Epworth WatSan Inputting

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This project is part of the Epworth Mapping Project, an ongoing Missing Maps Project which is collaboratively mapping the suburb of Epworth, Harare - the capital city of Zimbabwe. This region has a history of multi-drug resistant illness amongst its community, and the organisation MSF have requested help with patient tracing for critical ongoing treatment, in the form of a map.
The community is seen as 'at-risk', and humanitarian organisations have little or no information on existing infrastrucure and features. At the top of the priority list is the imperative to create a record of Water and Sanitation features.

Quick Links



  • Context

This a VISUALISATION exercise. It is armchair anthropology! It involves photos, tracks, and field notes. It involves getting on the ground through the data we have collected in the field.
The community of Epworth is served by a municipal water supply, administrated by the Local Board of Epworth. Various Humanitarian actors in the district work alongside these administrators of local infrastructure in a mutually beneficial way. Engineers from the Board are engaged with Missing Maps activities to do with this project.The Local Board also concern themselves with Sanitation and Waste Disposal, and further drain and waste surveys are planned in the future.
In addition to the municipal water supply, which runs in a circular ring of subterranean pipes around the suburb, are a series of many other Water Supply features. It is important to note that the Mandy Corporation have attempted and failed to install a central drainage system in the suburb. Failure was because of geological features of the famous 'boulder-field' land and rock-scape.

  • WatSan Information

In a first-pass survey of these pipes, recorded by photographing the thirteen service chambers around the district, an approximation of where the pipes lead will eventually be possible, once available data is inputted.
The whole population has grown exponentially since this supply was installed, compromising functionality because of over-demand. Other water sources - which are now used by the majority - consist of corporately-owned, publicly-donated, NGO-donated, or community-installed - water pumps and wells, as well as many 'garden wells' amongst the neighbourhoods, which serve small housing areas or plots.
Virtually all those available to the public, or whose yield is sufficient to make them important, have been photographed and listed.
These need to be tagged!

What You Will Need

  • A functioning version of JOSM
  • Access to Dropbox Links to Scanned Notes (and transcripts), Geo-Tagged Photos, GPX Survey Tracks.
  • Enough Computer Memory to temporarily download around 2GB of images and GPX

Photographs are to be found on this [[Dropbox link[1]]]. [NOTE: Open these links in a new window.] Photos are geo-tagged, and accompanied by hand-written notes to be found on this [[DropBox link[2]]]. GPX files of the surveys are also available here[3].
It is important to have these resources open and available, and be ready to drag and drop image and GPX files into the JOSM window. This is so that, when rendered in JOSM, the data can be correlated to the hand-written list in the 'Notes' Jpegs. The order of photographing follows the order of note-taking.

WatSan Tagging Protocols

Since the inception of this project, new work has been done towards universal WatSan protocols. It is important to follow these protocols, for the sake of keeping the formatting open and universal.

Tagging for this generally conforms to other MSF Projects:

pump man_made=water_well man_made=water_tap amenity=drinking_water amenity=toilets amenity=water_point

More on protocols can be found on the Humanitarian_OSM_Tags/WASH page. It is possible to use already-logged images to determine pump-types, where not stated.


  • Download the 'A-V tagged images' from the Dropbox folder into a new folder on your desktop.
  • Download the Jpegs of handwritten field-notes into a New Folder created on your desktop.
  • Download the GPX files from the Dropbox folder in the same way, creating a new folder.
  • Leave these folders open.
  • Open JOSM on your desktop.
  • In the JOSM Tool Bar, go to File/Download from OSM.
  • Use the slipy map which opens to zoom out, and manually zoom back in to South East Africa, then Zimbabwe, Harare, and then Epworth, which is the suburb to the East/South-East of the City.
  • There is a mapped area to be seen, with some tags showing.
  • Create a square by right-clicking this whole area. (right click with mouse).
  • Then click the 'Download' arrow on the bottom left of the window.
  • When the JOSM window opens, it will struggle, and say the area is too big. Do not worry. Just select a smaller area to download for the moment.
  • You will be dragging and dropping the Photo images into this JOSM window. This will denote where next to zoom-in to. You will drag and drop them physically into the Editing Window.
  • Zoom out until you see a cluster of data. Track to this data using your mouse.
  • Alternatively, use OSM Tasking Manager and search for job #868 Epworth.

Locating Data and Surfing the JOSM Terrain

From the Geo-Tagged AV Images folder which you created on your desktop earlier, 'Select All' of the photos, and drag them into the JOSM window. They will appear as little camera icons but you may be in the wrong part of Epworth to see them. NO PROBLEM!

  • At this point you can zoom in to where they are most dense, and once there, you can download the data layer for this area.
  • In the JOSM toolbar, select Imagery, and then select use Bing Aerial to assist.
  • You can also drag and drop the GPX files in, and then navigate your way around the route, getting a sense of the survey as it happened.
  • You can download Data Layer and Bing Imagery as you move around.

You are set to start Inputting

You may want to close the GPX folder and the AV Geo-tagged images folder (to keep your desktop clear), but open the handwritten notes in an image-viewer, for reference.

Start Editing

Using the WatSan protocols above, start to tag features which have not yet been tagged. A good place to start is by tracing the list from the beginning, until you find the number on the list where there is no mapped entry.
Please bear in mind:

  • The Photos do not correspond to numbering. Not every one is relevant. They consist of contextual shots. But the order corresponds.
  • This survey was completed in a hurry. It will take interpretation and some analysis, but it yields a satisfying result, and is a great way to understand how things are on the ground.