Enlist universities to contribute to tasks.hotosm.org
Enlisting universities to contribute to open streetmap will lead to more accurate, relevant geospatial information.
OpenStreetMap is already in use by aid agencies, and work is ongoing to trace every building, road, etc possible in affected areas.
This allows aid workers to know where to go (handheld maps), perform contact tracing and much more.
Universities are most likely to have internet, computing resources and an educated student body.
Compiling a list of universities in sierra leone, mali, guinea, etc would be a first step, and outreach a second one. Training materials in English and French exist, and local knowledge will always best remote mapping.
There already are
some lists of universities and similar available, such as:
The goal would be to assemble a list of universities and their contact details in ebola affected areas, if possible identifying relevant classes focused on computing or geography.
A google doc:
Explanations as to why mapping is useful (high level)
This doesn't have to be limited to universities, or simply to people with on the ground local knowledge; but will work best if we can come up with some combination of that.