Monthly Archives: December 2016

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.


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:

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

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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!