on IT help and since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict started to escalate, we started looking for possibilities to help people fleeing Ukraine find new homes and other useful places.
“We partnered (not for the first time) with the start-up Mapotic and we considered several projects which ultimately resulted in maps. The first is the Umapa or U-Map and the second is a map that monitors Ukrainian border crossings.
What type of information can be found there and who provides you with the data?
“Umapa is a long-term project. We designed it to facilitate the integration of people coming from Ukraine and to help them discover their new home quickly and more comfortably.
“We decided to focus on places, institutions and services that mainly offer long-term help. We integrate data and services from places and institutions such as doctors, legal and psychological help, kindergartens accepting Ukrainian speaking children.
“Users can easily filter information by specific services or locations they are looking for. We are not interested in short term things like housing. The aim of the card is to integrate people as easily as possible and to make them feel comfortable and welcome.
“You can also suggest new places as a user or you can also add new places if you offer your help. Through the website, institutions and services can easily add and pin their address and services. They can also add information such as opening hours, languages, etc.
So, to use the card, you just need a smartphone or a computer.
“Yes, it’s true.”
And I understand that the card is available in Ukrainian.
“Yes, the card is now available in Ukrainian, Czech and English. We are also working on other language versions. It currently works for the territory of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, but we are working on extensions to other countries because we have many communities of volunteers in other countries who want to connect and also want provide their institutions and data. We connect dozens of places in different countries and regions every day.
How many places does the map have here in the Czech Republic?
“I think it should be around 1,500.”