News

Posted by harry on Sep, 4 2010
The coverage of the SPOT imagery has recently been shifted and much extended, to cover a great deal more of the flood affected area of Pakistan, as shown here: Updated SPOT coverage boundary relation Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA
Posted by harry on Aug, 25 2010
In July Pakistan was hit by massive flooding. Monsoon rainfall continues to feed the floods and the flood itself has killed tens of thousands of people. But now destroyed homes, destroyed crops, and spread of disease are threatening millions. As we know, maps can help with the relief efforts as responders on the ground grapple with problems like lack of road access for distributing aid. Coordination of long term recovery will also require maps. So... How can OpenStreetMap help? We are coordinating mapping activities on the Pakistan Floods wiki pages. This includes:
Information Kiosk
Posted by Kate Chapman on Aug, 22 2010
Information Kiosk (image courtesy Leonard Doyle) Nicolas and I are back down in Haiti until the end of August. There was just as much preparation this time, but less fanfare. Being well practiced at the general logistics of our missions we were able to focus more on the actual tasks for this trip. Our focus has changed from general OpenStreetMap training and data collection to focus on mapping within settlements and camps. HOT is working within the IOM (International Office on Migrations) Communications Department. The goal it to not only put data into OpenStreetMap about the settlements/camps but also have printed map products that the residents can access. This has involved adding additional tags to the HDM (Humanitarian Data Model) as well as custom cartography so the settlement/camp specific information shows up. The printed maps are going to be posted in kiosks along with other community information.
Posted by tellermann on Jun, 28 2010
Membership on the HOT team is quite the trying experience. There are always long days of work with early mornings and late nights. It's not uncommon to miss a meal and end up in an uncomfortable bed if you are lucky, on the floor if you are not. Every couple days there is a long ride in an uncomfortable car followed immediately by hours of trainings. Then there is the frustrating waiting while unexpected delays and problems get worked out.  At one point during one of the delays I asked myself. Is all the time and money and effort put into this really worth it? Here are some of the experiences we have had that helped me answer that question. We have trained literally hundreds of eager Haitians in mapping and there will be more before we leave. Where ever we go and people find out what we are up to they are interested and even excited to learn of our work. There is an obvious desire and need for an accurate map of Haiti. At one point after selling us some SIM cards for our phones the salesman quizzed us on OSM for fifteen minutes complaining about how expensive and inaccurate the maps available were and excitedly asking over and over "It's free? It's free?"
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 28 2010
The final day of HOT's third deployment to Haiti was no less busy than all the other days.  This training day did in a way mark a culmination of all the previous work.  Class occured in Carrefour, which was one of the metropolitan areas worst hit by the quake.   Personnel from organizations active in the Shelter Cluster trained on the OSM stack and joined the IOM teams engaged in OSM base lines surveying. The training was entirely facilitated by the personnel from CNIGS and from the Forum Communautaire of Cite Soleil (FOCS) under contract with IOM.    Abed (GIS) and Emmanuel (Head of surveys) from CNIGS lead both the training and surveying. This event was a result training delivered the previous week to Shelter Cluster workers at the UN Logbase as well as the follow-up work by IOM and Shelter Cluster IM/GIS coordinator together with HOT. There were many organizations that helped bring this training together.  Logistics support was provided by The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), IOM and CARE.  ADRA provided our venue for training in basic editing in JOSM, IOM and CARE provided transport for the exercise.
Posted by Kate Chapman on Jun, 27 2010
The first actual mapping party of this mission was scheduled for 25-27 June in this town of Northern Haiti. In OpenStreetMap a mapping party is a group of people getting together to map an area. Mapping parties happen for silly reasons, such as to map a zoo and more serious such as an area has poor mapping coverage. Tomorrow's mapping party is because Gonaïves has poor map coverage and it is an opportunity for people to use their newly acquired surveying and editing skills.
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 24 2010
The team left in a convoy formed by two pick-ups from the Shelter Cluster since the World Food Program (WFP) & the UN Logistics Cluster had to renounce for operational reasons to their participation to this capacity building mission in the Centre and South of the country. The crew was composed of Guensmork and Senatus (Forum Communautaire of Cite Soleil -FOCS), Todd, Trevor, Kate and myself (HOT) and Emmanuel and Desrosiers  (IFRC drivers). The training process got initiated right from the IFRC base camp in Port Au Prince. Guensmork introduced Emmanuel and Desrosiers to the art of surveying with GPS and the UNSDIT Road and Obstacle questionnaire used by WFP and the UN Logistics Cluster to feed the Haitian road condition status map of the main logistics corridors. This introduction got well received and once exposed to 2 days of training in Jacmel, Emmanuel and Desrosiers were able to take an active and part teaching on the whole package (Emmanuel) and on the surveying block (Desrosiers); without their support we would have been outnumbered in our second day in Leogane..
Posted by Kate Chapman on Jun, 20 2010
As Week 1, Mission 3 wraps up in Port-au-Prince the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team performed a review class on Sunday for anyone previously trained in another session. We saw individuals from our Shelter Cluster training on Wednesday, community mobilizers from Saturdays training as well as others from previous missions. There was a field review of data collection techniques, more editing in Java OpenStreetMap Editor (JOSM), installing of the HOT OSM Kit on individuals' computers and troubleshooting of various issues.
Posted by Kate Chapman on Jun, 20 2010
Today was the first day of training with the community mobilizers from IOM (International Office for Migration). These 25 young Haitians mostly engaged in Studies in Social Sciences and Communiction in Haiti are one of the interfaces between the Office and its "beneficiaries" living in the spontaneous settlements sites managed by the Office, all are already active supporting the operations through mediation and community empowerment activities. This training on OSM was seen as the geo component of a plan designed by the IOM Communication department to empower those communities with social media tools and techniques. In addition to our team of Nicolas Chavent, Kate Chapman, Todd Huffman and Trevor Ellermann there was a wide range of facilitators (all former trainees); Guensmock and Senatus from Forum Communautaire of Cite Soleil, Frederic Moine from IOM, and new to join us in training was Sabina Carlson from Ushahidi Haiti.
Posted by Mikel Maron on Jun, 19 2010
This is a question I'm considering a lot "¦ filtered through the brief rushes of reading the amazing crisismappers list, diving into OSM on the wiki and IRC channel "¦ Are we doing everything we possibly can in serving the responders? Can we coordinate our mapping work better? And once aid starts flowing and the immediate response turns to long term recovery and reconstruction, how will our process and community change, when more and more data to synchronize will be coming from the ground in Haiti? How do we operate better in the next disaster? Big questions, and glad that many folks are already compiling ideas. Please add ideas and needs there.
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 18 2010
Today, Guensmork and myself made our way to Petionville where the office of the Watershed Initiative For National Natural Environmental Resources (WINNER) project is located. We had been cooperating with the GIS unit of WINNER headed by Cj Hendrix and composed of Emmanuel Pierre and Daphne Boulin since the first HOT deploy delivering training on the techniques of the OSM project adapted to the specifics of their work.
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 16 2010
Today was the first of the large scale trainings (25 individuals) of this mission delivered to field workers from the Shelter Cluster in LogBase. Thanks to Sandra Sudhoff the Information Management - GIS Officer of the cluster for gathering a large crew and providing the "essential" training goods (meals and drinks).  Also thanks Matt Hewet from OCHA who allowed the team to use a meeting tent large enough to accommodate large audiences. The team of OSM trainers was composed of Kate and myself from HOT joined by Guensmork and Senatus from The Forum Communautaire of Cite Soleil (FOCS), Emmanuel and Maxau from the CNIGS  all under contract with IOM. All had been engaged since late May in conducting intense surveying work in metropolitain areas of Port Au Prince (PAP) important for the IOM. This formation to some of the actors of the Shelter T Cluster was the first step to facilitate the convergence of other actors from the UN cluster system to the enhancement of humanitarian and non humanitarian baselines.
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 15 2010
Kate and myself spent our first day in meetings to coordinate the activities planned for these 2 weeks with all UN actors in LogBase firming up training schedules, forming alliances and arranging logistics support for the training sessions scheduled in Port Au Prince, Jacmel, Leogane and Gonaive in terms of base camps, venue for training, lodging and travels in country. The Port Au Prince trainings will be supported by OCHA, the Shelter Cluster and IOM in terms of coordination amongst international and national actors while logistics support will be provided by OCHA. OCHA and the Cluster Shelter agreed to play a lead role coordinating amongst humanitarian and national actors for the Jacmel and Leogane trainings sessions. The Shelter Cluster will provide two vehicles for the whole trip while UNDP & OCHA furnish the venues for the exercices. The trip to Gonaives will be supported by IOM from travel to venue. We spent 1 hour training 10 staffs from IOM surveying with GPS to warm up for tomorrow/s training with humanitarian workers from the Shelter T Cluster. Kate and Nicolas for HOT
Posted by nicolas on Jun, 14 2010
Following 2 weeks of intense preparation, Kate Chapman and myself just got landed in Haiti to run the third deploy of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) these 14-29th June. This is the second and last mission funded by the World Bank that HOT is conducting under the wings of The Open Geo Project acting as an institutional vehicle for the Team. Todd Huffman and Trevor Ellermann will join us the 17-June with their respective experience in managing international development projects and in software development.
Posted by dane on Jun, 3 2010
First Stop: Jacmel On May 19th we departed Port Au Prince enroute for the town of Jacmel. The trip took us 100 km south over 3 hours, up and over the mountainous ridges above Port Au Prince, and descending again to the Caribbean sea. We traveled under the sponsorship of WFP, which afforded us a 4-wheel drive land rover with an exceptionally talented driver, Thomas. Thomas's ability to handle enormous potholes, dodge crumbling sections of road, and navigate past landslide debris made the trip surprisingly smooth. In addition, he jumped at the opportunity to learn about GPS techniques and by the end of the trip was fluent at road assessments using our survey forms. We also traveled in the company of Michael Saimbertil, a young and ambitious CNIGS staffer. In his second field excursion with HOT to assist with OSM instruction, he would play a key role as an assitant instructor and traveling companion. Crossing the mountains to Jacmel
Posted by admin on May, 19 2010
Our second week here in Haiti is off to a fast start, and we look forward to sending a more detailed report upon its culmination. We are departing this morning for excursions to Jacmel and Leogane, but are excited to briefly summarize our excellent last week based at Logbase. In a nutshell we have been successful in:
Posted by Mikel Maron on May, 10 2010
Nicolas Chavent and Dane Springmeyer are now on Haitian soil for HOT. It was just a few weeks ago that Nicolas and Robert returned from the first HOT mission to Haiti. Nicolas had the immediate conclusion "¦ we have to go back. Something amazing was started with OSM and an interesting cross section of CNIGS (the Haitian national mapping agency), the UN, and civil society. The work had to be seen through, and Nicolas is dedicated for the long term. He's joined now by Dane, adventurous and incredibly skilled technically. Can't wait to see what develops this trip, and immensely proud that OSM is again on the ground in Haiti.
Posted by nicolas on Apr, 16 2010
Back to base (Brittany, France) at the end of the third week of this OSM/HOT mission in Haiti of which you'll find the main facts further below. In addition to the wealth of resources created by the OSM Wiki Project Haiti, the efforts Robert and I spent in our first two weeks of mission meeting and outreaching to all actors (UN and NGOs, Haitian National/Local Authorities, Development projects and Haitian Civil Society), designing a field OSM surveying and editing kit, delivering training and running field surveys continue to pay in this last week. First layer of activities was training and surveying. More than 30 persons were trained from UNICEF, UNOCHA, MINUSTAH, FAO, WFP, IOM, Shelter Box, iMMAP, MapAction, INTERSOS, DAI project, WINNER project and their partners in Port Au Prince Municipalities, SASH, CNIGS, CNSA, INURED and Representative from the Forum of Communities of Cite Soleil.
Posted by robert on Apr, 7 2010
Earlier this week I arrived back in Washington, DC after a two week stay in Port-au-Prince with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team where I conducted training and outreach around using OpenStreetMap to help with the earthquake recovery efforts. Overall the trip went well and my partner Nicolas Chavent stayed in Haiti for another week where he'll do further training and surveying.
Posted by robert on Mar, 20 2010
The training and outreach around OpenStreetMap that Nicolas and I are doing in Haiti as part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (aka HOT) is going well, primarily because of the effort the OSM community has made over the past few months to support the response efforts happening here. The focus of the HOT mission (which is funded by ECHO and facilitated by MapAction) is to make sure that OpenStreetMap remains a valuable, relevant datasource and tool so it can continue to be used in the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts. Nicolas and I (in addition to the remote HOT community) are attempting to do this in three ways:

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