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News — 18 May, 2012

First Use of New Imagery Agreement: Join HOT to Trace Refugee Camps in Kenya and Ethiopia

Over the past year, HOT has been working with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development to obtain current high-resolution satellite imagery during humanitarian emergencies. After working through the legal and technical issues, we have developed an experimental workflow for delivering imagery to the volunteer community, and now we are looking to test it.

As a proof of concept, we will implement the workflow for the refugee camps in the Horn of Africa. The goal is to produce detailed vector data for the refugee camps, including roads and footpaths in and around the camps. There are tens of thousands of refugees living in these camps who are victims of famine and conflict, and these data can be used to improve planning for humanitarian assistance.

We are asking for your help in developing these vectors. If we can show what HOT can do in a short time span with recent, traceable imagery, we may be able to obtain support for the release of more imagery.

How to help: We are going to open access to the imagery on Monday 21 May 2012. We would like to spend two 24-hour periods tracing the areas of interest, which will include 11 refugee sites. All work will be done through the HOT Tasking Manager ( If you would like to contribute, please email Kate Chapman by Saturday 19 May 2012. For more information on HOT and how to use the OSM Tasking Manager refer to the HOT wiki.