Calling All Validators (and Mappers)!

Caribbean Hurricanes Nov 9
Posted by:
russell deffner
Date posted:
Nov, 10 2017
Related Project:
Working group:

HOT begins to transition mapping of critical data in response to the Mexico Earthquakes, South Asia Floods, Caribbean Hurricanes and West Pacific Volcano threats back to local communities. It’s during this crucial time that we ask for mappers to become validators, and make an important second look to ensure the mapping was done as instructed. Head to the Missing Maps Learn to Validate page to learn how.


Although many island nations were impacted by Hurricane Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were hit by both. The situation in Puerto Rico is very much still in the early phase of recovery. Clean water is not yet available on the entire island and restoring power has been a major struggle with less than half of the island restored. The good news is that the local OpenStreetMap Community was able to quickly start contributing vital information that helped the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross plan and conduct emergency relief efforts. See the OSM-Puerto Rico Wiki-page for more information on the local group and projects they are working on, and to join the mailing list if you want to get in touch.

Red Cross volunteers present map made with OSM data
Red Cross Volunteers present map made with OSM data

The global OpenStreetMap community has made a massive effort to help create the basemap of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and more; over 5000 mappers have digitized 1.6 million buildings and 45,000 kilometers of road during the response for both Hurricanes.

Caribbean Hurricanes Nov 9
Map of HOT Response as of November 9, 2017 - Caribbean Hurricanes

For more details and a list of all projects see the Hurricane Irma and Maria Wiki-page or head to the HOT Tasking Manager for projects. There are still many projects needing validation! For experienced US road network mappers, head to the OSM-US Tasking Manager to help fix-up the Puerto Rico road network.


The mapping for the two major September earthquakes in Mexico is nearing completion. HOT has been managing the mapping projects with OSM-Mexico and the Mexico National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) determining which areas and features to map. There are still a few remaining projects to be mapped, and there is a lot of validation. We encourage anyone having a mapathon over OSM GeoWeek to consider making it a validation event - smaller groups of experienced mappers are best as validation is a bit difficult to teach to larger audiences especially with inexperienced mappers. See the Mexico Earthquakes Wiki-page for more information and complete list of projects; or head straight to the HOT Tasking Manager to start mapping and validating.

HOT response as of November 9, 2017 - Mexico Earthquakes
Map of the HOT Response as of Novemer 9, 2017 - Mexico Earthquakes

Since the response began, around 1500 mappers have digitized over 300,000 buildings and almost 25,000 kilometers of road. If you would like to connect with the OSM-Mexico community, join the mailing list.


There is a bit left to validate in Nepal for the flooding there and Bangladesh has a few more projects to map, as well as plenty to validate. We will continue supporting OSM-Bangladesh as they finish the flood work and continue the mapping for the refugee assistance project. The first bit of mapping for the population movement is almost done, but stayed tuned to the Tasking Manager for more.

HOT response to South Asia Floods 2017
Map of the HOT support for South Asia - as of November 9, 2017

See the South Asia Floods Wiki-page for more details on the response, as of last check, over 850 mappers have contributed over 18,000 buildings and 50,000 kilometers of road for the various response in South Asia.


So far 80 mappers have digitized over 140,000 buildings on the island of Bali, around the Mount Agung Volcano. HOT Indonesia will continue to monitor and work on preparedness projects in the western Pacific. The Mount Agung preparedness project can be found at to follow HOT Indonesia visit the OpenStreetMap ID webpage.

Every Day is Validation Friday!

Are you a bit of a perfectionist? Or like to teach others? Validation may be something you really enjoy. It’s half cleaning up the data for the end users, like first responders and aid organizations - and it’s half perfecting new mappers abilities. Most people map, never really getting any interaction with other mappers. A friendly “hello, I see you’re new to OpenStreetMap, let me help you” can turn the discouraged newbie into the confident, proficient mapper we hope they all could become. It’s a role we are seriously short on, so whether you have been validating already, or are thinking about it but not sure - please join us in making every Friday,"#ValidationFriday"- although any day you can do some validation, we appreciate.

We also have needs for more participation in all our Working Groups; or, if you are interested in working on a disaster coordination team, please visit