Humanitarian OSM Team/BulletPoints

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HOT resources

A list of resources needed to enhance Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

HOT is about mapping Developing Countries/Least Developed Countries (DCs) the OSM way with the overarching aim to expand communities in these countries. The intervention into Humanitarian and Development fields is a means to this goal and much needed pursuit in itself. Supporting Humanitarian and Development work provides OSM with stronger and quicker entry into DCs in terms of access to data and capacity & community building opportunities in Humanitarian and Development Communities.

HOT will re-use and leverage from:

  •  OSM and past/current achievements in humanitarian technology. In this re-use, the focus will be both to (i) incorporate in OSM the specific challenges of operating in DCs (ii) enable participation from individuals/groups with low technical literacy (Ex. Schuyler UNICEF lightening talk at UNGIWG 8 Bangkok).
  •  Humanitarian/Development “classic” geodata management modus operandi (“Where0.0”) and Where2.0 accumulated mapping knowledge.

The completion of the following resources furnishes us with direction, tools and steps for implementing HOT the OSM way: an individual and community-driven process, based on small but scalable projects that can grow through collaboration.

Rationale Documents

  • HOT Concept doc
  • HOT Framework doc
  • HOT 2 pager doc.

All those documents should clearly articulate the rational for HOT: why the need for HOT in Humanitarian and Development Contexts, stressing its added value and laying out the reasons for its success.

HOT guidance and template documents.

Template for data sharing requests and agreements between OSM and GI actors. These documents must allow for derivative rights or full re-use within the terms of the OSM License (CC-SA or OdbL); for individuals, and structure (OSMF, chapter, field-anchoring organization...).

  • Review texts of existing agreements with GI actors Yahoo, AND, Canada.
  • Desk review of OSM data sharing experiences; for HOT, include UNJLC (Sudan, Haiti), Africover, Kosovo, Albania.
  • White paper of OSM data sharing experiences
  • White paper on cooperative schemes between OSM/ and GI Actors (Canada GeoBase, Ireland, Catalunya, Surry Heath). Make explicit the incentive for data sharing with OSM.

Hot data solicitation/ liberation/ import activities


  • Articulation within the CODATA g-ROADS working group.
  • Catalog of data sources (OSM wiki); CODATA document.
  • Partners list & candidates datasets:
  • Transportation: GIST, GRIP-PBL, CODATA, UN. LogCluster/ WFP (ex UNJLC-UNSDIT dataholdings); UN OCHA, FAO, UNOSAT, DEPHA, FAO-SWALIM...
  • other thematic layers

The data imports activities must be conducted through a project-based approach; 2 main

  •  An OSM country-based approach (the wiki & the resulting communities from the OSM caravan),
  •  UN imports (Sudan, Haiti) and Africover import process (organization-enabled data import exercise).

Important to build updating and comprehensive statistics and narratives on OSM's coverage globally, as well as identify other data sources, to help data users to identify OSM resources. Could feed into CODATA's data catalogue, with associated metadata.

  • number of km of road in country/region
  • number of active mappers
  • wikiproject page activity
  • list activity
  • subjective accounts of completion (from wikiproject page)
  • ..

HOT Tagging system

A proposed HOT tagging system re-using relevant existing OSM tags combined with inputs from field-proof data models; on the model of the UNSDIT data model for transportation.

Process: Wiki map features and proposed features: use OSM or a HOT map features and proposed features; HOT field tested map-features being then fed back to OSM (current process, and likely to gain in importance with the emerging OSM communities in DCs/LDCs countries.

Rationale: 2 reasons for stronger attention to standards compatibility with OSM (see Yahoo at SOTM09 and similar presentations) and HOT:

  •  practical - data sharing-driven: semantic interoperability through “robust” tagging system with established translation with standard data models as an enabler (and an incentive) for data sharing at a moment where the community is looking more actively into enhanced articulations with existing GI actors.
  •  an expression of OSM cumulative wiki built-up collective knowledge and contribution to earth depiction.

HOT tagging discussion and proposals can be found here - please contribute: Humanitarian_OSM_Tags -DruidSmith 22:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

HOT workflows procedures and methodologies


A set of how to basic OSM geodata management using OSM tools (osmosis, josm, osmarender, etc.), and tools from the OSM commercial “Ecosystem” (CloudMade, Geofabrik, Geocommons and others) both in OSM format and in standard data format. (Ex: How 2 import/ export/ map-render (web/desktop)...)

Approach: focus on robust user-friendly tools and re-use of associated wiki how to resources.

Angle: ultra beginners. GIS pros

HOT Methodology

Data quality

Geometry quality (positional accuracy) stamp against reference layers/imagery or against osm targetted accuracy (basic gps-unit based "street-level" quality data) for selecting multiple candidates in OSM data import projects, for prioritizing surveys/ tracing efforts on any OSM projects, other... Methodology:

  •  Muki Haklay (candidate dataset vs a reference layer, or extracted from reference imagery),
  •  CODATA (candidate data set reference imagery)

Investigate sources for reference imagery (Brasil NMA, US NGA).

  • How to map a slum.
  • How to....

HOT applications workflow under non/ultra-limited bandwidth environment

HOT Toolkit

  •  Import: simple, bulk, bulk-selective (respective of existing data, see OSM Germany, Geogfabrik).
  •  Export: main GIS format (shp), main GIS DB format (postgre), main GPS data format (garmin other), KML.
  •  Data collection tools: walking papers; gps-enabled basic mobile phones for survey via geocoded text messaging.
  •  Data checks: OSM Inspector, Osmosis, geom accuracy based checks..

HOT Products

Typical Humanitarian map series:

  • general situation updates
  • distribution of affected population
  • who-what-where’ (activities of response organisations)
  • infrastructure status
  • ground and air navigation

Leverage from existing map series (UNJLC, OCHA, MapActions, IMMAP); from osm/wikipedia maps (create preparedness base map series co-hosted on HOT/wikipedia); others...

  •  HOT A4/ A3 maps series (soft & hard copy)
  • pdf/ geopdf for the following map series
  •  Atlases of HOT A4/ A3 maps series (soft & hard copy) using advanced cartographic application: "ESRI Map Book" cartographic application.
  •  HOT web data visualization service (HOT renderers):
  •  HOT mobile phone data visualization applications (Iphone/ basic mobile)
  •  HOT GPS data visualization applications (Garmin maps… others)
  •  HOT symbology + interoperable library of symbols for both web maping (OSM) and client mapping software; leverage from existing OSM resources + UNOCHA and other relevant docs.
  •  HOT services
  •  ROUTING (JLC-customized ORS/ Krones; Gaza…)
  •  CHANGES in both geom and attributes
  •  Accuracy quality stamp: vs base raster, vs base layer, vs osm targetted basic gps-unit based "street-level" geometric accuracy.
  • Synchronization vs NMA/PSI shared reference dataset

identify holes/ changes form last shared release of the reference datasets

  • if holes, automate import
  • if differences osm/ nma-psi, then (i) import; (ii) flag it as a place to survey
  • Appareillement de graphes for synchronization of 2 DBs (OSM and JumpStart OSM instance).
    •  Data model converter (in wps, in desktop client GIS); leverage ESRI-based UNSDIT Roads convertor.
    •  Automated features extraction from satellite imagery; leverage from CODATA, others.
  • procedure to sign, import, and export community data into govt and SDI systems. A way to "authorize" OSM data.


ReliefWeb is the data distribution focus for the Humanitarian Response community. We can produce maps in formats expected by ReliefWeb (PDF) *with* the well highlighted notice "Go here to download/edit the underlying data"

Are there requirements for becoming a ReliefWeb contributor? Consider partnering with someone like MapAction?

Training/ capacity building

Typology of training and capacity building components:

HOT events.

  •  HOT/ OSM Mapping parties; leverage on Mikel experience from Gaza, Robert Africover.
  •  HOT - UNJLC-based Assessment training (model: Neuhausen and GeOnG-Chambery).
  •  HOT Simulation training (model: UN WFP/ Logcluster training).
  •  HOT Simulation training (model: Camp Roberts, HOT @ Defense Research Institute).
  •  HOT MapTours on the road mapping parties and workshop (model: MapAfrica, MapIndia Tours...).
  • HOT scholarships programes based on OSM Scholarships rogrames (Mikel).
  • others....

Plan HOT mapping parties/ workshops .

  •  in developed countries to train volunteers possibly linked to OSM projects or piggy-baking on organized events.
  •  in DCs/LDCs mapping parties / workshops possibly linked to OSM projects (Map_Kabira) or relevant events (Eg. WhereKampala; WhereCampAfrica2010 (Bamako Mali); Senegal...).

HOT contamination plans. -*Integration of HOT/OSM training/ capacity building components in formal/ informal humanitarian/ development programs run by academics, private sector, local/ national, UN and NGOs in DC.s and LDCs


Certainly hard to immediately see how to scale up this effort without investing much in people who understand both technology and the social complexities of operating in marginalized and disaster impacted communities. Perhaps the home, or one of the homes, for HOT is academic, where graduate students can be recruited and trained to undertake these kind of projects. Or perhaps some kind of inter-academic program, recruiting globally, from the developed and developing world.

Outreach events

HOT presence in useful fora: (I) OSM-ish (Wherecamp & hum-dev...); (ii) humanitarian centric.

  • Inpulse the creation/ re-creation of successful events from other countries (US) or contexts (tech-oriented) into humanitarian fora; leverage on this on WhereKampala.

HOT Communication materials

  • HOT Trademark/ brand/ hallmark.
  • HOT Wiki – communication section.
  • HOT Mailing-list
  • News letter – HOT format.
  • HOT Story telling materials: stories, blog posts etc.
  • HOT Lessons learned documents
  • HOT meeting/ workshop/ outreach documents; both past documents and ready to use/re-use materials.
  • HOT Papers: Academic and White papers.

HOT Networks

Grow a HOT Network and a HOT Network trademark/ brand/ hallmark to recognize and attribute contributions/ participations to HOT by external entities form Academics, Private Sector, National'Local, NGOs and International Organizations (UN and others). In this broad categgoy would typically the following:

  • programming contribution by Stamen to further customize the Walking Papers techniques for a thorough use/ re-use within HOT in HUm/ Dev contexts.
  • cooperations with academics.
  • etc...

HOT Partners (potential)

  • GIST
  • KeyObs
  • CartONG
  • Brittany/French Institutions

HOT Projects (potential)

  • UNICEF Household survey
  • Map Kibera phase 2
  • UNICEF indigenous mapping