News

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team with MapUganda and UNHCR working in Rhino Refugee Settlement
Posted by Geoffrey Kateregga on Sep, 6 2017
Uganda is the center of the world's fastest growing refugee crisis: every day around 2,000 people stream across Uganda's borders fleeing famine, drought and violence in neighboring countries. The South Sudan-Uganda refugee crisis is becoming a test for donor governments to show that the extraordinarily progressive and open-door policy to refugees of Uganda is a viable, humanitarian and sustainable alternative to how refugees are hosted in several countries in the Middle East and Europe. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have joined forces to support the Uganda policy for the most vulnerable of the Persons of Concern, by empowering Refugees and Hosting Communities with the tools to ensure that their voice is represented in the important decisions around the creation and daily management of refugee settlements.
Posted by RebeccaFirth on Aug, 23 2017
*Guest Blog: Colleen Curran GeoInformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)* Throughout 2016 the GeoInformatics Center, a research center at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has organized OSM remote and field mapping activities in four countries as part of a larger Asian Development Bank funded project to increase disaster resilience through the use of ICT and space-based  technology, with a focus on mobile phone applications for local government officials and community members. A lot was learned through the process, the following are highlights of the Project.  Remote Mapping Armenia (Pilot area - Dilijan) Armenia’s OSM community is only in its nascent stages. Building coverage in the pilot area was good, but the imagery was slightly out of date. As a result drone imagery was acquired, tiled and added as a custom layer on OSM for mapping. The imagery was captured for a vulnerable area in Dilijan where there is a public school. Using the OSM data an evacuation plan and map was made for the school.
Posted by Nate Smith on Aug, 18 2017
We've just finalized our first major milestone in the development of a new tool to improve how the HOT community organizes field mapping. Field mapping requires tools to engage local communities and organize how local knowledge is collected and we've been working with Kartoza to build a tool for better field mapping. Our first version of a field mapping organizer is now ready and being tested. On Saturday at State of the Map 2017, Paul will share an update the progress and how the tool is being used in the HOT community, as well as the potential use for the wider OSM community. Below is a quick update on the key features we've focused on for this release. 
Posted by Rachel VanNice on Aug, 17 2017
The HOT SUMMIT 2017 is less than one month away! There's still time to register to be sure you don't miss the exciting talks, opportunities for discussions and chance to connect with all your fellow mappers, project managers, creators and more! Register today!
Posted by RebeccaFirth on Aug, 9 2017
We’re pleased to announce we’ve recently formalised our partnership with the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) at GIScience Heidelberg University. HOT and HeiGIT share a common vision supporting humanitarian activities by developing up-to-date disaster maps and providing innovative GI services for humanitarian response, mitigating risk and economic development.   To date HOT and HeiGIT have worked together across a range of open mapping innovations, including: Disaster OpenRouteService MapSwipe MapSwipe AnalyticsOSM History Analytics   Our formal collaboration will strengthen the way we work together across a range of technology and research projects going forward.  
Posted by Nate Smith on Aug, 9 2017
Updates on our design strategy progress Over the past few months, we’ve started a process to analyze and review HOT’s look and feel across our sites. This covers everything from content to our design assets like stylesheets and style guidelines. The process is just finishing its first phase and we wanted to provide an update on progress and share some initial directions. 
Posted by David Luswata on Aug, 7 2017
As part of the Local Empowerment for Government Inclusion and Transparency (or LEGIT) project, funded by USAID, HOT and DAI teamed up to map the official urban and rural areas (eight-miles radius from city centre) of Zwedru, Ganta, and Gbarnga cities. The mapping will help facilitate the decentralization process in Liberia. HOT has collaborated with representatives from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and City Corporations to map amenities, buildings, and services, such as water points and health facilities. With the completion of Ganta and Gbarnga in July, the field mapping phase of the LEGIT project has concluded.
Posted by Biondi Sima on Aug, 7 2017
In August 1-4, HOT Indonesia, represented by its Communications Specialist, had the opportunity to attend Regional Expert Meeting for rural development and poverty eradication in Udon Thani, Thailand, sponsored by the Royal Thai Government, Thammasat University, UNESCO, and several other regional organizations. He uses the opportunity to promote the work of HOT being targeted, either directly or indirectly, to revitalize rural development.   Image 1. HOT Indonesia was involved in the regional expert meeting for Asia's rural development in Udon Thani, Thailand.  
Posted by RebeccaFirth on Aug, 2 2017
*Guest blog - Janet Chapman, Crowd2Map*   Crowd2Map Tanzania is a crowdsourced mapping project aiming to put rural Tanzania on the map. Since 2015, we have been adding schools, hospitals, roads, buildings and villages to OpenStreetMap with the help of over 1600 volunteers worldwide and on the ground in Tanzania. We are concentrating first on the areas where girls are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) to support a Safe House built in Mugumu by Tanzania Development Trust.  With zero budget we added over a million buildings and mapped over 70,000 sq kilometres.  Having better maps helped prevent 2257 girls from being cut during last  year’s FGM “cutting season” and the numbers dying was reduced from 12 to 4.  
Posted by Douglas on Jul, 20 2017
On the 12th of July, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in Uganda, under the Crowdsourcing Non-Camp Refugee Data program, funded by United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, conducted a Mapathon with MSF, NGO partners and refugees from Bidibidi refugee settlement at the MSF Office in North Uganda. Having refugees attending the Mapathon, and then working in the field with HOT and MSF teams, was a unique opportunity to have the direct beneficiaries of humanitarian programs work along with aid workers to set priorities and share their knowledge on unmet needs in refugee settlements. On the other side, refugees learned advanced mapping techniques used by humanitarian organizations to plan settlements and ensure aid services. Representatives of the overall refugee community and local leaders of Bidibidi refugee settlement Zone 5 attended the meeting.
Posted by innocent on Jul, 18 2017
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and Ramani Huria, supported by the World Bank and partners are launching a brand-new adventure withArdhi University today!   Three hundred Urban Planning and Geomatics students from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam are participating in a community mapping project in July and August. We will be mapping in 35 wards of the city, with an emphasis on the data needed to improve flood resilience. With the increasing impact of climate change and urbanization, urban flooding increasingly disrupts and threatens the lives of people in Dar es Salaam. To support people in the city, we are mapping drainage, health care services (important to reduce illness and mortality when flooding does happen, particularly for children), toilets, water sources, and building infrastructure.  
Posted by RebeccaFirth on Jul, 17 2017
  *Guest blog - Janet Chapman, Crowd2Map*   It was a great privilege to present Crowd2Map at the first State of the Map Africa held in Kampala last weekend.  Over 150 people came from 21 countries and I've never been to part of a conference that had such a strong sense of community. There can't be many places where people from such diverse backgrounds as Apple, the World Bank and Mapbox get to collaborate, dance and even play football with activists from Mali, Niger and Kenya, and community mappers from around the world.   The Map Uganda team did a great job of organising the conference, even down to the amazing t-shirts, although they were no match for the 'Rest of the World' football team that closed the conference.  
Posted by RebeccaFirth on Jul, 10 2017
  Guest blog: Enkhtungalag of Ger Community Mapping Center, Mongolia, who are the beneficiaries of a 2017 HOT Microgrant.   Mongolia is considered one of the most democratic countries in the region, sandwiched between its only neighbors Russia and China. However, to up-to-date, reliable, easy to access information, is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy, and still remains a challenge. Without information, the public has no power to participate meaningfully in its country’s governance.    This is why Ger Community Mapping Center, a local NGO, has focused on promoting community mapping as a tool for participatory decision-making for community-driven, sustainable and inclusive urban development by creating open-access public data.       
HOT officers and volunteers supervising refugees using OSM tools for WASH facilities
Posted by Douglas on Jul, 6 2017
Following the preliminary results of both mapathons in Gulu, Northern Uganda, Istanbul and Kampala (World Refugee Day), HOT, and other community volunteers deployed information tools in refugee settlements and hosting communities, testing the feasibility of training refugees to directly collect and provide real-time up to date information (in addition to the data provided remotely through the above mapathons) to the NGOs and humanitarian agencies operating in the area. Specifically, WASH facilities were targeted and refugees trained to assess them by using OSM tools, in order to report the physical location, operating conditions, access and usage, as well as information translation on the map, to NGOs and agencies.  
All in a Day’s Work: Volunteers show solidarity with refugees during Istanbul’s First Missing Maps Mapathon
Posted by Geoffrey Kateregga on Jul, 3 2017
What connects Kampala and Istanbul? You might be thinking that Kampala and Istanbul are worlds apart, but volunteers in both cities rallied around a common cause for World Refugee Day - working together to map priority areas in Uganda that require urgent humanitarian assistance.
Posted by Cristiano Giovando on Jun, 28 2017
Through a research collaboration with Stanford University and other partners, HOT is launching three formal research experiments on crowdsourced damage assessment and is seeking participation from the community. Background In the aftermath of a disaster, knowing the condition of buildings, infrastructure, and utilities is critical to both immediate response and long-term recovery efforts. HOT is often asked to help identify damage to buildings and other assets in the affected region. In the past, limitations in post-disaster imagery and difficulties in identifying building damage from aerial views have hindered these efforts. In this research project, our particular focus is on improving how building damage information is gathered through crowdsourcing. We intend for the methods and tools we are developing to better facilitate the contributions of online volunteers, and to maximize the impact of those contributions to the disaster response and recovery process. 
Posted by Biondi Sima on Jun, 15 2017
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Indonesia hosts a mapathon with students from the University of Indonesia’s (UI) Department of Geography. UI, one of Indonesia’s leading universities, has been among HOT Indonesia’s academic partners in carrying out projects involving youths and academia.   A mapathon, or a mapping party, is one of the most time-efficient methods of creating geospatial map data, through the digitization of building footprints from satellite imagery. Participants sit together for a given time and map assigned areas using the Tasking Manager, a tool that can be used to coordinate for a collaborative, remote mapping project. In several cases, as in the UI mapathon, the event was designed as a mapping competition among students, where top mappers are awarded with a prize and recognition. The UI mapathon event ran for three days, from 5 to 7 June 2017.  
Mappers for Life
Posted by russell deffner on Jun, 11 2017
YouthMappers ‘Mapping to End Malaria’ Challenge: Round 3 Results The third and final round of the YouthMappers challenge has concluded. In round three, we had 13 Universities participate, bringing the total for all three round to 26 Universities. Also in round three we had 88 student mappers contribute just under 200,000 buildings bringing the grand total of buildings digitized in the challenge to over 600,000. Thank you to all the chapters and students who participated! We’re pleased to announce, the winners of this round are: Team Good Mappers from Busitema University, Uganda: with nearly 100,000 buildings traced and averaging over 5000 buildings per mapper, Busitema made an impressive showing in this final round.
Posted by Nate Smith on Jun, 9 2017
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has recently signed a cooperation agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN's Migration Agency. This new collaboration will strengthen the way the HOT community supports organizations committed to respecting the rights and well-being of migrants. Through the collaboration, both organizations will support each other in times of need with readily accessible up-to-date data on urban and rural infrastructure and services available. Building partnerships with a focus on data and expertise sharing like this with IOM enables the wider humanitarian community to see a wider impact of OpenStreetMap.
Posted by Mhairi O'Hara on Jun, 7 2017
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team has partnered with the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) and ImageCat on a Challenge Fund focused on developing a global exposure database for multi-hazard risk analysis. The Challenge Fund, formed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is aimed at building local and global resilience through innovation in order to better identify risk and enable more effective decision-making.

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