2016 Ecuador earthquake

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An Earthquake Magnitude 7.8M, Depth:19.16km on 16 Apr 2016 23:58 UTC has affected Ecuador.
General Information
Hot logo with text.svg

The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades flattened buildings and buckled highways along its Pacific coast, sending the Andean nation into a state of emergency. As rescue workers rushed in, officials said Sunday at least 233 people were killed, over 588 injured and the damage stretched for hundreds of miles to the capital and other major cities. The magnitude-7.8 quake, the strongest to hit Ecuador since 1979, was centred on Ecuador's sparsely populated fishing ports and tourist beaches, 170 kilometres (105 miles) northwest of Quito, the capital. Please see more information regarding the situation from this article.

What We Do
When there is a humanitarian crisis, such as the Nepal earthquake, OpenStreetMap (OSM) volunteers from around the world rapidly digitize satellite imagery to provide maps and data to support humanitarian organizations deployed to the affected countries. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) coordinates that effort, partnering with relief organizations to focus map editing on the places most in need. HOT provides detailed and accurate maps (i.e., the road network, villages, buildings, etc.) very quickly, so humanitarians can locate people at risk and deliver goods and services to the areas that need them most. HOT is the bridge between the OSM community and the humanitarians. OpenStreetMap servers, editors and geodata tools enable HOT to offer these free map and export services to the humanitarian community. The OSM community support for these efforts also is impressive, mobilizing thousands of volunteers to make edits to the map.

Who Can Use Our Maps?
Anyone can use OpenStreetMap's online maps and routing services for free. There are even maps that can be downloaded to smartphones, for free.

The Response
The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Coordination volunteers and the Volunteers conjointly assured identification of mapping needs and interfaced with the various humanitarian organizations that responded to the Ecuador population Roads and buildings were rapidly mapped with the remote support of the OpenStreetMap community from around the world. The various mapping services offered are described below.


  • Humberto Yances UTC-05:00
  • HOT Activation WG Volunteers | activation@hotosm.org

Emergencies such as this put a tremendous strain on OpenStreetMap's resources, particularly our servers and software. Your donations help keep OSM's systems operating in top form.

Donate to the OpenStreetMap Foundation

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team also need your donations, to help funding humanitarian mapping projects and development/maintenance of systems such as the Tasking Manager.

Donate to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

For Aid Organizations

Map and Data Services

About OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap offers an online map (and spatial database) which is updated by the minute. Various tools and services allow data extracts for GIS specialists, Routable Garmin GPS data, Smartphone GPS navigation, and other device-compatible downloads. With an internet connection, regular syncing is possible with open access to the community contributed data as it comes in, with OpenStreetMap's bulk data downloads ideal for use offline. In addition, maps can also be printed to paper.

Browse the Activation Area to get a feel for the data that is currently available. Different map styles, including a special Humanitarian style, can be selected on the right side of the screen. Though some data may not render (appear) on the online map, it can be exported from the underlying database for other uses requiring more detail.

About HOT

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a global community of mostly volunteers, but we are also a US non-profit able to contract with organizations and a 501-c-3 charitable organization. To learn more about the HOT, explore more of our wiki pages and our website hotosm.org. Please get in touch with us at info@hotosm.org.

Printing Paper Maps

Large poster-size maps and letter-size paper atlases of custom areas can be printed:

  • FieldPapers with grid for field survey or general navigation purposes,
  • MapOSMatic with grid, street index and POI, good for command centers, hospitals, etc.

Exporting OpenStreetMap Data

There are numerous ways to export OpenStreetMap data as listed below:

  • HOT Export Tool is the easiest way to get OpenStreetMap data exported into various file formats. Please see the instructions created by Ramani Huria on how to do so.
  • A pre-generated export is already available here. Just click on the desired file format at the bottom-right of the page to download.
  • Downloading Data wiki page provides instructions on how to export large scale map data with the use of other tools.
  • Other data extract provided by OpenStreetMap.fr and GFDRR can be found here.

Online Disaster Routing (SOS ORS)

Offline Road Navigation with Mobile Devices

Offline navigation data proves to be very useful to the humanitarians deployed in foreign countries. And there are a number of tools available on Android and iOS that are easy to use and highly effective:

About This Disaster Mapping Response


  • Humberto Yances UTC-05:00
  • General inquiries can be made to the HOT Activation Working Group | activation@hotosm.org
  • OSM partners with governmental organizations, DHNetwork partners, UN agencies, international humanitarian organizations and providers of satellite imagery.

Support Team

Tyler Radford, Mikel Maron, Dale Kunce, Fred Moine and Mhairi O'Hara are supporting this Activation.

Response Timeline

OSM Changeset showing changesets from the 21st April.
  • ... response continues under local leadership ...
  • 2nd May - 2300 mappers have made close to 3 million changes to OpenStreetMap with most Tasking Manager projects through the first round. Expert mappers are now needed to validate the post-event projects.
  • 28 April - Over 2200 mappers have made 2.5 Million+ changes to OpenStreetMap using #MappingEcuador changeset comment.
  • 24 April - Over two million changes made using #MappingEcuador changeset comment.
  • 21 April - Over one thousand OSM contributors making more than a million changes to the map in response to the Ecuador earthquake.
  • 18 April - Imagery Coordination becomes high priority, various providers begin releasing imagery of both pre and post event, coordinators begin releasing projects for areas previously covered in cloud or low-resolution in the default imagery sources (projects continue to be focused on pre-event status).
  • 17 April - First Mapping Projects released with guidance of OSM Ecuador community members. Initial HOT Size-up as Moderate Event with Local Leadership - HOT defers standing-up team to continue support for this response as well as to Japan earthquakes on 14th and 15th.
  • 17 April 00:39UTC - HOT Voting Member and Activation Working Group Volunteer, Humberto Yances alerted the group via email of the earthquake and would be monitoring.

Status Updates

For Mappers

How You Can Contribute

  • The HOT Tasking Manager coordinates emergency mapping by volunteers. This is the first stop for emergency mappers. If you are a beginner and want to contribute, we suggest that you visit the Tasking Manager Tutorial at LearnOSM.
  • The HOT email list provides communication with the contributors. All HOT mappers are encouraged to join this list.
  • The Live #hot HOT IRC Channel provides discussions with the Support Team. To join, create a nickname and type at the bottom of the screen to talk to other
  • You can contribute from the internet by tracing buildings, roads, waterways, etc. To react rapidly to support humanitarians deploying, we need a lot of contributors for remote editing.
  • There are a number of great online tools that will guide you on how to sign up to OpenStreetMap and start mapping with the Tasking Manager. Please see the list of great sites listed in the next section.
  • The best way to learn is to participate to Mapathons where experience contributors of your community will show you the basics of editing. There are a list of events related to this activation listed below.

Learn to Map

  • Ecuador Mapping Guide
  • Most of our volunteer needs are for remote OSM contributors, visit LearnOSM.org to get started.
  • If step by step videos work better for you these MapGive Learn to Map Videos will get you from zero to mapping fast.
  • The Missing Maps project also has some great guidance on their Contribute page. There are great videos demonstrating how to open up a OSM account, start mapping and using the Tasking Manager.

Mapping Priority

  • Please choose from highest priority first.


  • Experienced mappers are also asked to participate in validating completed tasks.
  • Information on validating can be found here.
  • More experienced OSM contributors are invited to revise the classification of roads.
  • You also can assure the quality of the mapping by validating the Task manager tasks or using the various OSM Quality control tools.

Tasking Manager Projects

Ecuador Task Manager projects (Last checked 2016-05-02 0730-UTC)
  Job No.      Priority Location What to map Imagery to Use Task Mapping Status Task Validation Status
Project 1882 High Surrounding the areas of Cantón Tosagua Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (76%) In Progress (1%)
Project 1842 High Surrounding the areas of Cantón Chone Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (98%) In Progress (19%)
Project 1836 High Surrounding the areas of Esmeraldas Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (99%) In Progress (99%)
Project 1840 High Surrounding the areas of Sucre Sur Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (97%) In Progress (51%)
Project 1846 High Surrounding the areas of Cantón Atacames Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (97%) In Progress (21%)
Project 1843 High Surrounding the areas of Cantón Rocafuerte Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (99%) In Progress (99%)
Project 1841 Archived Surrounding the areas of Sucre Norte Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (99%) In Progress (98%)
Project 1839 Archived Surrounding the areas of Jama Detailed mapping SigTierras Complete (100%) In Progress (31%)
Project 1838 Archived Surrounding the areas of San Vicente Detailed mapping SigTierras In Progress (99%) In Progress (51%)
Project 1833 Archived Surrounding the areas of El Rosario Detailed mapping IGM Complete (100%) In Progress (33%)
Project 1832 Archived Surrounding the areas of Puertoviejo Road Network - Post-event Imagery SNI Complete (100%) Complete (100%)
Project 1831 Archived Surrounding the areas of Puertoviejo Road Network - Post-event Imagery SNI Complete (100%) Complete (100%)
Project 1805 Archived Surrounding the areas of Muisne Detailed mapping IGM In Progress (97%) In Progress (96%)
Project 1797 Archived Surrounding the areas of Pedernales Canton Detailed mapping IGM In Progress (99%) In Progress (29%)
Project 1796 Archived Surrounding the areas of Portoviejo Canton Detailed mapping Default In Progress (99%) In Progress (89%)
Project 1795 Archived Surrounding the areas of Manta, Montecristi and Jaramijo Detailed mapping Default Complete(100%) In Progress (97%)
Project 1794 Archived Surrounding the greater areas Pedernales Canton First pass for detailed mapping Default In Progress (89%) In Progress (89%)

General Map Improvements

As well as small square shaped contributions, we can look to make more wide ranging improvements. Reviewing/improving the overall map data consistency is very useful, but that is also most prone to edit conflicts so please save often and understand in the busy time like this you might encounter edit conflicts.

Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is essential to the accuracy of OpenStreetMap data by adding the names of roads or various infrastructure items. Any details of infrastructure, buildings or road names that you know and can positively identify are extremely helpful to responding organizations.

You even can edit the map using small mobile devices, and applications with offline mapping. Add a Note or report an Error using the Notes feature on the Online Map which lets you drop a marker and attach a note with information about the location/building/road and OSM contributors will edit the map from your comments.

For simple instructions on how to share your knowledge with our mappers please see the quick How to easily share local knowledge with OSM Notes guide.

Available Imagery

Imagery Availability is not consistent in the impacted area, please refer to individual project instructions on the Tasking Manager.

OSM Default Imagery Sources

The imagery in the impacted area is variable; Bing hi-res is cloudy or missing for parts of the impacted area; it will be necessary to switch between Bing and Mapbox, and there are also complete gaps of default imagery coverage.


Bing provides a global imagery data source that is the 'default' Imagery available for OSM (default option in most editors).


Mapbox provides an additional imagery source and should be compared to Bing (use Bing for alignment if available and not instructed otherwise)

Alternative Imagery Sources

How to add/use Alternative Imagery

In many cases better imagery is available than the default; when possible we set up a remote link directly via the Tasking Manager, so there is nothing to do, the iD editor and (as long as enabled) JOSM will automatically add the imagery.

Additionally, with JOSM, it's relatively easy to add special imagery if the license is appropriate for tracing into OSM. For more details see JOSM Imagery Help


DigitalGlobe has kindly opened access to their imagery for disaster response. Post event satellite imagery is available for download with a CC0 license, more information on the blog: http://www.digitalglobeblog.com/2016/04/19/open-imagery-and-data-to-support-ecuador-earthquake-response/.

Other Data

Information Formats Source Authorization/License URL Observation
Affected cantons shp SENPLADES Direct shipping for mapping https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bx60Wr7TwLBHQzA0UktPTlRWeVk&usp=sharing V4: Cantons most affected 2016/04/17
Base information (centros educativos, de salud, vías, etc) shp SNI Verbal authorisation from the Ministra Sandra Naranjo a Daniel Orellana (2016/04/17) http://sni.gob.ec/coberturas The Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM) provided images or WFS, perhaps should make direct import?
Ortophotos IGM wms IGM Verbal authorisation from the director of IGM a través de Fernanda León a Daniel Orellana (2016/04/17) http://www.geoportaligm.gob.ec/orto/wms?service=wms&version=1.3.0&request=GetCapabilities / TMS para JOSM: http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto/{zoom}/{x}/{y}
Orthophotos SIGTIERRAS wms SIGTIERRAS Verbal authorisation from Leonardo Espinoza undersecretary of information SENPLADES Daniel Orellana (2016/04/17) http://geoportal.sigtierras.gob.ec:8080/geoserver/ows?SERVICE=WMS Does not cover the affected area
Universities: Offices and Extensions shapefile SENESCYT Verbal authorisation from Alexandra Escobar SENESCYT https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bx60Wr7TwLBHMWlGNnRkVy03NW8&usp=sharing
Adminstrative Division Shapefile SNI Verbal authorisation from Ministra Sandra Naranjo a Daniel Orellana (2016/04/17) https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx60Wr7TwLBHeE0zbVJEOGRSaGM
Helipads, Lakes, Medical, Schools and other potentially useful datasets GeoJson, Shapefile, KML, SQL and PBF formats. OpenStreetMap.fr Data extracts provided by OpenStreetMap.fr and GFDRR http://ecuador.piensa.co Daily exports for OSM data in Ecuador based on Geofabrik's country PBF file
Images 2014 wms IGM WMS from the Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM) of Ecuador http://www.geoportaligm.gob.ec/orto/wms?service=wms&version=1.3.0&request=GetCapabilities

Imágenes seleccionadas : http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto/{zoom}/{x}/{y}

Grid coverage images (which appear to be 2014) : http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto_grid/{zoom}/{x}/{y}

Other images from 2014 : http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto_2014/{zoom}/{x}/{y}

Each image can be accessed individually in WMS (in JOSM)
Images 2015 wms IGM WMS from the Instituto Geográfico Militar (IGM) of Ecuador http://www.geoportaligm.gob.ec/orto/wms?service=wms&version=1.3.0&request=GetCapabilities

Images 2015 : http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto_2015/{zoom}/{x}/{y}

A layer with all these (sometimes hiding) : http://imagery.openstreetmap.fr/tms/1.0.0/ecuador_orto_todo/{zoom}/{x}/{y}

Each image can be accessed individually in WMS (in JOSM)

Mapping Events


Students at MediaLab UIO in Ecuador. Read more on their blog
Country City Place Date and Time Contact More Information
Nepal Kathmandu Kathmandu Living Labs 17 April - ongoing KLL NN
Nepal Pokhara Kathmandu Living Labs 21 April KLL - PreparePokhara NN
Ecuador Cuenca LlactaLab 20 April Hangout NN
Italy Como Politecnico Milano 20 April Mapathon http://geolab.como.polimi.it/?page_id=2150
Spain Barcelona Telecentre de Llefià 21 April Mapathon http://llefia.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=225:mapes-per-ajudar-a-lequador
USA Broomfield, CO Nighthawk Brewing 21 April 2300UTC OSM-Colorado
USA New York, NY CartoDB Office 21 April 1730 UTC-5 Register Here
Croatia Cestica Hiperaktivni 22 April 2000 UTC+01 https://twitter.com/burgerGIS/status/723414152530653185
Spain Barcelona FIB - UPC 22 April Mapathon http://inlab.fib.upc.edu/ca/blog/ajuda-millorar-la-cartografia-de-lequador
Ecuador Quito Escuela Politécnica Nacional 22 April NN NN
Ecuador Quito CIESPAL 22 April http://www.medialabuio.org/actividades-medialab/taller-de-colaboracion-con-mappingecuador-para-usar-openstreetmap-y-mapear-las-zonas-de-desastre-en-ecuador/ NN
Spain l'Hospitalet de Llobregat Centro Cultural La Bòbila 23 April Mapathon NN
USA Seattle Douglass-Thruth Library 23 April http://www.meetup.com/es-ES/OpenStreetMap-Seattle/events/230031437/?eventId=230031437&chapter_analytics_code=UA-73699428-1 NN
Spain Valencia Universidad de Valencia 25 April Comunitat Valenciana HOT Ecuador Mapathon 2 NN
Spain Alicante Universitat d'Alacant 25 April Comunitat Valenciana HOT Ecuador Mapathon 2 NN
Spain Ontiyet Sede del Consejo de la Juventud 25 April Comunitat Valenciana HOT Ecuador Mapathon 2 NN
Ecuador Quito FLACSO 26 April https://www.flacso.edu.ec/portal/contenido/eventos/mapathon-flacso.1582 NN
USA Seattle University of Washington 27 April OSM Seattle Ecuador Mapathon
USA Lubbock Texas Tech Youth Mappers 29 April https://www.facebook.com/youthmapperstexastech http://www.youthmappers.org/#!chapters/fodoy

News and other resources

Associated hashtags

  • #EcuadorEarthquake
  • #TerremotoEcuador
  • #PrayForEcuador
  • #MappingEcuador
  • #Ecuador