Humanitarian OSM Team

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
(Redirected from Hot)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
HOT logo with red text rgb.png
From the early days of OpenStreetMap it was anticipated that open, free map data would be a tremendous benefit for humanitarian aid and economic development. The idea was proven during the Haiti earthquake in 2010. HOT was incorporated in the immediate aftermath, August 2010, as a U.S. nonprofit under the name HUMANITARIAN OPENSTREETMAP TEAM UNITED STATES INC and then became a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2013. Anyone is welcome to contribute to the HOT mission via our Tasking Manager. All you need is an OpenStreetMap Username.

While you participate, we ask that you do your best to uphold the code of conduct of our community. See our HOT Community Code of Conduct.

OpenStreetMap being used by search & rescue teams after the Haiti earthquake.

The community responded rapidly, creating the best map resources available. Our maps continue to be used for development planning, and HOT people are currently on the ground in Haiti giving training in use and improvement of the map data
OSM Contributors at Kathmandu Living Labs operational one day after the 2015 Nepal earthquake. They support the government and international organizations backed up by the global OSM community who worked to improve the maps rapidly from afar
Screenshot of the representation of the 5 Impact Areas

Latest Updates

What's hot?

HOT Mission and Objectives

Mission Statement

  • The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) applies the principles of open source and open data sharing to humanitarian response and economic development.

Core Objectives

  • To mobilise or support one million contributors to map an area home to one billion people by 2026 (see here for priority countries)
  • To be the connecting point between humanitarian actors and open mapping communities
  • To provide remote data creation during crises
  • To collect and organize existing data sources
  • To support deployments to the field
  • To be a distribution point for free data
  • To develop open knowledge and tools

Advocacy, Training and Outreach

Thinking and Design

  • To promote crowd-sourcing and simple web standards for data sharing
  • To develop technical improvements to OSM and OSGeo in response to field requirements (off-line support, verification, format adaptors, multimaster sync..)

How to Get Involved

Getting Started

Most of our volunteer needs are for remote mapping and project work. To find out more about what HOT does and how to get involved see the HOT Guide

Learning to Map

The largest volunteer need of HOT is for OpenStreetMap contributors. To get started contributing to OpenStreetMap, the community has developed a simple-to-use beginners guide called LearnOSM ( A series of quick lessons will guide any new user through setting up an account and beginning to map. New material is always being developed and added.

What to Work On?

Notice: A formal definition of various HOT Programs (humanitarian projects and activations) is being developed, see HOT activation for information regarding urgent response.

Humanitarian projects can be the immediate responses to natural disasters, political crises and other destructive events or projects designed to mitigate or plan for disaster risk or economic development. They are launched where up-to-date geographic data is needed and where OSM data currently is being used or will be used by local communities and/or responders. Generally, these projects are launched by active participants in the HOT community who will coordinate the remote mapping with the needs of humanitarian actors and other first responders, and with any local OSM community as guidance. If a situation becomes complex, individual(s), humanitarian actors or local communities are encouraged to reach out to the HOT Activation Working Group. If the working group decides that HOT currently has the resource and capacity to facilitate the request, it will announce an official "activation," which indicates that this crisis is a high priority for the organization. The team also may invite other NGOs to collaborate, make requests for needed resources and will document the progress and conclusion of the activation. These decisions take into account which humanitarian mapping projects and/or activations HOT currently is supporting or monitoring, as well as the potential impact on the project beneficiaries and our current capability to provide assistance.

Organised Editing Projects

Please see our dedicated wiki page for organised editing projects led by HOT. These include both remote digitising projects and community led projects on the ground.

The Tasking Manager

The Tasking Manager is a tool that divides large mapping tasks into small sections to make them easier for volunteers to manage. The Tasking Manager also includes background information on the locale to be mapped, as well as information about what kind of data is needed (road, schools, etc., and how to recognize them). Volunteers can contribute directly to current activities through HOT's Tasking Manager.

See HOT Tasking Manager Organizations for a list of organizations which are present on HOT's Tasking Manager. If your organization is not listed there and you'd like to create projects on HOT's Tasking Manager, please complete this form to register your interest. To see more information regarding use of HOT's Tasking Manager as a community/organization visit this page.

Current Remote Mapping Actions

For current Remote Activations, visit Organised_Editing/Activities/Humanitarian_OpenStreetMap_Team

Past remote mapping actions

Year Event
2018 Guinea Floods
... 2018 India Disaster Response Mapping
... Ebola DRC & Uganda
... Typhoon Ompong - Philippines
... Perú Friaje
... Laos Dam Collapse
... Indonesia Earthquakes
... Kilauea Volcano Eruption
... Ebola in DRC May-July
... Peru Flooding
... Colombia Dam Failure
... Fuego Volcano Eruption
... Somalia Flooding
... 2018 Cyclone Gita - Tonga
... 2018 Papua New Guinea Earthquake
... 2018 South America Flooding
... Acari Peru Earthquake
... Zambia Cholera Outbreak
... Veracruz, MX Floods
... Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami
... July Ebola Outbreak, DRC
... Japan Earthquake and Floods
... Sri Lanka Flooding
2017 2017 South Asian Floods
... 2017 Mexico Earthquakes
... Western Pacific Volcano Threats
... 2017 Iran-Iraq Earthquake
... 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria
... 2017 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
... 2017 Floods in Peru
... Cyclone Enawo, Madagascar
2016 Hurricane Newton over Baja California, Mexico
... Hurricane Matthew over western Haiti
... Sri Lanka Flood Activation
... Ecuador Earthquake Support
... Japan Earthquake Support
... Aceh Earthquake Support
... 2016 Cyclone Winston Support
2015 Eastern Afghanistan Earthquake
... Salgar Landslide
... Hurricane Patricia
... 2015 Nepal earthquake
... 2015 Vanuatu (Typhoon Pam Cyclone)
2014 West Africa Ebola Response 2014-2015
... Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola Response
... Southeast Europe Floods
... 2014 Paraguay floods
... Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby)
... Typhoon Haiyan Response (Philippines)
... Tharparkar Drought in Pakistan
2013 2013 Humanitarian Mapping Project for Uttarakhand, India
... Central Africa Republic (CAR) Crisis Response
... South Sudan Crisis Response
... 2013 Nepal floods
2012 2012-2013 Mali Crisis
... 2012 Activation for South and North-Kivu, DR Congo
... WikiProject Côte d'Ivoire
... May - Refugee Camps in Ethiopia & Kenya (Camp Roberts)
... 2012 Flooding in Senegal
2011 2011 Samoa Cyclone Simulation
... Horn of Africa Famine
... 2011 Richelieu river flooding
... 2011 Rio de Janeiro Flooding
... 2011 Christchurch earthquake
... Libya crisis
... 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami
2010 2010-03 Cyclone Tomas over Wallis and Futuna
... 2010 Shkoder Flooding
... 2010 Colombia floods
... 2010 Storm Megi/Juan
... 2010 Chile earthquake
... 2010 Yushu earthquake
... 2010 Alagoas Flooding
... 2010 07 Pakistan Floods
... AlbanianFloodingCrisisCamp
... 2010-01 Haitian Earthquake
2009 Gaza
... Iran -- Post-Election Crisis
... 2009, September - Philippines - Ondoy

Jobs, Internships and Contracts

Academic Research & HOT

HOT welcomes academic and scholarly research on our activities. See Academic Partnerships for some best practices and Research Topics for some ideas from us on what to study.


Global Volunteer Community

There are many ways to contribute to the mission of HOT. See the HOT Guide for the basics. All we ask is that contributors govern themselves using our Code of Conduct, which is found on our website: HOT Code of Conduct

Voting Membership

Dedicated volunteers who have been elected and make up the voting community are listed here:

Main article: Humanitarian OSM Team/Members

Membership Code can be found here.

Board of Directors and Officers

HOT's Board of Directors (Board) is elected from the membership. Information about the Board can be found at the Board page.

Sub-pages include current and previous Board members, as well as links to all previous Board election documentation.

Board Meeting Minutes and Board documents (such as Board Annual Reports, Board President's Reports and Board Procedures) can also be accessed from the Board page.

HOT's name, legal name and registration

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (or HOT for short) is registered in the USA as a 501(c)(3) charitable organisation under the legal name HUMANITARIAN OPENSTREETMAP TEAM UNITED STATES INC (see Legal Doctrine for documentation). The usage of the OpenStreetMap mark in HOT's name is currently being clarified between HOT's executive director and board and the OpenStreetMap Foundation board. The usage of the phrase is not meant to imply that HOT has any direct affiliation with the OpenStreetMap Foundation beyond that agreed between the two organisations.

Legal Doctrine

Impact Areas

Solving global challenges requires an understanding of our physical environment that is grounded in direct knowledge and observations. Open mapping helps us build that understanding together, which enables humanitarian, development, and community organizations to take more informed and locally appropriate action. Impact Areas connect open mapping with real world applications through spatial data use in the humanitarian and development sectors. Each impact area at HOT provides a framework for technical and subject matter expertise for partnerships, grantmaking, and community support.

Our humanitarian work is centered on 5 Impact Areas which are;

  1. Disasters & Climate Resilience
  2. Sustainable Cities & Communities
  3. Public Health
  4. Displacement & Safe Migration
  5. Gender Equality

Are you working with OSM in one of HOT’s impact areas? We’d love to hear from you on what data you are using, what analysis has worked, and other feedback at

Data Use cases & metrics for core Impact Area Datasets

Read about the Core Impact Area Datasets, Use cases & Data Quality Metrics

Community Activities

Community Types and Roles

HOT has many diverse community roles and ways to contribute to our mission. In a Community Sprint, we designed the following types:

  • Connectors/Teachers
    • Training and mentorship program to cross-train new leaders with the goal to have more leaders and less burnout.This role includes storytellers and communicators.
    • Outreach to share the OSM educational web site LearnOSM ( and to show the community how to get involved in HOT
    • Clean up general communication on the wiki and web sites to provide a clear path for those who want to get involved
    • Develop target communities for outreach
  • Mappers
    • Participate in, and help coordinate mapping activities.
    • Reach out to friends of OSM who might help with surge support in various areas (e.g. Mozilla, hubs, etc., as well as links with connectors/teachers regarding leaders).
    • Maintain a wider OSM outreach plan (coordinated with respect) to get active mappers more involved with HOT.
    • Identify new communities for outreach.
  • Partners/Mission Supporters
    • Develop a policy and guidance on how to establish mutual communication with partners, a W3 ( who does what when), there are some items in membership code of conduct.
    • This group includes researchers and liaisons.
  • Techies
    • Identify a process to get developers involved in the Tech Working Group (more outreach, clear tasks).
    • Develop and Promote technical tools.
    • Maintain and support existing tools.
  • Business of Mapping
    • Talking points for the membership to use with partners and potential funders.
    • Expand outreach strategy to get partners and potential supporters involved with HOT.

Participate in or Lead Working Groups

Our working groups perform the "business like" work of HOT. Currently there are working groups for:

  • Activation
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Fundraising
  • Governance
  • Technical
  • Training
  • Security

See Working Groups SubPage for a list and descriptions of the working groups and their contact information.

Attend Meetings

Meetings of the HOT Board and Membership

For details about

  • Board Meetings (includes previous meeting minutes), please visit Board
  • Membership Meetings (includes announcements and previous meeting minutes), please visit Meetings.

Other (non-official) Meetings

Help Plant Grass-Roots OSM Communities

HOT is involved locally, working in areas vulnerable to natural disaster, recovering after a disaster, or in economic transition. HOT tries to develop a local OSM community and to create partnerships with local governments, academics and geographers who can use and contribute to OSM. These Initiatives on the ground include:

The Missing Maps Project

The Missing Maps Project is an open collaboration founded by HOT, Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders (MSF), American and British Red Cross. It aims to map, within two years, the parts of the world where the most vulnerable people live. Building on the excellent work done by OpenStreetMap and others in emergency-response mapping, the Missing Maps Project aims to map in a proactive way. Instead of responding to a natural disaster, conflict or epidemic, it will identify regions vulnerable to crises will map them in anticipation of crises. This means that, when a crisis does occur, local people, NGOs and other responders can start using the maps and the data immediately, saving valuable time and, potentially, lives.

Visit the Missing Maps website for more details.

HOT Microgrants

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Community Support Program supports local people to leverage OpenStreetMap (OSM) data, tools and community to help solve local challenges. One of the ways in which we do this is by providing OSM communities with microgrants to support local mapping activities.

Click here to find more information on ongoing, future and past HOT microgrant programmes

Other HOT Activities to Date


Open Mapping Hubs

Open Mapping Hub - Asia Pacific

Open Mapping Hub - East & Southern Africa

Open Mapping Hub - West & Northern Africa

Open Mapping Hub - Latin America and The Caribbean

Data Quality

How we think about data quality at HOT

There are many organizations, communities, and individuals that contribute data to OpenStreetMap and all have a different background as to why they contribute to OpenStreetMap. Some contribute because they are doing research, academic or spatial analysis and the context of data quality is looked at differently. HOT contributes to OpenStreetMap from the perspective of humanitarian and from our side, the perspective of data quality is OSM data has to be fit for purpose; it must be able to address and inform the most critical and impactful use cases and decision-making to aid our (humanitarian) partners and communities’ use of maps and data.

It is therefore our concern to understand what fit for purpose is in terms of humanitarian response and how we maintain the quality of existing OSM data and improve the quality of new contributions. HOT’s global data Team leads on Quality Control & Assurance, pulling the Data Quality strategy with the HOT regional hubs, supporting the open mapping communities, coordinating data quality internships, conducting training and preparing training materials, and giving feedback to contributors.

Our approach to data quality - what we do to promote good data quality

Bearing in mind that it is paramount to contribute good quality data to OpenStreetMap, a number of tools, processes and workflows and resources have been developed to enable mappers to improve the OSM contribution., etc


  1. Tasking Manager
  2. OSM Galaxy

Processes and workflows

  1. Validation
  2. Data cleaning
  3. Improved project creation


  1. Learn OSM
  2. OSM Wiki
  3. Live and recorded training sessions


  1. HeiGIT
  2. HDX

Data Quality Internship Program

Data Quality Internship is an annual program that was established in 2020 with the main objective of supporting and raising not only great mappers and validators, but also leaders and advocates of open data, open mapping, and OpenStreetMap. Please watch out for the 2023 Data Quality internship program and don't miss the opportunity.

Data Quality Issues

HOT has prioritized top 10 data quality aspects in line with our intended humanitarian and development uses, in which we want to minimize errors. These aspects have been categorized under 3 categories - Positional Accuracy, Semantic Accuracy, and Completeness. HOT is focusing on prioritizing these aspects and implementation on how to minimize/eliminate them through HUB-centered community engagements in form of trainings, collaborating with partners, and developing tools that can be used to improve the quality of mapping.

top 10 data quality aspects include;

  1. Spatial offsets.
  2. Temporal inconsistencies.
  3. Feature tracing inconsistencies.
  4. Road network inconsistency.
  5. Completeness of health facilities.
  6. Completeness of public service data for sustainable communities.
  7. Administrative boundary inconsistencies.
  8. Tagging.
  9. Logical inconsistencies of map features.
  10. Tasking Manager project inconsistencies.

Data Quality Process

HOT Data Quality Process

Data Quality Updates, write-ups, and articles

Upcoming training/webinars/discussions

Getting involved

Feedback relating to data quality

Give us feedback on the OpenStreetMap Community forum, HOT Slack channel (quality-control_wg) [ dead link ], etc

Join Quality Control & Assurance meetings

Best path to correction of some Data Quality Issues

  1. Problem user escalation process
  2. Validating in Tasking Manager
  3. Validating using QGIS
  4. Mapbox: Validating OpenStreetMap

Wrong Data Quality assumptions (fallacies) (example: Deprecated tags…)

  • Bringing out Tasking Manager discussion into OpenStreetMap platform, please read this for the context.

Validation Support

  • Help to promote Urgent Projects via Validation Weekend campaign on Twitter.


Contact and Media Resources


  • Official:
    • To email HOT staff directly: info @
    • Email the Communications working group: communications @
    • Email the Activation working group: activation @
    • Visit the HOT Website, sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the page
    • HOT mailing list - Moderate traffic announcements and discussion; ~1900 subscribers as of March 2017
    • HOT Updates - Details of HOT activities (RSS), feel free to contact us with a suggested text for blog posts
    • OSM Tasking Manager - HOT mapping coordination tool
  • Social Media:
  • Live Chat:
    • Slack - many topic based chat channels
    • Matrix Space - many topic based chat channels (connected to Slack)
    • IRC - live text chat for spontaneous discussion, many channels, use #hot to chat with us and intermittently scheduled HOT chats
    • Mumble - live voice and text running on HOT server, used for official HOT meetings as well as general discussion


Presentations on HOT activities. Open-licensed slides are available for use in presentations.




HOT in the Media

Related Initiatives and Partnerships

See also

External resources

  • [4] Humanitarian Response Portal, Administrative Boundaries, Populated places
  • [5] FAO, International and Administrative boundaries
  • [6] UN Second level Administrative boundaries (1:1'000'000)
  • [7], Administrative boundaries in development countries (License?)
  • [8] Administrative boundaries (Redistribution, or commercial use, is not allowed without prior permission)
  • [9] NGIS Populated places Geographic name files by countries
  • [10] FreeGisData List of GIS Ressources
  • Oxfam recent emergencies - google map. boo!
  • categories: politics & conflicts disasters & accidents- open licensed news