Semester Start mapathon coverage in SWR aktuell

A big thank you to all the mappers that supported the fight against Malaria in our Semester Start Mapathon yesterday!

In three hours, buildings in an area of around 400 km² were mapped that can now be covered in the Clinton Health Access Initiave Malaria program.

Moreover, a TV team of SWR was visiting the event to learn more about disastermapping and the work of disastermappers heidelberg/ GIScience Research Group.

Therefore, all of you that were not able to participate still have the chance to get an overview of our work and yesterdays event in the TV broadcast about the mapathon here: SWR Mediathek (minute 14:40)

Selection_025    DSC01843

Disastermappers/GIScience in Radio Program “Early Bird”

Last week, Melanie Eckle of the disastermappers heidelberg/disaster mapping and management department (HeiGIT) was invited to do an interview in the radio program “Early bird” of Deutschland Radio Wissen. She provided an overview of the use of OpenStreetMap for disaster management and humanitarian aid and the work of the GIScience Research Group, disastermappers heidelberg, Missing Maps and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Moreover, listeners had the chance to learn the most important things about mapathons. The full interview is available here (in German): https://dradiowissen.de/early-bird

Sounds interesting? If you would like to find out more and become active yourself please feel free to join our Semester Start mapathon coming Thursday!

Semester Start Missing Maps mapathon for World Malaria Day 2017

Every year, 400 000 people – especially children- die of Malaria, an actually curable disease. The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is working with governments worldwide to prevent, heal and control malaria (http://www.clintonhealthaccess.org).

Many regions of our world are not covered on a map. Maps are however an important tool for planning vaccination campaigns and for ensuring medical supplies. Places that are not covered in a map are in many cases nonexistent for authorities and other organizations. We want to change this situation – with your help – and map the vulnerable places of the world in OpenStreetMap to support the work of humanitarian aid organizations like Doctors without borders or the Red Cross.

Therefore, disastermappers heidelberg and HeiGIT/GIScience Research Group invite you to a Semester Start Missing Maps Mapathon!

When? 27.04.2017, 6 pm

Where? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

April 25th being the official World Malaria Day, in the Mapathon we will specifically focus on a task of the Malaria Elimination Campaign of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Teams that is located in Zimbabwe. The information we are collecting during our event will be used directly on the ground to take measures to fight the spreading of malaria.

A member of the Clinton Health Access Initiative’s malaria program, Katelyn Woolheater, will be connected to us via Skype to provide information about the HOT Malaria project and the use of the OpenStreetMap data on the ground.

We will moreover give an introduction into OpenStreetMap mapping, therefore there is no previous knowledge necessary. Just bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Snacks and drinks will for sure be provided!

We are looking forward to seeing you!

10 Million Contributions: It’s time for MapSwipe Analytics!

The MapSwipe App is widely used by many volunteers who donate their time and brain capacity to find buildings or roads on satellite imagery. Just recently we counted the 10,000,000th contribution! After only 6 months since MapSwipe was launched!
The outcome of these efforts are mainly used by humanitarian organisations like MSF, Netherlands Red Cross or CartONG to create HOT Tasking Manager tasks. Recently we have been busy to reveal the power of the data produced. For doing so we focus on several projects:

1. MapSwipe Analytics website: http://mapswipe.geog.uni-heidelberg.de

MapSwipe Analytics is a website that brings together everything related to MapSwipe projects. This includes a visualisation of the results (e.g. settlement layer), but also additional characteristics like agreement among volunteers, which is an important indicator for quality. Furthermore, you can monitor the progress of individual MapSwipe projects.

The map view for all projects:
screenshot_mapview

The detailed “analytics” view:

screenshot

Please note that we are still in the beta mode. We are working on improving the design as well as the analytical features. Your feedback is always welcome. Just post an issue to our GitLab repository: https://gitlab.com/giscience/MapSwipe/MapSwipeAnalytics

2. MapSwipeTools: https://gitlab.com/giscience/MapSwipe/MapSwipeTools

Since, at least three different people work on every MapSwipe tile (that are the little squares) further aggregation of the answers of one tile is needed. But also adjacent tiles marked with the same answer need to be put together. We need to filter out unreliable answers and finally derive geometries that are ready to use in the HOT Tasking Manager. Since, one main goal of MapSwipe is to support the OSM Mapping using the HOT Tasking Manager, we improved our algorithms to minimize the number of tasks and overall area, but still maintain high accuracy.

We provide you with the tools (written in python) to process the data on your own. This gives you the possibility to download and process MapSwipe data at any time and as often as you like. As we are trying to improve the scripts step by step, have a look at the GitLab repo and always get the latest version.

Left: The “old” algorithm derives larger polygons, which tend to be too small or too thin. Right: Using the “new” algorithm the polygons produces polygons that suit better for the OSM mapping.

3. MapSwipe Data Repository: http://mapswipe.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/download/

Sometimes it is not handy or possible to process data on your own. That’s the reason we created the MapSwipe Data repository, where you can just download the processed data from our server. We will update the data every 12 hours. If you cannot wait that long, have a look at the previous section.

The data comes in various categories. The most important ones are shown on the map:

aggregation –> settlement layer
bad_image –> cloud Layer
final –> Tasking Manager task geometries

all_layers

4. Research Activities:

Besides the development of tools and websites we are also digging deeper into the relationship between data quality and intrinsic characteristics of the MapSwipe data.
Our short paper “Towards evaluating the mobile crowdsourcing of geographic information about human settlements” was accepted for the AGILE conference 2017. Our study identifies several factors that may cause disagreement between volunteers (e.g. bad imagery, dependence on individual users) and thus reduce the reliability of the information they produce. However, such disagreement cases appear not to be random. Their spatially clustered distribution suggests that they are systematically caused by underlying factors.

The insights of this initial study may be used to indicate which types of classification tasks are not well understood by volunteers and tell us where to improve the MapSwipe App.

Herfort, B., Reinmuth, M., Porto de Albuquerque M.J. and Zipf, A. (2017): Towards evaluating the mobile crowdsourcing of geographic information about human settlements. AGILE 2017 International Conference on Geographic Information Science. Wageningen. NL. (accepted).

As this is very much work in progress, stay tuned for more!
🙂

PS: You don’t have the MapSwipe App? Get it here: https://mapswipe.org/

This work has kindly been supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg though the core-funding for HeiGIT (Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology).

Missing Maps Mapathon at Makerspace (DAI)- OSM for Malaria Elimination

Many regions of our world are not covered on a map. Maps are however an important tool for planning vaccination campaigns and for ensuring medical supplies. Places that are not covered in a map are in many cases nonexistent for authorities and other organizations. We want to change this situation – with your help- and map the vulnerable places of the world in OpenStreetMap to support the work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) and Missing Maps. Therefore, disastermappers heidelberg / GIScience Research Group and Python Meetup Heidelberg invite you to a collaborative Missing Maps Mapathon!

When? 16.03.2017, 6 pm

Where? Makerspace (DAI), Sofienstraße 12, 69115 Heidelberg                                                   

In the Mapathon we will particularly focus on Malaria prone regions. The data we are collecting during our event will be used directly on the ground to predict the location and timing of malaria outbreaks. This will help to take measures to fight the spreading of malaria.

Rebecca Firth (HOT) will be connected to us via Skype to provide us some information about the HOT Malaria project and the use of the OpenStreetMap data on the ground.

We will moreover give an introduction into OpenStreetMap mapping, therefore there is no previous knowledge necessary. Just bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Snacks and drinks will for sure be provided!

We are looking forward to seeing you in the Makerspace

P.S. If you want to get prepared you can already create your own OpenStreetMap-Account: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new and install the latest JOSM version: https://josm.openstreetmap.de/wiki/Download

Otherwise just come and join us at the Mapathon and we will provide all necessary information!

GIScience / disastermappers heidelberg in “Jetzt” magazine of Süddeutsche Zeitung

Last week we had a special guest for our New Years Mapathon: Nadja Schlüter, a journalist of the popular youth magazine “Jetzt” of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Nadja had heard about the Missing Maps related activities at our institute during an interview with MSF UK and visited us to learn more about our work and disaster mapping in general. And what better way to learn about disaster mapping than taking part in a mapathon? Read about her experiences in her article: “Heidelberger Studenten kartieren die Krisengebiete der Welt

A big thank you to all of our great supporters, we hope to see you again soon at our next mapathon!

Mapathon for MSF and the people of Aweil

We want to welcome the year 2017 with a mapathon for MSF and the people of Aweil!

When: 19.01.2017, 18:00
Where: Hörsaal, Berliner Straße 48

This time we will focus on Aweil, the capital of South Sudan’s Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. The region is home to tens of thousands of people, many of whom live on the city’s largely unmapped outskirts.

msf_bild_aweil2Aweil, South Sudan. © Adriane Ohanesian/MSF

MSF is active in Aweil since 2008, when the organization took over important medical services. Nowadays MSF teams are mapping villages and their names on the ground. With your help, this can be supported by digitizing settlements and buildings from aerial imagery. Mapping the buildings then helps to estimate the population of the individual villages and is important for MSF to identify areas of highest need.

More information will be reported at the beginning of the mapping event. We also have the chance to learn more about the project from the project management via Skype. Jan Böhm from MSF CZ will give us a more detailed introduction into the field work of MSF in Aweil.  The detailed guidance of mapping in OpenStreetMap will be explained as usual.

jan_böhm.jpgSkype talk by Jan Böhm (MSF CZ)

We are looking forward to your join! Pre-knowledge is not necessary. Just bring your laptop and mouse if available!

🙂

Christmas Mapping Party Results

On Thursday, 08.12.2016, a Christmas mapping party took place at the Geographical Institute of Heidelberg University. Karakol, a city in the Kyrgyz Republic was herein mapped in cooperation with the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ-Potsdam).

Supported by the World Bank, the Bishkek-based Central Asian Institute of Applied Science (CAIAG) and the GFZ Potsdam are undertaking a nationwide seismic risk assessment study for the region. For this, OSM data of buildings and infrastructure are needed.

The event started with a short introduction of the GFZ project, followed by a detailed description of the project via Skype by Dr. Massimiliano Pittore, who is coordinating the project. For new participants, an introduction in the offline editor JOSM was held.

In the process of this mapathon, buildings and infrastructure in Karakol were digitized. The map below shows the results of about 3 hours of intensive mapping. Together we added more than 1913 polygons (most of these show buildings or landuse residential areas), 237 lines (e.g. tagged with highway = residential) and 888 POIs (in many cases these points represent building nodes, for which the location was adjusted). In the following days we will have a closer look at the data and validate our contributions.

Click on the map and have a closer look at the data yourself.

mapathon_dec_stat

We would like to thank everyone for the great support and hope to see you again next year at one of our mapathons.

🙂

PS: HOT task “#1235 – Kyrgyz Republic – Exposure Mapping for Seismic Risk Assessment” is currently at 84%. We would be happy to see this number coming close to 100% by end of the year.

 

 

disastermappers and GIScience Research Group support for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team Fundraising Campaign

One main focus of the GIScience Research Group is the research and education with respect to advancing methods, technologies and applications of Volunteered Geographic Information – in particular OpenStreetMap – for applications from logistics to humanitarian aid. In this vein, the group has been also been supporting the work of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) team for several years with OSM and disaster related research and applications as well as by organizing mapping events.

These activities also led to the launch of the disastermappers heidelberg which are organizing mapping events, webinars and workshops in close relationship with the HOT team to enable students and researchers to learn more about OpenStreetMap, possible applications of the OSM data and the work of HOT.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team coordinates an international mapping community with which they map the vulnerable and disaster prone places in our world. Moreover, it supports local mapping communities to enable local development and disaster preparedness. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team and the international contributors thereby fill gaps in the worldwide OpenStreetMap and create a valuable data treasure.

Building on these previous activities, the GIScience and disastermappers are happy to now support the yearly fundraising campaign of the HOT team. The focus hereby being on micro-grants which will allow to spark and support international local HOT/ OSM community-led projects. Thereby more communities and volunteers will have the chance to become part of this community and benefit of the OSM data for their local needs.

Sounds interesting? If you want to learn more about the campaign and how to support, please visit:

https://donate.hotosm.org/giscience-research-group-disastermappers-heidelberg

or join us in todays HOT Christmas Mapping Event, starting at 6 pm in the Geographical Institute!

2016 social media mapthedifference (1).jpg

Christmas Mapping event to support Earthquake management in Kyrgyzstan

Dear Mapping Enthusiasts,

in the upcoming week we want to invite you to our last Mapathon of the year 2016!

When: 08.12.2016, 18:00

Where: Hörsaal, Berliner Straße 48

In this mapping event we will map buildings and other infrastructures in Karakol, the fourth largest city in Kyrgyzstan, which is located in a seismically active area of Tian Shan.

To develop an earthquake monitoring network in this area, the German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) is involved in the construction of earthquake early warning systems (EEWS), which are considered to be an effective, pragmatic and viable tool for seismic risk reduction in cities. Therefore the locations of population and infrastructures are of great importance for the site selection for EEWS to achieve efficiency in on-site earthquake warning and rapid response.

More information about this project will be provided at the beginning of the mapping event in an online Skype talk by Massimiliano Pittore of the GFZ Potsdam.

A detailed introduction into mapping in OpenStreetMap will be provided afterwards to enable everyone to take part and learn more about crisis mapping- therefore there is no previous knowledge needed, just bring your laptop and mouse if available!

To get you into the right christmas mood, we will also provide Glühwein, christmas snacks and soft drinks!

We are looking forward to seeing you on thursday!