WikiProject Central African Republic

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Central African Republic, Africa

latitude: 6.626, longitude: 20.940
Browse map of Central African Republic 6°37′33.60″ N, 20°56′24.00″ E
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Central African Republic is a Country in Africa at latitude 6°37′33.60″ North, longitude 20°56′24.00″ East.

Map of Central African Republic

HOT in Central African Republic

From October 2012, HOT has conducted a mapping project in Central African Republic, as part of the EUROSHA project together with France Volontaires. The initial focus is on baseline mapping of Bangui and the regions in which the needs are most crucial. All these activities are meant to support the growth of a local OSM group in Central African Republic and the growth of the OSM project.

In December 2012, considering a rebellion took a great number of cities in the country, the EUROSHA Project has been canceled in the country and HOT activated the OSM communities in order to map specific areas of interest for the humanitarian community (see Current activities) with specific Tasking Manager tasks (see below). The residential areas of these towns have been 80-100% mapped, except for Bambari (20%), only covered by Orbview3 imagery. On March 24, 2013, after months of relative statu quo along with violence in some towns, the Seleka rebels took over Bangui, ending the hope to see the situation to go back to normal. A HOT Activation has been started to map Areas of Interest and start importing the humanitarian data provided by UNICEF (see below the Data Imports section).

Blog post:

RCA crisis - HOT Activation - mapping goals


In November 2013, the UN warned the country was at risk of spiraling into genocide and France described the country as "..on the verge of genocide." The increasing violence was largely from reprisal attacks on civilians from Seleka's mainly Muslim fighters and Christian militias called "anti-balaka", meaning 'anti-machete' or 'anti-sword'. Christians make up half the population and Muslims 15 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook. As many Christians have sedentary lifestyles and many Muslims are nomadic, claims to the land were yet another dimension of the conflict (source: Wikipedia)

Useful links to get more info about the situation in the country:

  • The Diaspora Multimedia & Audiovisuel is a communication agency in CAR that publishes a lot of pictures in its Facebook page
  • The Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team (HDPT) unites all organizations working to alleviate the humanitarian and development crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR). They post several articles (in English and French) a day concerning the situation in CAR on their facebook page.
  • The facebook page of the United Nations in the Central African Republic provides also a lot of news (in French) about the situation in the Central African Republic.

Severin Menard and Amadou Ndong are coordinating this OpenStreetMap Response to the CAR Crisis.

email contact :


All the tasks related to this Activation are listed in this sub-page: Central_African_Republic/HOT_Activation_tasks.

The various goals are described below.

Ongoing: Mapping of affected cities and towns

As part of a HOT activation, mapping selected towns affected by the rebellion starting in December 2012 with satellite imagery, based on Areas of Interest identified by local humanitarian stakeholders. Go to the HOT Tasking Manager and map tasks in the featured jobs. Regarding what has done so far, see the table below and please edit it after every contribution.

Ongoing: Mapping the country main frame: roads, place names and residential areas

Providing a consolidated road network is one the main aims of this activation. Unfortunately, the country is not fully covered by high resolution Bing imagery. It may occur some extra imagery would be released. To map the road network efficiently, different tools are being tested. Please provide any feedback of useful tools that would serve this purpose on the hot arobase talk list. It would make sense to map the residential areas while mapping the roads, taking the time to map quickly a landuse=residential around every crossed village or hamlet.

For the place names, see Populated Places section]. It would make sense to use the GNS files when importing UNICEF data (see next section), so that the two datasets tend to offset together their potential inaccuracy.

Ongoing: Importing UNICEF data

UNICEF authorized the import of their data covering the western half of the country, and made of the following:

The way to process the imports has been described in this page

As imports are a relative complex process that requires experience, the TM jobs supporting the imports are not open to anyone. If you are interested to contribute, please send an email to hot arobase

Ongoing: Missing Maps field mapping in Bangassou region

Missing Maps conducted field mapping in April 2015 in Bangassou town and the surrounding areas. Members of the MSF health promotion team in Bangassou (local staff and expat coordinator) were trained in data collection using ODK Collect and OSMAnd. Prior to the Missing Maps visit, lot of data was gathered in terms of village names, landmarks and water points. During the visit, this was organised better and shapes were created for the quartiers and arrondisements of Bangassou town.

The local MSF health promotion team will continue to gather village data as they travel to new villages in the course of their work and will collaborate with Missing Maps volunteers to get this data onto OSM.

This uMap shows remote mapping coverage by Missing Maps volunteers.

For more information, contact pedrito1414

Ongoing: Mapping cities and towns

Bangui has been intensively mapped by the EUROSHA volunteers during their deployment in the country. Following the Rebellion in Bangui, numerous refugees are crossing the border to DR Congo to take refuge in Zongo, that had been mapped in detail in order to help humanitarian organizations.

Bangassou was intensively mapped by Missing Maps and MSF between Nov 2014 and April 2015.

During the next weeks and months, other cities and towns had been mapped.

This uMap provides the current progresses of the cities and towns mapping in OSM, as well as the areas that are not covered by high resolution Bing imagery.

The table below also provides information about the mapping state and download points.

City Admin level Name Prefecture Importance TM job Imagery to use TM Status Global validation Comments Source GIS Data
Bangui Capital Ombella M'Poko High Bangui Bing, 2012 Done To be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bambari Prefecture Ouaka High Bambari OrbView-3 ongoing source=OrbView-3, USGS, 2006-02-20 HOT Exports link
Kabo Sub-Prefecture Ouham High Kabo Bing, 2012 ongoing source=Bing HOT Exports link
Batangafo Sub-Prefecture Ouham High Batangafo Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Kaga-Bandoro Prefecture Nana-Grébizi High Kaga-Bandoro Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bria Prefecture Haute-Kotto High Bria Bing, 2011 done to be done source=Bing
Sibut Prefecture Kémo Medium Bing, 2011
Alindao Sub-Prefecture Basse-Kotto Medium Bing, 2012
Damara Sub-Prefecture Ombella-M'Poko Medium Damara Bing, 2010-2012 ongoing only partially covered by Bing high res imagery
Ippy Sub-Prefecture Ouaka Medium none Bing, 2011 almost done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bamingui Sub-Prefecture Bamingui-Bangoran Medium none Bing, 2012 almost done to be done source=Bing
Mbrès Sub-Prefecture Nana-Grébizi Medium Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Ouanda Djallé Sub-Prefecture Vakaga Medium Bing, 2011 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Kouango Sub-Prefecture Ouaka Medium Kouango Bing, 2011 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Kembé Sub-Prefecture Basse-Kotto Medium Kembé Bing, 2011 done to be done source=Bing
Dimbi Town Basse-Kotto Medium Dimbi Bing, 2011 almost done to be done source=Bing
Mobaye Prefecture Basse-Kotto Medium None
Moyenne Sido Town Ouham Medium Bing, 2012 almost done to be done source=Bing
Bossangoa Prefecture Ouham High Bossangoa Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Nana-Bakassa Sub-Prefecture Ouham High Nana-Bakassa Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bouar Prefecture Nana-Mambéré High Bouar Bing, 2012 done done by [1] source=Bing HOT Exports link
Zémio Sub-Prefecture Haut-Mbomou Zémio Bing, 2012 done to be done partially covered by clouds source=Bing
Kouango Sub-Prefecture Ouaka Kouango Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
N'Délé Prefecture Bamingui-Bangoran Medium Bing, 2012 done done by [2] source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bozoum Prefecture Ouham Pendé High Bozoum Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bohong Sub-Prefecture Ouham Pendé High Bohong Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Sibut Prefecture Kémo High Sibut Bing, 2012 done done by [3] source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bocaranga Sub-Prefecture Ouham Pendé High Bocaranga Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Berbérati Prefecture Mambéré-Kadéï High Berbérati Bing, 2012 done to be done source=Bing HOT Exports link
Mbaïki Prefecture Lobaye Medium Mbaïki Bing, 2012 done to be done Partially covered by Bing imagery source=Bing HOT Exports link
Bangassou Prefecture Mbomou Moyen Bangassou Bing, 2012 done to be done Field mapped by Missing Maps and MSF. source=Bing and survey HOT Exports link

Road network

The road network between the main towns is to be completed and harmonized, based on the typology set for the Mali crisis, called Highway Tag Africa.

Based on this methodology, we can consider that the road connecting the capital cities of prefectures should be tagged highway=primary. Theses cities are: Bangui, Bozoum, Bossangoa, Berbérati, Bimbo, Bambari, Mobaye, Mbaïki, Bouar, Bangassou, Sibut, Kaga Bandoro, Nola, Bria, Obo, Birao, Ndélé. A list of prefectures with population census can be found on Wikipedia.

The Bing high res imagery is sometimes missing, but it might happen the road is nonetheless visible on the low res, LandSat based, imagery. It then can be complemented this way, but a fixme tag can be added to point out the bad accuracy.

highway=secondary would be dedicated to road joining Préfectures and Sous-préfectures or Sous-préfectures together. Sous-préfectures can be tagged place=city or place=town considering their population.

As a first step, we will start by creating or completing the primary road network linking these prefectures capital together. If someone considers that extra cities should be added considering their economic importance, this can be discussed over the HOT list.

The admin levels for CAR have been proposed this way, to be discussed. According to Proposed_tag:capital, the prefectures should then been tagged capital=4 and the Sous-prefectures places capital=6

Missing road section OSM view Approx. Length Issue Date solved Mapper
Kaga-Bandoro - Bouca Click 90 km No high res imagery
Batangafo - Bossangoa Click 30 km No high res imagery

List of national Routes according to Wikipedia:

Name Course OSM view Approx. Length Covered by imagery? Status Date Mapper
RN1 north from Bangui via Bossangoa to Moundou, Chad 482 km complete
RN2 east from Bangui via Bambari and Bangassou to the Sudanese border at Bambouti 1202 km partly low-res images east of Obo complete (needs a bit of work east of Obo)
RN3 west from RN1 at Bossembélé via Bouar and Baboua to Boulai on the Cameroon border as part of the east-west Trans-African Highway 8 Lagos-Mombasa 453 km complete
RN4 from RN2 at Damara, 76 km north of Bangui, north 554 km via Bouca and Batangafo to Sarh, Chad 630 km complete June 6. 2013 Theodin
RN6 south and west from Bangui, 605 km via Mbaïki, Carnot and Berbérati to Gamboula on the border with Cameroon 605 km complete
RN8 north-east from RN2 at Sibut, 023 km via Kaga Bandoro, Ndéle, and Birao to the Sudanese border 23 km needs work north of N'Dele
RN10 south from RN6 at Berbérati, 136 km via Bania to Nola 136 km complete
RN11 from Baoro on RN3 south, 104 km to Carnot on RN6 104 km complete

List of Prefectures and Sub-prefectures with their main city:

Prefecture Prefecture capital Sub-prefecture Sub-prefecture capital tagged with capital=6 Prefecture capital connected with primary Sub-prefecture capital connected with secondary
Mbomou Bangassou Bangassou capital=4, place=city
Mbomou Bangassou Bakouma capital=6, place=town
Mbomou Bangassou Gambo-Ouango capital=6, place=village
Mbomou Bangassou Rafaï capital=6, place=town
Basse-Kotto Mobaye Mobaye capital=4, place=city
Basse-Kotto Mobaye Alindao capital=6, place=town
Basse-Kotto Mobaye Kembé capital=6, place=town
Basse-Kotto Mobaye Mingala capital=6, place=town
Kémo Sibut Sibut capital=4, place=city
Kémo Sibut Dekoa capital=6, place=town
Nana-Mambéré Bouar Bouar capital=4, place=city
Nana-Mambéré Bouar Baoro capital=6, place=town
Nana-Mambéré Bouar Baboua capital=6, place=town
Ouham Bossangoa Batangafo capital=6, place=town
Ouham Bossangoa Bossangoa capital=4, place=city
Ouham Bossangoa Bouca capital=6, place=town
Ouham Bossangoa Kabo capital=6, place=town
Ouham Bossangoa Markounda capital=6, place=town
Sangha-Mbaéré Nola Nola capital=4, place=city
Sangha-Mbaéré Nola Bayanga capital=4, place=city
Sangha-Mbaéré Nola Bambio capital=6, place=town
Lobaye Mbaïki Mbaïki capital=4, place=city
Lobaye Mbaïki Boda capital=6, place=town
Lobaye Mbaïki Mongoumba capital=6, place=town
Ombella-M'Poko Bimbo Bimbo capital=4, place=city
Ombella-M'Poko Bimbo Boali capital=6, place=town
Ombella-M'Poko Bimbo Damara capital=6, place=town
Ombella-M'Poko Bimbo Yaloke-Bossembele capital=6, place=town
Ouham-Pendé Bozoum Bocaranga capital=6, place=city
Ouham-Pendé Bozoum Bozoum capital=4, place=city
Ouham-Pendé Bozoum Paoua capital=6, place=town
Haut-Mbomou Obo Obo capital=4, place=city
Haut-Mbomou Obo Djemah capital=6, place=town
Haut-Mbomou Obo Zemio capital=6, place=town
Ouaka Bambari Bambari capital=4, place=city
Ouaka Bambari Bakala capital=6, place=town
Ouaka Bambari Ippy capital=6, place=town
Ouaka Bambari Grimari capital=6, place=city
Ouaka Bambari Kouango capital=6, place=town
Haute-Kotto Bria Bria capital=4, place=city
Haute-Kotto Bria Ouadda capital=6, place=town
Haute-Kotto Bria Yalinga capital=6, place=town
Bamingui-Bangoran Ndélé Ndélé capital=4, place=city
Bamingui-Bangoran Ndélé Bamingui capital=6, place=village
Vakaga Birao Birao capital=4, place=city
Vakaga Birao Ouanda Djallé capital=6, place=village
Nana-Grébizi Kaga Bandoro Kaga Bandoro capital=4, place=city
Nana-Grébizi Kaga Bandoro Mbrès capital=6, place=town
Mambéré-Kadéï Berbérati Berbérati capital=4, place=city
Mambéré-Kadéï Berbérati Carnot capital=6, place=town
Mambéré-Kadéï Berbérati Gamboula capital=6, place=town

Populated Places

The OCHA COD (Common Operational Datasets) for CAR provides a GIS layer with 6,849 places, with this metadata: "SIGCAF was a GIS effort conducted in 1996 and correspond with the 2003 census, with cartography prepared in 1:200,000 scale, on admin boundaries, as well as village locations. Village locations were taken with GPS in a systematic way." Unfortunately, as the source of this data is mixed and sometimes unknow, it appeared to be not compatible with ODbL and thus cannot be imported in OSM.

The only ODbL compatible gazeeter known so far is the NGA Country file (GNS) for CAR, that counts 17,000+ places (not only populated, but also hydrographic, administrative, vegetation, etc., as explained in the metadata). It is unfortunately, generally outdated and tests showed the accuracy is not very precise, but nevertheless it is a good source of information to be compared with the places hold in the UNICEF humanitarian data (see the import section).

The data will be proposed on a specific Tasking Manager job as a downloadable file gathering the Populated Place spread into each grid extent. Most of time each populated place is close to a specific populated landuse visible on Bing imagery. Towns, villages and hamlets have to be create at their exact location, approximately in the middle of the populated landuse. This latter has to drawn and tagged and a landuse=residential.

Quality control

You can participate by checking the mistakes with Keep Right! or Osmose.

Data Imports

Information on CAR Imports is listed on separate pages, and led by HOT and the EUROSHA volunteers. See:

Central African Republic GIS data

Imagery & sources

Bing coverage for Central African Republic is available at a high resolution in many areas including Bangui, Bangassou,Bamingui, Berberati, Bambari, Batangafo, Bria, Kabo, Kaga-Bandoro, Ippy, Birao, Mbaiki, Ndele, Mrbes, Ouadda, Ouanda Ndjalle and Zemio. The imagery is relatively recent (2011).

Bambari is not covered by high resolution Bing imagery but there are 2 Orbview-3 images covering it. These two images, with enhanced contrast, are available online from OpenStreetMap France imagery server, as TMS and WMS. For JOSM, add the following TMS supplier in Preferences/WMS-TMS/+ : tms[19]:{zoom}/{x}/{y}. For Potlatch2, add the following background:$z/$x/$y.

Check the quality of the imagery with Bing Image Analyzer


To get information on the situation in the field you can consult:


Connect to other OpenStreetMap contributors active in Central African Republic :

  • Enter the #osm-cf IRC channel on OFTC channel. If you are not used to IRC, you can easily join here from your browser
  • check the mailing list talk cf
  • check the HOT list