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News — 04 January, 2013

Mapping Selayar Island with Help from MapBox and GeoEye

We first meet the ACCESS partners from Selayar Island at a workshop in Bali in December 2011. After this workshop ACCESS organized their own that took place actually on Selayar Island. One of the biggest issues however is there was only one GPS unit available on the island and no imagery suitable for digitizing information into OpenStreetMap. I began the process of looking for possible sources of imagery then and fortunately GeoEye was able to answer the call.

Through GeoEye's extensive imagery archive and the non-profit GeoEye Foundation they were able to provide imagery for the majority of Selayar Island. Once you have imagery though you have to be able to distribute it in a format that is useful. This is where MapBox came in to assist. MapBox describes the process used to process the imagery from GeoEye into a usable webmap that the OpenStreetMap community of Indonesia and worldwide can use to trace information on their blog.

As I write this blog post today I'm in Makassar where HOT is hosting a workshop for the provincial disaster management agency (BPBD) of South Sulawesi (the province Selayar is a part). As the ACCESS team will benefit from having high resolution imagery for their poverty mapping projects, so will BPBD so they make accurate impact models for contingency planning. These teams are trained and ready to begin enhancing the map of Selayar, but would like your help. Selayar is a big place to trace along (about 250 square miles) and this is where the power of the OpenStreetMap community excels. We've set-up a task on our Tasking Manager system so to help just login with your OpenStreetMap account and follow the instructions.

Curious to see how this imagery looks? Rather than just going over to TileMill and look, how about spend a bit of time helping? All you need is an OpenStreetMap account and to be willing to learn, you can head over to LearnOSM for a how to guide. Have a question? We are here to help on Twitter or our mailing list.