All posts by disastermappers

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.”(

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!

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, sowie die Anmeldung gerne unter:




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

Semester Start Mapathon with Kathmandu Living Labs

Dear Students, Mappers and Employees,

we would like to invite you to the first mapathon, mapping party, mapswipeathon of this semester, which will be focusing on Nepal. (Just in time with the upcoming talk at the HGG on tuesday.) 😀

When? 07.05.2018, 6 pm
here? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

Our mapathon is organized in collaboration with the Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL) team. KLL is a young civic technology company from Nepal which uses OpenStreetMap and other open source tools to foster economic growth and provide everyday citizens with better services. We already supported KLL and mapping efforts in Nepal during the last couple of years, e.g. before and after the 2015 earthquake.

Just recently, the head of KLL, Nama Budhathoki, was visiting Heidelberg and gave a talk at the colloquium of the GIScience Research Group. We’re happy to stay in contact with his group and are able to support their work with our mapathon.

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!

Nama during the talk at the GIScience Colloquium

disastermappers heidelberg/GIScience support for MAnnheimer MAPAthons (MAMAPA)- Integration and humanitarian contribution

The first mapathon in the MAMAPA framework was held on January 23, 2018 at the Abendakademie in the city center of Mannheim.

Project organizer Robert Danziger, Board member at CartONG and member of the disastermappers heidelberg, presented the project in several different locations in Mannheim in the weeks leading to the event. Immigrant language and integration course participants at the Abendakademie, the Goethe Institute and Internationaler Bund were informed about the project and encouraged to add their names to the project contact list.

Among the numerous persons who did register, 16 were present on the afternoon of the mapathon. Since one of the central aspects of the project is to stimulate integration while making a humanitarian contribution via the mapathon activity, these participants were each “partnered” with a German resident at a PC. A group of students and researchers from disastermappers heidelberg/GIScience brought with them their extensive mapathon experience. A number of dyed-in-the-wool Mannheim residents also volunteered their time as did a member of the Board of CartONG, coming from Paris for the event.

CartONG, formal sponsor of the project and co-member of disastermappers Heidelberg/GIScience in Missing Maps, prepared a beginner-level task in the HOT Tasking Manager for the mapathon in the context of its cooperation with the UNHCR. The task requested the identification of buildings in Bangladesh, in an area of arrival and encampment of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. Two colleagues from CartONG made Skype guest appearances to talk to the participants about a few aspects of the specific task being mapped.

Among the immigrant mapathoners, the largest number were from Syria, but present as well were citizens of Turkey, Ghana, Afghanistan, Morocco, Bulgaria and Israel. The mapathon lasted almost 3 hours and — as usual — in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Most of the activity was communicated in German (providing language practice also being a goal of the project) but injection of moments of English and French into the conversations contributed noticeably to the conviviality of the group.

Judging from the feedback collected from a short questionnaire distributed at the end of the mapathon, the experience was unanimously positive. All respondents said that they would like to continue to participate in future project mapathons. You can view photos taken during the Mapathon here.

To maintain the momentum created by this mapathon, a second Mapathon is already planned on February 28, 14:30 in the Mannheimer Abendakademie.

If you are interested in supporting the project and for further information and updates, visit the MAMAPA website. If you are interested in joining as a “Mapathon Tandem Partner” please also visit the registration site here.


Semester Ending Mapathon and Open Group Meeting

disastermappers heidelberg/GIScience Research Group want to invite you to our last mapathon in this winter term!

This time, we will be mapping the rural areas of Tanzania in eastern Africa. There will be a Skype interview with Janet Chapman of the Tanzania Development Trust, who will give us an overview on the mapping activities in this area. JanetChapman

“Tanzania has a high incidence of extreme poverty, early marriage and Gender Based Violence. NGOs on the ground need better road and residential area data to facilitate their outreach work. […]. This base map will assist with this field mapping.”  Janet Chapman


Furthermore, we will have an open group meeting after the Mapathon in the Botanik Café. If you are interested in helping us planning our events, have ideas for the next semester or just want to drink a beer with us – join us 🙂

When? 08.02.2018, 6 pm

Where? Geographisches Institut, Berliner Straße 48

Group Meeting afterwards: around 9pm in the Café Botanik

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!