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News — 27 July, 2016

Introducing the Mapillary Humanitarian Mapping Kit, in Partnership with HOT

Guest post by Sandra Uddbäck, team member at Mapillary.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) does amazing work in building and supporting local mapping communities around the world for people to create their own maps for socio-economic development and disaster preparedness. This is also one of the founding blocks of what we're creating with Mapillary.

Mapillary have been fortunate to work with Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) and organizations like the World Bank and the Red Cross on projects in Haiti and Tanzania.

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View on Mapillary

We are very happy to see that photo mapping with Mapillary is a useful tool not only for creating and editing maps, but for also documenting places that have not been put on the map in a sustainable way. Our work has just begun.

Our goal is to put the power of mapping back into human hands. The smartphone is an amazing innovation, it has allowed people from all over the world to connect through calls and texts, through tweets and status updates, through photos and maps. But to this day, many people still don't have access to a smartphone. Our goal of democratizing maps becomes limited by this.

For this reason, with guidance from HOT, we have created the Mapillary Humanitarian Mapping Kit to empower local communities to capture and share photos of places that might not have been shared openly and freely otherwise. The kit includes an action camera or smartphone, mount, memory card, and battery pack. Any HOT community-member led project is eligible to apply for the Mapillary Humanitarian Mapping Kit. Mapillary will with the help of HOT review applicants and select projects that are eligible for the mapping kit. Apply here.  

With the mapping kit, people will be enriching map editing with updated street photos. These provide information that is not available from other types of photos, like satellite imagery. By having a view from the ground level, we can see things such as road conditions, the number of lanes on streets, the distance between homes and villages, as well as building conditions. Once the photos are uploaded to Mapillary, they are made public, which enables people from anywhere in the world to immediately and directly edit OpenStreetMap in iD or JOSM. Mapillary is making all photos and derived metadata available for OpenStreetMap to enhance map editing.

The Humanitarian Mapping Kit is a further indication of our commitment to HOT. We are dedicated to improving OpenStreetMap for humanitarian applications and want to equip mappers with the tools they need in order to do their part in improving their communities.

For more information, contact

About Mapillary

Mapillary is a photomapping service that with advanced computer vision technology meticulously stitches together everyone's photos to form the world’s largest crowdsourced photo map. By making places, such as cities, backyards and rural areas worldwide accessible for anyone Mapillary is reinventing the way we map, navigate and understand our world. All photos shared to Mapillary is available to OpenStreetMap (in iD or JOSM) for editing and derivating metadata. Read more here.