Posted by Paul Uithol on Apr, 14 2016
(Guest post by Mercedes Hoffay, Master of Public Administration Candidate - Columbia University). All policy students are obsessed with the effectiveness and feasibility of policies and programs that governments implement. So when we find a tool that allows significant efficiency gains in government planning, we are thrilled. That is how we felt when we embarked on our Graduate Capstone Project to evaluate the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s work in Tanzania and their role in Dar Ramani Huria.
Posted by Russell Deffner on Mar, 23 2016
Greetings HOT Community, Each year the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Voting Members assemble for HOT’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). During this important event, we announce the election results for the HOT Board of Directors and Membership Chairperson. Also, the AGM is where we typically consider items like adopting or amending policies such as the Membership Code of Conduct.
Posted by Cristiano Giovando on Mar, 10 2016
Last week in Washington DC, HOT kicked off work to develop a prototype tool for OSM data analysis. With generous support from the Knight Foundation, HOT began the design phase and discussed ideas on how to make it easy for anyone to gain insights into OSM data.  Understanding the quality and quantity of geospatial data in OpenStreetMap is not an easy task, especially for those less familiar with the OSM project or with mapping technology in general. Today an increasing number of humanitarian organizations rely on OSM basemap data for coordinating disaster response operations. Journalists and communities also use OSM derived maps to tell stories about humanitarian crisis or to discuss local issues. It is crucial for those and many other users of OSM maps to understand the characteristics of such data to be able to use it efficiently and confidently. This often includes an assessment of data coverage, map statistics, change monitoring, and the identification of gaps and inconsistencies. Interactive wireframes of the OSM data analysis tool Web interface
Posted by Cristiano Giovando on Mar, 9 2016
On Thursday, March 3rd 2016, a world-record humanitarian mapathon took place at Politecnico di Milano in northern Italy.  Two-hundred and twelve 10-year old children from nine classes at six elementary schools in Milan province had the unique opportunity of meeting with researchers from GEOlab (Geomatics and Earth Observation laboratory) and HOClab (Hypermedia Open Center laboratory) of Politecnico di Milano, who introduced them to humanitarian mapping.       
Posted by vasanthi on Mar, 6 2016
For the past 2 years, HOT in Indonesia is implementing a university program to build partnerships and collaborations with universities, disaster research centers, and local disaster management agencies.The purpose is for the universities to have the capacity to map exposure data in vulnerable areas and could support local disaster management agency in their area when needed. The big goal of this program is to have disaster prone areas in Indonesia to be well mapped.
Douglas instructing students at UCU Mbale
Posted by Paul Uithol on Mar, 2 2016
We have three Ugandan mapping supervisors on the HOT mapping team in Uganda: Douglas Ssebaggala, Geoffrey Kateregga and Ketty Adoch. They've all been involved with OpenStreetMap and HOT for some time, and would like to share their story and mapping history. Today, we're speaking to Douglas.
Dar Ramani Huria mapping coordinators Innocent Maholi and Evance Calist working with local mappers.
Posted by Blake Girardot on Feb, 19 2016
Mozambique is a country of 25 million people on the east coast of Africa, often beset by natural disasters ranging from severe drought to devastating floods as well as civil wars and strife. Dar Ramani Huria and HOT have recently started mapping in Mozambique, to support critical public health work.Struggling with one of the highest child mortality rates in Africa, the Mozambique Ministry of Health has worked to reduce the death rate for children, which in some provinces means that as many as 10% of the children do not live to see their 5th birthday.Health Alliance International (HAI), a Center of the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, has been working in solidarity with the government of Mozambique for over 25 years to improve access to and the effectiveness of the public-sector healthcare system.
Posted by Paul Uithol on Feb, 16 2016
Guest post by Kathryn Davis, Columbia University. January 14th, 10:30am. We arrive in Chang'ombe ward (an industrial area in Dar es Salaam) after weaving in and out of traffic in the project bajaj (rickshaw) through different neighborhoods. Johannes Peter, a seasoned mapper with the Dar Ramani Huria project, takes another look at his drone imagery printout of the area, and indicates that we’ve arrived at our starting point.Mappers like Johannes detail key drainage and water infrastructure that hasn't been digitized before, and that can be used for disaster risk reduction planning and flood resilience. Almost immediately, we see drainage on the right side of the wide dirt road, and mark it on the map...
Girl Scouts mapping on OSM.
Posted by Courtney Clark on Feb, 11 2016
A young woman anxiously practices a talk about youth in OSM that she is slated to give at the HOT Summit the following day. Impostor’s syndrome has convinced her that it be would better for her not to give the talk at all; she’s relatively new to HOT and has few technical skills. She’ll be easily exposed as a fraud, and the audience members surely have better uses of their time than listening to her (spoiler alert: that was me at the first HOT Summit).    
Posted by Mikel Maron on Feb, 8 2016
Guest post by Pratik Yadav, data analyst at Mapbox. The HOT Tasking Manager (TM) has been the critical tool for rapid and massive coordination for disaster response and preparedness mapping. Since the first task in September 2011, there have been a total of 1168 tasks published in the Tasking Manager. This map shows the footprint of all HOT tasks up to January 5, 2016, with a total coverage of about 7,449,759 sq kms.   You'll notice a variety of shapes of HOT TM jobs. Some are hand drawn around small focus areas, and others are large, representing the area of a data import, and a few are thin corridors along roadways.
Posted by Felix Delattre on Feb, 4 2016
We made great progress on a crowd-sourced public transportation map for Managua! Over seventy generous donours supported us, through our crowd-funding initiative, to raise $6,212 dollars and with this they enabled us to print the city's bus map 40,000 times. Yesterday, members of the OpenStreetMap Nicaragua cummunity handed over the collaboratively created and printed public transportation maps to the people. Managua became Central America's first capital with a complete transportation map. And only the community made this possible:
Posted by Paul Uithol on Feb, 3 2016
When I was first told about mapping, I thought it was something to do sitting indoors on your laptop. Well, it’s also a bit like that, but little did I know the adventure that awaited me. I quickly got acquainted with the whole mapping process after the training we received on the first two days (ed: 11 and 12 January). Earlier I had met Douglas Ssebaggala who had showed us how to use OpenMapKit and JOSM. I just couldn’t wait to start my journey in the world. After the training, I felt I was ready.
Posted by Yantisa Akhadi on Feb, 1 2016
Smartphone is everywhere. In Indonesia alone, it is estimated in 2015 that there are around 55 million of smartphone users, the third highest number in Asia Pacific. To tap into this huge potential, HOT Indonesia with the support from Australia-Indonesia Facilities for Disaster Reduction have started developed Android app for mobile data collection back in 2014. It was started by developing the concept notes for the application based on HOT Indonesia experience in delivering training throughout Indonesia.
Mobile money agent in Namanyonyi subcounty
Posted by Paul Uithol on Jan, 18 2016
As we enter our second week in Mbale, we've started surveying the surrounding districts of Sironko, Manafwu and Baduda today (Monday, January 18th). These are spectacular areas to be surveying, being around Mount Elgon National Park and Sipi Falls. Last week, we mapped most of Mbale district while focusing on education and training, slowly increasing the scope and geographical areas assigned to teams for mapping tasks. Mobile money agent in Namanyonyi subcounty
Posted by Russell Deffner on Jan, 15 2016
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team is pleased to welcome eighteen new voting members!
Posted by Tyler Radford on Jan, 14 2016
Today, on the morning of 14 January, there were a number of explosions due to suicide bombers and shooting across the street from the HOT Jakarta office in Menara Thamrin (UN building). All HOT staff are safe and accounted for. The building was locked down for the rest of the day, meaning that those inside remained inside until the end of the day, at which time the Australia embassy graciously provided transport for HOT staff. The office remains closed tomorrow, Friday 15 January. HOT is communicating with our Australian government partners and will advise with any changes to the security situation for our staff.
Posted by Mhairi O'Hara on Jan, 11 2016
The Mapping Financial Inclusion in Uganda project is truly underway as we enter our second week of training in Mbale, Uganda. HOT is currently at the Uganda Christian University (UCU) introducing 30 local students to various open source tools with the assistance of students from Makerere University. There will be two days of training before we head out into the field on Wednesday to start mapping the district of Mbale.
Posted by Felix Delattre on Jan, 7 2016
There is no map for the 42 bus lines in Metropolitan Managua, capital of Nicaragua, where 80% of the 2 million inhabitants that are dependent on buses to commute to work or school. But engaged citizens used Free Technology and the power of collaboration to create the first digital public transportation map. Now they seek support ( to print it.
Posted by Tyler Radford on Dec, 31 2015
To all in the global HOT community: As we begin 2016 I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished together as a global community this year. There were many new highs: the largest and most complex disaster response activation to date (Nepal earthquake), the most number of mappers (8000+), and the launch of new and exciting tech tools such as OpenAerialMap and the OSM Export Tool v2. With these successes come many opportunities for 2016—and also some challenges. As HOT moves into 2016, a prime focus area will be continuing to improve the services we provide to partners, OSM communities and humanitarian mapping groups worldwide. More to come on that in January. For now, here are a few highlights from 2015. While numbers don't tell the whole story, they're a good indicator of the massive scale of our collective efforts for the year. Enjoy! Tyler p.s. What did your OSM community accomplish in 2015? To write a guest blog post, email   HOT People at a glance
Posted by Paul Uithol on Dec, 30 2015
As we near the end of the year, there’s many stories that stand out and define the past year. One that I’d like to highlight here is a positive one - the continuation of the sharp decline of absolute poverty over the past year. One of the factors that’s shown to contribute to raising people’s standards of living, especially for those living on next to nothing, is financial inclusion. And one of the success stories here is the rise of mobile money - at number 5 in the Gates Foundation list of Good News stories for 2015: “Mobile Banking Exceeds Our Optimistic Projections”. The mobile money sector in countries like Uganda is growing at an enormous pace, processing over 500 million transactions in 2015, with many more people using mobile money than a traditional bank account - and these services only came into existence six years ago! With the HOT project on “Mapping Financial Services” in Uganda (more background on the CGAP blog here), we’ll be updating, opening up and increasing access to data on financial services, and specifically mobile money services, for Uganda. With only a short time to go until we start our field survey on January 5th, the project team is working hard to finalize our training curriculum, logistics and mapping process.