COVID-19 HOT editing activity

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General Information
COVID-19 Global Support is an Activation of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to provide geospatial data and maps to everyone who needs them in response to the coronavirus global pandemic.
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

For Aid Organizations

Request Help

Contact the Activation Team

If you have needs for data in your area, our team is standing by to assess and help generate that data. For fastest response, send an email to Activation @ hotosm(dot)org and our volunteer Activation Working Group will respond as soon as someone is available, sometimes immediately. If your need is more sensitive you are welcome to send the email to info @ hotosm(dot)org where one of our staff will reply (typically within one or two business days).

Also contact us if you need help utlizing OpenStreetMap for your needs!

Map and Data Services

Map showing the bounding box of all changesets in first 30 days of response in Peru

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 (Peru in this example) to get a feel for the data that is currently available. Different map styles including an Humanitarian style can be selected on the right side, and some data may not render (appear) on the map, but could be exported from the underlying database (See export section below).

Paper Maps

Poster size Maps and normal sized paper atlases of custom areas can be printed:

  • See OSM_on_Paper for an overview and list of platforms and services for printing maps.
  • We suggest FieldPapers Paper Maps with grid for field survey or general navigation purposes.

Exporting OpenStreetMap data

See Downloading data for instructions on getting large scale map data, or see the focused exports below:

Offline Road Navigation with small devices

With the availibility of Small communication devices, Navigation Offline data proves to be very useful to the humanitarians deployed in foreign countries. We support the humanitarian NGO's using navigation data and invite them to give us feedback on the utilization of these devices in the context of field deployment.

  • See Software/Mobile for more information on using OSM in portable devices.
  • See also Mobile Mapping on for information on mapping in the field.
  • MAPS.ME has become very popular for mobile navigation as it works well on most phones and offline.

About This Activation

About HOT

Hot logo with text.svg
  • To learn more about the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), explore more of our wiki-pages (root: HOT) or our website We are a global community of mostly volunteers, we are also a US Nonprofit able to contract with organizations (email info at to contact our staff), we are also a 501-c-3 charitable organization.

History of this Activation

Reactivity of the OSM Community

  • January/February 2020 - As early as January HOT community members were mentioning this new virus outbreak in China and what we might do in response, by February it was a topic at our Activation Working Group meetings
  • March 2020 - Members of the HOT community based in Peru engaged their local government to consider their mapping needs
  • March 14, 2020 - The HOT Activation Working Group take the first action, asking local communities to help identify risk and needs for COVID-19 response. So far members of the local communities in: Colombia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa have launched mapping efforts.

HOT Activates

  • March 25, 2020 - HOT receives its first official request and Activates for COVID-19 response, beginning with Peru
  • February 17, 2021 - HOT formally concludes the Activation for COVID-19 response, transitioning to support for vaccination campaigns.
  • Note: HOT fully supports the continued mapping for COVID-19 related needs and are available to advise.


Effort made

  • 24 hours from the first project launch, over 750 mappers had contributed to the mapping effort
  • On April 17th: 2400+ mappers have contributed over 2.9 million map changes including 14,400+ road segments and 282,600+ buildings
  • April 23rd: 3000+ mappers have contributed over 3.5 million map changes which includes adding 17,500+ road segments and just under 360,000 buildings

Before May 1, 2020 stats were collected from

  • May 14, 2020: 4400+ mappers contributed over 1,000,000 map features including 896,361 buildings and 16,497 kilometers of road
  • May 19, 2020: 6000+ mappers contributed over 1.1 million map features, approaching 1 million buildings and 19,000 kilometers of road
  • June 26, 2020: 9000+ mappers contributed over 1.6 million map features, approaching 1.4 million buildings and 30,680 kilometers of road
  • July 17, 2020: 11000+ mappers contributed over 2 million map features, approaching 1.7 million buildings and 44,219 kilometers of road
  • August 28, 2020: 14500+ mappers contributed over 2.8 million map features, including 2.5 million buildings and nearly 54,000 kilometers of road
  • September 17, 2020: 15 400+ mappers contributed almost 2.9 million map features, including nearly 2.6 million buildings and over 55,000 kilometers of road
  • October 9, 2020: 16 600+ mappers contributed over 3.3 million map features, approaching 3 million buildings and over 70,000 kilometers of road
  • November 19, 2020: 19 700+ mappers contributed over 4 million map features, including more than 3.6 million buildings and over 87,000 kilometers of road
  • December 3, 2020: 20 300+ mappers contributed over 4.2 million map features, including more than 3.8 million buildings and over 90,000 kilometers of road
  • January 12, 2021: 22,300+ mappers contributed over 4.5 million map features, including more than 4 million buildings and over 97,000 kilometers of road
  • January 28, 2021: 22,800+ mappers contributed over 4.6 million map features, including more than 4.1 million buildings and nearly 100,000 kilometers of road
  • February 4, 2021: 22,900+ mappers contributed almost 4.7 million map features, approaching 4.2 million buildings and over 101,000 kilometers of road
  • February 12, 2021: 23,100+ mappers contributed over 4.7 million map features, including more than 4.2 million buildings and over 102,000 kilometers of road
  • February 17, 2021: 23,377 mappers contributed 4,732,756 map features, including 4,245,589 buildings and 102,922 kilometers of road(source)

Media coverage


Other Responses including Digital Humanitarian Network

For Mappers

  • HOT Official Activation transitioned to support February 17, 2021 - thank you mappers and validators!

How You Can Contribute

Learn to Map

  • Most of our volunteer needs are for remote OSM contributors, visit to get started.
  • Additional guidance for tagging in the various Activation areas can be found in the instructions of each project.

Mapping Priority

Location Status Manager
Haiti, Caribbean Active HOT
Mali, West Africa Active HOT
Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean Active HOT
Ongoing (Validation or Long-term)
Botswana, South Africa Validation HOT
Colombia, South America Long-term Local Community
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa Long-term Micrograntee
Jamaica, Caribbean Validation HOT
Belize, Central America Validation HOT
Mongolia, East Asia Validation Micrograntee
South Africa, South Africa Validation Local Community
Sri Lanka, South Asia Validation Local Community
Brazil, South America Validation Local Community
Nepal, South Asia Long-term Local Community
Nigeria, West Africa Validation Micrograntee
Senegal, West Africa Complete Micrograntee
Somalia, East Africa Complete Local Community
Barbados, Caribbean Complete HOT
Suriname, South America Complete HOT
Guyana, South America Complete HOT
Liberia, West Africa Complete Micrograntee
Peru, South America Complete HOT
Philippines, Southeast Asia Complete HOT
Uganda, East Africa Complete Micrograntee
Kenya, East Africa Complete Micrograntee
Marshall Islands, Oceania Complete Local Community
Anguilla, Caribbean Complete HOT

Available Imagery

OSM Default Imagery Sources

Most projects to date are using a default imagery source. Please see each project's instructions as even in the same area the imagery may vary in quality and availability so two adjacent projects may use different imagery.

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 remote control is 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

Potential Datasources

Please add potential data sources here so mappers can evaluate if they are useful and usable in OSM...

Map With AI

  • The Map With AI datasets distributed from the RapiD OSM editor are being considered for helping to complete the road network in Mali.

Edit-a-thon events

  • Please add your event to the Missing Maps Registery here
  • This is important so Activators can attempt (no gaurantees) that there are enough projects up at the time of your event
  • It will also alert the HOT System Administrators of your event to reduce the liklihood that maintanence or any planned downtime will happen during your event.