Exploring the Missing Maps Project – Tasking Manager statistics

The HOT Tasking Manager is the tool where most of the work of the Missing Maps community and members happens. The projects created tell us a lot about the current mapping efforts and also show where we already succesfully mapped basic infrastructures like roads and human settlements. New tools like OSM Analytics already try to find ways to visualize how the OpenStreetMap changed over time. Nevertheless, we still don’t have a map of all Missing Maps projects! We think, that it is time to change this. That’s why we had a closer look at the HOT Tasking Manager and extracted all the information related to the Missing Maps project.


Overall, there are 268 projects in the Tasking Manager which have “Missing Maps” in their name. Most of these projects are located in Africa, but there is also a considerable number in Carribean and South Asian countries like Honduras, Haiti or Bangladesh. And believe it or not, there is even a Missing Maps Tasking Manager project in Japan (#1699).


When looking at the number of projects created per month, this leads to encouraging results. Since the first Missing Maps project created in November 2014, projects are constantly created. In terms of projects created 2016 was definitely a phenomenal year for the Missing Maps project. In march 2016 35 projects were created, most of them by the American Red Cross. In collaboration with Red Cross partners in the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru these projects addressed local hazards and vulnerabilities in dozens of disaster-prone communities. The “Map South Kivu” project led by MSF is one of the projects, where projects were created over a longer time period (more than 12 month and there is still a lot to map!). By now, 18 projects has been created to map this part of DRC that, for decades, has faced unceasing humanitarian crises.

Most of the projects (70%) are completely mapped. Nevertheless, progress is still needed regarding the validation of the contributed map data. Only half of the projects which are completed are also validated to more than 95%. This underlines, how important it is to encourage the mappers of today to become the validators of tomorrow.

Want to have a look at the map yourself? We created a uMap for you:


PS: Further information regarding the Missing Maps projects can also be found at the GIScience news blog.



Semester closing Mapathon and talk by Kerstin Meyer on the use of OSM data in Togo

Dear Mapping-Enthusiasts,

before the start of the semester break, we would like to take the chance to round the semester up with a “SPECIAL” Mapping event.

Many of you have supported the Mapping for Togo during our last Mapathon or/ and the GIS tutorial. This data was collected for the use by the local authorities in Sokode.

In this event you can learn more about the use of this data and the further OpenStreetMap activities in Togo. Kerstin Meyer of the TU Kaiserslautern will be joining us to present her work regarding the use of OpenSource Geospatial Technology in Togo with focus on OSM. She was working with the local authorities in Togo, organized mapathons and mapping trainings and was moreover out in the field to validate and add information to the data we and other mappers provided.

WHEN: Tuesday, 6 pm

WHERE: Hörsaal, Berliner Straße 48

Kerstin will open up the event with a presentation, then we will have the rest of the evening to discuss, map and to also test the new MapSwipe App- an app we developed in cooperation with MissingMaps and which is now available in the Play and App Store! For more information also see: http://mapswipe.org/

We are looking forward to seeing you all on tuesday,

the disastermappers

P.S. Please bring your own laptop and mouse (for the mapping) and a smartphone and tablet (for MapSwipe) if available 🙂





Mapping SokodĂ©-Report of our latest mapathon

Beginning of June students of the “Citizens as sensors” seminar organized a Mapping event to support local authorities in SokodĂ©. Please find their short feedback below:

Am 08. Juni 2016 war es wieder soweit! Im Rahmen des „Citizens as Sensors“ Seminar in Kooperation mit Missing Maps und den lokalen Behörden in SokodĂ© sowie der TU Kaiserslautern wurde eine Mapping Aktion am Geographischen Institut der UniversitĂ€t Heidelberg fĂŒr die Region SokodĂ© gestartet.

SokodĂ© ist die zweitgrĂ¶ĂŸte Stadt in Togo und umfasst ca. 120.000 Einwohner. Auch SokodĂ© ist vom sogenannten „urban sprawl“ betroffen, worunter hinsichtlich der erhöhten Urbanisierungsrate eine ungeregelte Ausbreitung des Stadtgebietes zu beobachten ist. Das Ziel beim Mapping Event lag vor allem darin, digitales Kartenmaterial mit freiwilligen Teilnehmern/innen fĂŒr die Raum- und Stadtplanung in SokodĂ© zur VerfĂŒgung zu stellen.


Als EinfĂŒhrung wurde die Region in Togo vorgestellt, sowie eine Anleitung zum Digitalisieren in OpenStreetMap mit dem externen JOSM Editor gegeben. Mit JOSM wurden im Rahmen des Events Ausschnitte aus der Region heruntergeladen, bearbeitet, erweitert und wieder in die Datenbank hochgeladen. Der Schwerpunkt beim Digitalisieren lag vor allem auf Straßen und GebĂ€uden.


Um die Koordinierung beim Digitalisieren zu erleichtern, wurde die HOT Tasking Manager Applikation verwendet. Hierbei wird ein Gitternetz ĂŒber das betroffene Gebiet gelegt, sodass ein Bearbeiter aus dem Gitternetz eine Kachel auswĂ€hlt, sie vollstĂ€ndig bearbeitet und anschließend als markiert erledigt.

Als Ergebnis wurden ca. 80 % des Gebietes in SokodĂ© als „erledigt“ markiert. So konnten die Teilnehmer/innen an dem Abend in einer gemĂŒtlichen AtmosphĂ€re zwischen 18.00 und 23.00 Uhr einen Beitrag dazu leisten, dass digitales Kartenmaterial fĂŒr SokodĂ© bald von jedermann verwendet werden kann!



With one swipe and tap you put a family on the map

We are happy to announce the launch of Map Swipe – an app that allows you to support humanitarian aid by simply using your mobile.

In a disaster or humanitarian crisis, knowledge regarding the location of possibly affected and vulnerable people is crucial to provide effective support. MapSwipe allows you to map these locations using your smartphone.

Following up on the “Heidelberg Process” developed by the disastermappers heidelberg/ GIScience Research Group in collaboration with the MissingMaps team, the app enables collecting information regarding the location of residential areas using satellite imagery and a microtasking approach. The disastermappers heidelberg/ GIScience Research Group are supporting the MissingMaps project with Mapathons and by conducting research on the use of OpenStreetMap data for humanitarian aid. The app is a result of this collaboration which provides an example on how research, practice and humanitarian aid can be combined to develop more efficient workflows
(also see:

Contributors are asked to mark map tiles and to thereby provide information regarding inhabited regions. One tap hereby signifies that residential features could be identified, a second tap indicates the likeliness of features. A third tap flags tiles with bad image  quality. If no features are visible you can just swipe to the next tile and go on with the task.

The app allows you to contribute online as well as offline, using satellite imagery that can be downloaded beforehand. Therefore the app allows you to contribute from home just as easy as on the commute.
The provided information can be utilized by mappers to furthermore digitize building structures, roads and other individual features. That way base maps that support the work of MSF, the Red Cross and other organizations are developed in a collaborative workflow.

Interested in becoming active yourself?  Learn more about MapSwipe and get the app and swipe and tap away!

MapSwipe is as of now available in the Play and App Store!

Within the first three days more than 1000 people helped to classify an area bigger than Germany! Great Job!

Offenes Disastermappers Treffen: Donnerstag 17 Uhr, CafĂ© Botanik

Hallo liebe Freunde des Disastermappings,

in den letzten Monaten war wieder viel los. Wir haben gemappt fĂŒr Ecuador, in Togo und an anderen Orten. Es gibt neue Tools wie die Mapswipe App und das Missing Maps Project wird immer dynamischer.

All diese Themen gilt es wieder einmal zu ordnen. Auch hat uns eine Menge Feedback zu den vergangenen Veranstaltungen und Seminaren / Vorlesungen erreicht. Dies möchten wir zum Anlass nehmen wieder etwas “offener” zu werden.

Daher laden wir alle herzlich zum offenen Disastermappers Treffen ein. Gemeinsam in einer gemĂŒtlichen Runde (vielleicht auch bei einem Bier) möchten wir daher ĂŒber neue Entwicklungen und Möglichkeiten sich einzubringen diskutieren. Gleichzeitig kann das auch eine gute Geleghenheit sein, einfach mal einen ersten Eindruck vom disastermapping an sich zu bekommen.

Wann: Donnerstag, 17 Uhr
Wo: CafĂ© Botanik – Melli hat ein Missing Maps Shirt an! 😉
Wer: Alle am Thema Disastermapping, HumanitÀre Hilfe, Katastrophenmanagement interessierte mit oder ohne Vorkenntnisse

Liebe GrĂŒĂŸe und bis Donnerstag,
eure disastermappers

OpenStreetMap Monitoring Tool for Python

In the last couple of weeks we were interested in finding a way to monitor changes in the OpenStreetMap database. This could help to provide better feedback after mapathons and could allow us to measure how many objects like buildings or roads were created or modified during a mapathon. (We could even spot the decline during the ‘pizza break’. 😉 )

Finally, we can now present a first version of a python based tool. More technical information and the source code can be found here:


We tested this tool during our second Sokodé mapathon on June 16. Overall our motivated GIS students created more than 1,000 buildings. Most of thes were created between 7:02pm and 7:41pm. We are also happy that some buildings, that has already been stored in the OpenStreetMap database, were modified and corrected during our mapathon.


We think that monitoring the OpenStreetMap database during mapathons can help to motivate volunteers and can help us in the future to better understand where and when problems during the mapping occur.

The results of the tool can also be visualized on a webmap immediately at the mapathon. (Open the .osc files in JOSM and then export the data layer as GeoJSON. Then add this as a new layer to uMap.)



If you are interested in using this during your mapathon or have any other related questions feel free to contact us! 🙂

Mapping SokodĂ©- Remote Support to enable local development

On Wednesday June 08 students of the “Citizens as sensors” seminar will organize a mapping event to support local development in SokodĂ© (Togo) at the Department of Geography Heidelberg University. Thereby they want to add to previously successful mapping events organized by students, the disastermappers HD and GIScience HD in Heidelberg.

For many places in the world there are no maps. Sokodé, the third largest city in Togo requires digital maps for urban and regional planning. For this reason we organize an OSM mapping action for the region Sokodé in collaborations with the end users of that data that also will add further local data and knowledge. This collaboration was enabled in the scope of the Master thesis of Kerstin Meyer of the TU Kaiserslautern.

WHERE? Berliner Straße 48, PC-Pool/ Hörsaal

WHEN? Wednesday 08 June from 18.00

GIS knowledge can be useful for creating the maps in OpenStreetMap, but are not a prerequisite for this event. In the beginning a small tutorial will be given, which explains the relevant practical basics of OpenStreetMap and the specifics of the region and the mapping task.
Those who prefer to bring their own laptop can do these and we recommend to bring a mouse.

We are looking forward to mapping jointly with you for Togo!

A big thank you for supporting Ecuador

Last evening students and researchers of the GIScience group and the Geographical Institute, members of the OSM community and Open Data supporters gathered to support the Ecuador activation of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team (HOT).

In response to the severe earthquake last Saturday, the HOT team had launched several mapping projects to enable the creation of a base map of the affected regions. These projects have then been complemented through post-disaster tasks in which the level of destruction is assessed to help to coordinate the relief efforts. We wanted to support these efforts in a mapping event at our institute.

The event started with a short introduction in which the disastermappers provided background information about the activation and mapping itself. Then the 30 participants started to become active themselves in the mapping projects.


A group of experienced mappers gathered information about damaged roads and bridges using post-event imagery. This data is needed to enable emergency routing e.g. via the direct use within the OpenRouteService Ecuador.

The other participants gathered information about the road network, building structures and residential areas in the affected area to provide information about possibly affected settlements and access routes.

In only 3 hours a whole task was finalized covering one of the most affected regions. The detailed map material can be directly utilized now for relief operations on the ground.


A big thank you to all participants of our Ecuador mapping event by your disastermappers and the HOT Ecuador team!

Mapping Event to support relief efforts in Ecuador

Last Saturday Ecuador was hit by a devastating earthquake that caused a lot of casualties and destruction. With no current map material available relief efforts turned out challenging.

We want to support the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team activation for Ecuador with a Mapping Event at the Geographical Institute at Heidelberg University.

In the event you will get the chance to collect OpenStreetMap data of the affected region and to thereby support the local population and the humanitarian organizations on the ground.

If you are interested in becoming active please join us in the Hörsaal in Berliner Straße 48 from 6 pm.

No previous knowledge or tools needed. We will start with a small mapping introduction and will be there to assist and answer questions.Only bring your own laptop and mouse if available.

Drinks and snacks will for sure be provided 🙂

Very looking forward,

disastermappers heidelberg