Humanitarian OSM Team/Gaza

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Mapping Gaza

During the 2008/9 Israeli-Gaza conflict, UN agencies, NGOs, web sites were seeking better maps. Few complete maps of Gaza were available, and existing sources had contradictory information. The OSM community stepped up to map Gaza.

With GPS surveying out of the question during the height of the crisis, volunteers digitized geographic features from Yahoo! Maps aerial imagery over southern Gaza. In northern Gaza, OSM raised funds to purchase recent imagery from Ditigal Globe. Coordination for the effort largely took place through the OSM wiki. Through rapid internet based, collaborative research (or crowd-sourcing), a comprehensive catalog of Gaza data sources was compiled, made consistent, and applied to OSM.

Now that the crisis has subsided, volunteers are entering Gaza and working with locals to complete the map. JumpStart International have brought their network to focus on Gaza. The data result has been extensive place naming and new points of interest in the nearly complete map. Open data is a resource usable in recovery, and in the hopefully peaceful and prosperous times to come.