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News — 22 June, 2022

Learn about the ongoing projects of the LATAM hub!

The LATAM open mapping hub has been busy with various projects, if you want to find out what they are, here we share an overview of what is being done in the region.

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When we presented the May 2022 update of the Open Mapping Hub in Latin America, we mentioned we would publish articles with more detailed updates on each project. Today we share with you an overview of the projects that are in a more advanced state of progress.


Canoa de Tolda (Brazil)


Mato da Onça, Baixo São Francisco, Coleção Canoa de Tolda, Imagem Canoa de Tolda, 2001 – Pão de Açúcar – AL

Canoa de Tolda is a Brazilian non-profit whose activities take place in the lower reaches of the São Francisco River basin. Its mission is to promote the protection and preservation of this region through the collection of data on social, cultural, scientific and environmental issues; the exchange of knowledge and support for the organization of local riverside communities at risk in defense of their rights.

Since November 2021, in partnership with HOT, Canoa began collaborative mapping using open tools, aiming to:

  • produce data, tables and topics that do not exist in the official cartographic documentation of the region of interest;

  • empower civil society with open data management;

  • improve community-led disaster risk reduction plans.

In the following stages of this cooperation, HOT will provide field training with experts and support in the acquisition of materials and equipment to guarantee the complete transfer of knowledge and the sustainability of Canoa’s commitment. These phase will focus on flood monitoring, 3D drone modeling, and community mapping.

Solid waste mapping (Guatemala)



We are supporting - through a collaboration - the UNDP Acceleration Laboratory (AccLab) in Guatemala, and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) to develop a replicable participatory methodology for identifying critical spaces for illegal garbage deposits in cities and natural spaces, as well as understanding from the community the extent of the impact, particularly on bodies of water, even more particularly on the Motagua River, which is highly contaminated by waste of all kinds.

HOT has had projects with this same focus in other areas of the world, for example in Lusaka and Dar Es Salaam. For us it is about adapting a methodology and learning about how to shift our gaze to other geographies, social, political, environmental.

Open Cities Tulum (Mexico)

Foto de Ce Ja(2)-367317.jpg

“Open Cities Tulum”, renamed Co.Mapper, is an adaptation of a methodology already implemented in several cities in Africa by HOT in collaboration with the GFDRR, and this time financed by the Swiss Re Foundation. In Mexico, the municipality of Tulum has been chosen due to the exposure to climate change of the Yucatan Peninsula and Quintana Roo and the relatively low capacity this municipality has to face the impact of growing urbanization and tourism over the past decade.

The Opencities methodology consists of creating a governance group to bring voluntary cartographic information closer to a public policy that improves risk management and the resilience of populations exposed to climatic and environmental disasters.

In the case of Tulum, the HOT team has worked closely with the Tulum city council and the inhabitants to diagnose the risks of each of the 29 settlements and cities in this territory. Thanks to this, a vector map open to the public will be produced that will also allow the city council to update its local risk atlas with a community vision.

Another foundation of the Open Cities methodology is to transfer knowledge. Officials from the different dependencies of the municipality were trained in the use of maps, the creation of cartographic data, and a better local data management strategy through training workshops on OpenStreetMap, QGIS, and Open Data Kit.

Taking advantage of the interest of a great diversity of actors, civil organizations, and a public school, the members of the State College of Scientific and Technological Studies of Tulum, were also trained.

Project Factory (Regional)

fabrica cusco.jpeg

The Project Factory values ​​and accompanies new initiatives and ideas that expand the potential of the elaboration and use of open maps by different groups and communities in social, environmental, and humanitarian issues.

The Factory is an experiment for a future continuous support mechanism for all types of actors to formulate their initiatives with social impact by integrating cartographic tools and data, and thus achieve further progress.

As of April 2022 we have started three pilot projects in the Cusco Region of Peru.

  • Technical support to local authorities in the georeferencing and digitalization of the monitoring of water for human consumption.

  • Accompaniment to communities in their elaboration of maps of community characteristics using open mapping.

  • Research with hundreds of high school students on the visualization of topics of interest and the resolution of local problems through open mapping in urban and rural areas in the Andes.

We are in the process of collaborating with other groups in the region, and that will mean more Factory subprojects. We want to learn from our experiences and expand our support to all interested projects in LATAM.

Regional Community Support


This support is based on regional community contact and knowledge in order to identify needs and connect diverse communities and groups from different countries.

  • Ecuador: Strategic collaboration with OpenLabEc in training and activities to strengthen the free mapping community.

  • El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala: Development and strengthening of free mapping communities in Central America and articulation with groups, NGOs and academics with a focus on supporting migrant women.

  • Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil: Exploration of local interests, needs and projects, as well as contact and connection with communities, civil society organizations, foundations, labs and other actors who, from their own fields of action, have an interest in open mapping.

Internal project

Hub Model Recommendations

During the first 6 months of the year, and thanks to the learning and recommendations provided by the projects carried out by the Alpha Team, a series of recommendations have been developed for the Hub model to provide more value to the LATAM region. This continuous adaptability over the past year has benefited our ability to understand and address the specific needs of local actors for open mapping and to legally incorporate locally.

Status: We have already identified the thematic blocks that define a Hub, and we have begun to define what specific characteristics we believe are best suited to the reality and opportunities of the region to develop the use of free cartographic data, maps, and software. These characteristics are based on the experiences shared by the projects and the needs of local communities.

And that’s all for now. We’ll tell you more later, and as always we remain at your disposal for any questions via our email,, or our social networks: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook..