disastermappers at AGIT conference Salzburg 2019

This week, the annual AGIT conference is again organized in Salzburg. The conference has since more than 30 years successfully gathered representatives of academia, applied research and economy to present latest projects, to share ideas and to develop new approaches.

This year, participants furthermore have the chance to learn more about the work of the HeiGIT team and the disastermappers heidelberg in two collaborative workshops on Friday.

While the first workshops will allow for learning more about humanitarian mapping and will give participants the chance to directly participate in a mapathon, the second workshop aims at gathering actors that are involved- or want to get involved- in humanitarian mapping related projects. While the first workshop allows for contributing to humanitarian mapping projects, the second workshop will enable learning about the different projects, and facilitate building a closer network and closer exchange and collaboration.

We are very looking forward to your participation and to meeting you in Salzburg!


Nuit Géo- Join disastermappers for the Night of Geography

Current community efforts for Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and the Refugee Response in Venezuela again show the need and impact of humanitarian mapping.

Already before the start of the semester, on April 5th, disastermappers heidelberg will organize a Mapathon to support these efforts – this time in scope of the european Night of Geography!

The event was first introduced in 2017 by the French National Geographical Committee and then, due to the great success, scaled up to the whole of Europe in 2018. The main of the Night of Geography is

“to put forward geography and geographers, give the greater public a chance to know them better, make geographical research more accessible.”(eugeo.eu)

In line with this and in collaboration with CartONG and PoliMappers Milan, and other organizations and communities all around Europe, we will therefore open our doors and get together to support the latests mapping projects.

When? Friday, April 5th, 6 pm

Where? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

Everyone is welcome and no previous knowledge necessary as we will as usual provide an introduction to OpenStreetMap mapping.

We also reserved the PC Pools, however due to limited availability, please bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Snacks and drinks will for sure be provided 🙂

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!




Mapping against Racism – disastermappers heidelberg bei den Internationalen Wochen gegen Rassismus in Heidelberg 2019

Bereit seit den 1960ern werden von den Vereinten Nationen initiiert und von den UN-Mitgliedsländern zunehmend unterstützt, jährlich Internationale Wochen gegen Rassismus zum Thema Integration, Austausch und Bewusstsein gegen Rassismus organisiert. Vom 11. bis zum 24. März finden gemäß dem Motto „Europa wählt Menschenwürde“ Konzerte, Lesungen, Workshops usw. statt, um “den nationalistischen, rassistischen und autoritären Angriffen von rechtsaußen ein Europa der Freiheit, der Demokratie und der Menschenrechte entgegenzustellen” (Stiftung gegen Rassismus).

In diesem Jahr werden die Internationalen Wochen gegen Rassismus zum ersten Mal auch von Heidelberg unterstützt. Insgesamt haben Besucher allein in Heidelberg bei etwa 70 Veranstaltungen die Chance, sich zu informieren, zu engagieren und ein Zeichen zu setzen. Eine Übersicht aller Veranstaltungen finden Sie hier.

Bereits am ersten Tag, am 11. März um 18 Uhr, werden Melanie Eckle (GIScience Research Group Heidelberg, disastermappers heidelberg, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) und Robert Danziger im Interkulturellen Zentrum das Mamapa Projekt vorstellen, sowie das Potential von OpenStreetMap für humanitäre Hilfe.

Das Mamapa Projekt wurde mit dem Ziel gegründet, Integration zu fördern und gleichzeitig wirkungsvolle humanitäre Hilfe zu leisten. Die Zusammenarbeit von einheimischen “Tandem-Partnern” und Zugewanderten während der Mapathon-Veranstaltungen bietet allen Teilnehmern/innen sozialen Kontakt, der durch Tandem Arbeit am PC entsteht, sowie die Gewinnung neuer Kenntnisse. Hierbei werden Vorurteile und stereotypisches Denken abgebaut und gegenseitiges Vertrauen gestärkt.

Besucher des Vortrags werden die Chance haben mehr über das Projekt, den aktuellen Stand und Möglichkeiten, sich selbst hierin zu engagieren, zu erhalten.

Am 21. März (14.30 bis 17 Uhr) haben Sie zudem gleich die Chance aktiv zu werden – bei dem nächsten Mamapa Mapathon in der Volkshochschule Heidelberg. Die Plätze sind auf 25 Teilnehmer beschränkt, daher raten wir dazu sich schnellstmöglich anzumelden (VHS Kurs 1146).

Wir freuen uns auf interessante Diskussionen und Zuwachs unserer Mamapa Gemeinschaft in Heidelberg!


Christmap Workshop: Create unique presents using OSM and Satellite Imagery

Hey everybody,

Christmas is just around the corner and we are organizing another workshop on the use of OpenStreetMap data. As last year we will present different ways to craft personal Christmas gifts based on OpenStreetMap features.

Additionally we will also show how to use open satellite imagery archives captured by Sentinel and Landsat mission. Together we will create posters, postcards, calendars or everything you need to imprint a T-shirt. We will show you how!

When: 13.12.2018, 4 pm
Where: Small PC-Pool + SR, Berliner Straße 48, Heidelberg

Snacks & drinks on us. 🙂
No prior knowledge needed. Please bring your own laptop + mouse.


Mapathon and Workshop at Würzburg University

In the last week a delegation of disatermappers heidelberg and Fachschaft Geographie Heidelberg took the train towards Würzburg for a two days OpenStreetMap event organized by the local student association FSI Geographie Würzburg.


On thursday we organized a mapathon contributing to two Missing Maps projects requested by Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The first project is located in Embu County, Kenya and MSF is supporting health centres there  to develop a model of care for Non Communicable Diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy. The second project dealt with the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. During our mapathon we introduced more than 60 students into how to map streets, buildings and forests in OpenStreetMap.


The second day was dedicated to OpenStreetMap data as well. However, this time we focused on data export and visualization rather than data creation. In a three hours workshop we presented several ways to download OpenStreetMap data and directly tested it together with the students. You can have a look at the slides in the tutorial section of this blog.


We are really thankful for the invitation by the FSI Geographie Würzburg and are looking forward to support the growth of local OSM community. It was a fantastic stay.


Mamapa Vorstellung Ludwigshafen

Heute Abend stellen Robert Danziger (Mamapa) und Melanie Eckle (disastermappers heidelberg/ HeiGIT) in Ludwigshafen das Mamapa Projekt vor. Zudem erläutern sie die Potenziale von OpenStreetMap (OSM) und illustrieren, wie OSM eingesetzt und wie zu OSM beigetragen werden kann.

Donnerstag, 20. September 2018, 18.00 Uhr
Zentralbibliothek Schulungsraum

Weitere Informationen hier und unter 0621 504-3533,
der Eintritt ist frei.

Wer mehr über das Mamapa Projekt erfahren will oder sich direkt beim Mamapa Projekt engagieren will, hat 27.9.2018 bereits die nächste Gelegenheit. Um 14:30 findet in der Mannheimer Abendakademie die nächste Mamapa Veranstaltung statt.

Weitere Informationen unter mamapa.org, sowie die Anmeldung gerne unter: https://mamapa.org/register/tandem-partner.




HOT End of Semester Mapathon & BBQ

Flood events caused serious harm in wide areas of Japan and Sri Lanka over the last couple of weeks. Heavy rain, floods and landslides happened in South West area of Japan and monsoon rains have caused severe flooding in the Kurunagala and Puttalam districts of Sri Lanka.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has received requests from Japan Red Cross that is working in this affected area as well as from the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka to trace buildings in the inundated areas.

disastermappers heidelberg and HeiGIT/GIScience Research Group invite you to our end of semester Mapathon in which we want to support HOT in these efforts! In contrast to previous events, this time you will not only learn about OpenStreetMap (OSM) and how to contribute, but also get familiar with OSM data validation.

Why? Map data creation is crucial in disaster scenarios and the contributed data can help first responders and the local community to coordinate efforts. The value of OSM data furthermore increases when it is reviewed and lessons learned are ultimately applied. Accurate maps can then help to enable confident use of the data.

Russ Deffner, HOT Associate Project Manager and Activation Working Group, will also be joining use via Skype and provide insights about the projects and the use of the data on the ground.


When?       Thursday 19.07.2018, 6 pm

Where?     Großer Hörsaal, Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

As usual, we will provide an introduction to OpenStreetMap mapping, therefore there is no previous knowledge needed. Additionally, an introduction into validation of OSM data in the Tasking Manager is offered.

We also reserved the PC Pools, however due to limited availability, bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Snacks and drinks will for sure be provided!

To round up the Mapathon and enable further get together and exchange, we will moreover fire up the BBQ! Therefore, make sure to bring your ribs or veggies 🙂



1 Million ways to download OpenStreetMap data workshop

OpenStreetMap has become a huge source for any kind of geographic information. In OpenStreetMap you now find not only street information, but also information related to buildings, shops, sights and in Heidelberg even to individual trees.

Furthermore, OpenStreetMap data is open data – everyone is free to edit and to download the data to create own maps and analysis. In our workshop we want to explore this potential together with you.

When: Wednesday, 04.07.2018, 4 pm
Where: PC-labs + Seminarraum, Berliner Straße 48, Heidelberg

Depending on you pre-knowledge, we plan to have different groups.


  • no/ little knowledge about OpenStreetMap and GIS
  • download and visualize OSM data in ArcGIS or QGIS
  • easy queries and styling


  • some knowledge and experience with OSM data
  • select and export only specific OSM objects
  • queries related to different timestamps, users and other parameters

Depending on the number of people interested, we will also offer a workshop for professionals with:

  • already good experience with OSM data and keen to analyse “big data”
  • store OSM data in a database
  • advanced queries for large regions containing many objects


Figure: Get bicycle rentals from OSM data using the overpass API

See you soon,
your disastermappers

PS: We booked the PC-labs, however it may be worth to bring the own laptop.

POSTPONED! Next Workshop: Mobile Data Collection


Due to the worldcup match the workshop has been POSTPONED! We will find a date soon and will announce it here. 🙂


Dear Students, Dear Colleagues,

it’s time for another disastermappers workshop. And since the weather is so nice, we will go outside and learn something about mobile data collection! 🙂

When? 27.06.2018, 4 pm – 7 pm
Where? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

Data Collection in the field has always been important geographic information and today this is widely done using mobile devices. We want to get out and create our own surveys utilizing the Open Source tool KoBo. This tool is used by several humanitarian NGOs such as CartONG, Kathmandu Living Labs or the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to collect local information on infrastructures such as shops, building types or water points.

However, in our workshop we don’t want to focus only on physical infrastructures, but also map more fuzzy things such as perception of places, the sound of the Neuenheimer Feld or your emotions in various parts of the campus. Together we want to learn how to design a survey using Kobo, collect data in the field and visualize it on web map.

Please bring a mobile device if available and install the KoBo Collect app in advance. 🙂 We will provide some refreshments as always.

See you next wednesday,
your disastermappers

BuFaTa Mapathon – Spreading the Word about OpenStreetMap and Missing Maps

This weekend Heidelberg was the host city of this semesters geography “BuFaTa” (Bundesfachschaftentagung). During this four day event student associations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland and their members came together to discuss, learn and spend time together. The event was organized by an excellent student team from Heidelberg.

We as disastermappers Heidelberg contributed to the BuFaTa by organising a Missing Maps mapathon as one of the plenty working group activities. During three hours we presented an overview on mapping activities to support disaster management and humanitarian aid. Furthermore, the participants became active themselves by contributing data to MapSwipe and/or OpenStreetMap. By spreading the word about the work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross organisations and our local team at the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology, we hope to help to establish more mapathons in other German cities organized by local student groups.

IMG_9156.JPGA group of motivated students during the mapathon (Foto: Daniel Wagner)

Everyone insterested in organising mapathons at his/her home town is welcome to contact us. We’re happy to share our experiences we gained on the long journey we started already in 2013 during the mapping efforts after Typhoon Haiyan. Just write an email to disastermappers@posteo.de or contact us via Twitter or Facebook.

For the ones, who can’t wait to learn more: We already have a list of tutorials and workshop material available under the tutorials section of this blog.

Again, thank you for the great attendance and let’s stay in contact! We can’t wait to pack our things and come to your universities! 🙂

IMG_9177.JPGMapping Settlements using the MapSwipe app (Foto: Daniel Wagner)