2011 Christchurch earthquake

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The 2011 Christchurch earthquake struck the city of Christchurch and the Canterbury region of New Zealand on 22nd February 2011. See wikipedia:2011 Canterbury earthquake for details and news. OpenStreetMap had good map data in this region even before the disaster, thanks to local mappers. Following the earthquake the OpenStreetMap community and the Humanitarian OSM Team have worked to improve the map, particularly of central Christchurch, in the hope of providing useful open licensed map resources for disaster responders.

Downloads and resources

As with any part of the world, our Christchurch map data is available to view and to download for free.

Browse the map of Christchurch

browse on maps.eq.org.nz - This uses a tileserver in New Zealand, and so may be faster from there.

maps.eq.org.nz details of the tileserver and various other map resources, OSM related and otherwise.

geofabrik downloads - daily updated extracts in PBF format and as shapefiles

CloudMade downloads - weekly updated extracts in .osm format, various shapefile formats, and Garmin img files.

Other Garmin img downloads are listed at OSM Map On Garmin/Download#Oceania

Hi-res images for printing on maps.eq.org.nz covering the city centre, or one from Harry Wood covering a much wider area.


For help using OpenStreetMap, or other requests/information:

  • hotosm [AT] gmail.com - official contact address for (private) communication with HOT
  • HOT mailing list - for public discussion
  • IRC chatrooms include a #hot channel (though #osm is always busier)
  • See Contact for other OpenStreetMap channels
  • Most discussion of OSM is done via [1]
  • OSM Auckland will be meeting on Thursday 24th February, and will discuss how we can help


Want to help improve our map data for Christchurch?

The first thing to note is that we have Users in Christchurch who already did a great job of mapping there before the earthquake. Let's hope they're safe. Some old mapping coordination info can be seen at WikiProject New Zealand South Island#Christchurch


People on the ground may have other priorities right now, but if you are able to gather data...

  • OpenStreetMap offers the most effective way to share map updates quickly with other map users. We're interested in some temporary disaster updates e.g. Medical facilities and blocked roads. For other immediate situational information (e.g. requests for help, or photos of the situation) you may prefer to log reports at http://eq.org.nz/ (Ushahidi reporting tool). But for anything which would update the basemap, edit OpenStreetMap!
  • If you're interested in making important improvements to the map by actively surveying, then probably the priority is to finish up some road naming in the north of the city. Roads with missing names are highlighted on the nonames map although this highlighting will get out-of-date if/when names are filled in (slow update cycle). Gathering road names is tedious, but obviously an important improvement to our map. Look out for other features to add while you're there.

Remote mapping

There may be some useful contributions we can all make from afar using the Bing imagery coverage. It's very high resolution, but pre-quake and is known to be misaligned by 10-65 m in various parts of the country. There may not be many trivial tracing tasks left to do. The city is basically mapped, so further editing requires more skill and judgment. Tracing building outlines is one task you can help with. Add suggestions for easy tasks if you see any

There is a concerted effort underway to map infrastructure (including buildings, roads, electricity lines, etc.), both original and damaged. This can be carried out remotely, as the bing imagery for chch is very good

Various sources are also making high resolution aerial imagery (post-earthquake) available - this will be used for marking/mapping damaged infrastructure as it becomes available. if you want to help, either jump in and start tracing buildings, etc., or head to https://groups.google.com/group/nzopengis and help out with importing data/making imagery available

Chch city council have released data of damaged roads and bridges, which we will import.

See New_Zealand_data_import_projects#Christchurch_City_Council for more information and how to help

shorter link to this page: http://bit.ly/ChristchurchQuakeOSM