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News — 15 November, 2016

Analyzing OpenStreetMap for the fight against malaria

The fight against malaria with OpenStreetMap (OSM) gets a boost today. HOT won a grant from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to take action on crowdsourced OSM data in malaria elimination work around the world. Building on the OSM Analytics work, HOT will work to help organizations access and analyze OSM data to take better action in the work they do in malaria elimination programs. 

Knowing when, where, and how to program activities to fight malaria is key. In Zambia, indoor residual spraying (IRS) activities that spray insecticide within and around houses need significant data to help spray the right structures in a timely and cost-efficient manner. In Asia, bednet distribution campaigns need knowledge of health facilities and household locations to distribute enough nets  for protection against malaria. OSM offers the best openly available and most complete picture of baseline health infrastructure data in the world and provides an infrastructure that can help drive program analyses. HOT will focus the project to help organizations and communities have the tools they need to conduct these analyses. 

We're kicking off the work along with other award recipients during OSM Geography Awareness Week. The Grand Challenges Explorations initiative provides investment in ideas that look to address significant challenges in global health and development. HOT is proud to be a part of this year's funding. We're looking forward to contributing to the growth of applying OpenStreetMap to solve the world's public health problems. 

Keep watch here for updates or get involved as we get started on our OSM Analytics Github page. Explore the map above showing malaria prevalence around the world in full screen, data comes from the Malaria Atlas Project


More About HOT

Free, up-to-date maps are a critical resource when relief organizations are responding to disasters, public health emergencies, and political crises. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a global NGO that creates and provides maps to solve the world's toughest challenges.

HOT rallies a huge network of volunteers to create, online, the maps that enable organizations to reach those in need - sometimes in a matter of hours. HOT works with major international humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the United Nations to analyze and use map data for their programming and operations. In addition to responding to acute crises, HOT also organizes community mapping projects around the world to solve difficult development challenges. These projects teach local communities to make their own maps to improve public health, economic development, and disaster preparedness. 

HOT is built on a sophisticated technical infrastructure created entirely by volunteers. HOT is a worldwide nonprofit organization, registered in the United States 501(c)(3) with offices in Washington D.C., USA and Jakarta, Indonesia.


About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1228 projects in more than 65 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.