Humanitarian OSM Tags

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Available languages
English français 日本語 русский

OpenStreetMap has historically been geared for mapping in developed countries, in non-emergency situations. During the HOT's first participation in humanitarian crisis (Haitian Earthquake 2010), the OSM tagging sufficed, but it becomes less useful to organizations working in traditional GIS modes. Field responders need to easily know how OSM tags relate to their existing data models, and how to include new types of things in OSM - features which may only be relevant in disaster response, recovery or development contexts.

The Humanitarian Data Model seeks to reconcile schemas from many humanitarian response agencies, all of which are based on field requirements. When possible, it matches Humanitarian attributes to existing Map Features in OSM.

With the expectation of the new HOT Export tools functionality to transform tag values for export files, the tagging scheme has been pushed to line up completely with OSM standards. The newest presets being used can be seen in the "HDM presets" section.

HDM presets

On this page is a wiki list of all tags used in the new designed presets for tagging in dev. world and HDM.

They can be found on github:

And are hosted in JOSM as "HDM Data Model for HOT field surveys".


Here are some links to pages for some of the "hot-button" discussion points.

Humanitarian OSM Tags/operational status
Humanitarian OSM Tags/practicability
Humanitarian OSM Tags/source:date

Requirements from the Field

This section brings input from humanitarian responders into the Humanitarian Data Model.

So far we've been engaging with PAHO/HFacs on Health Facilities. MINUSTAH roads data. And UNSDI-t from the Logistic Cluster.

Need to flesh out these details in a new subpage, the available materials, and level of approval/review/use.

Usage and Suggestions from OSM

This subpage brings input from the OpenStreetMap community into the Humanitarian Data Model. Idea is to continually review OSM community activity and discussion, then align, adjust, and/or extend the Humanitarian Data Model accordingly. And Vice Versa.

Covers: Tags in current use. Proposals for new kinds of things that need tagging.

Humanitarian OSM Tags/Humanitarian Data Background

A related HOT-sponsored symbology development project: Humanitarian OSM Tags: Indonesia 2011.

Best practices for OSM tagging in HOT

  • Do not rely heavily on tagging schemes used in your local towns. For example, a dirt highway that you would tag in your hometown as a highway=path, may not necessarily be the most appropriate tag in other places. This dirt highway may be the most traveled within a small town. Use other contextual clues (width of highway, whether or other buildings are near it, whether it is the only road to a small village, etc) and the general description on the tag's wiki page.
  • Check to see if there are specific tags in the Task's workflow and description that should be used.
  • Check the geographic area's OSM wiki page (if they have one) for any guidelines of how local mappers and stakeholders tag features.
  • use consistent tagging. For example, if you see that other squares in the tasks are using highway=path, use highway=path instead of highway=footway.

List of preset files for humanitarian features


The most current HDM presets are here:
They are hosted in JOSM as "HDM Data Model for HOT field surveys"


Humanitarian OSM Tags/Humanitarian Data Model OLD