Humanitarian OSM Team/Website/Indonesia DRR

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Base data serves many needs in humanitarian response and often responding organizations are scrambling to gather data because it is not readily available. Therefore, the focus of HOT’s work in Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) in Indonesia has been data preparedness.

Indonesia is a unique place. It is the world's fourth most populous country, spread out over 17,000 islands, with a mix of different types of religions and lifestyles. Through a partnership with AIFDR, GFDRR, ACCESS and BNPB, HOT has been concentrating on collecting exposure information to be fed into risk modeling software. Exposure information shows where people live and how, which can then be used to calculate the effect of different types of disasters. The calculation is performed by Riskio. Riskio is open source risk modeling software built on top of Geonode, which is colloquially referred to as “risk-in-a-box”. This has been a three month pilot study to test the feasibility of using OpenStreetMap to collect this type of information.

The approach in this pilot has been to focus on urban and rural areas separately. In the urban pilot areas, HOT has been hosting a mapping competition. Students in five universities have had the opportunity to learn about OpenStreetMap through workshops and having a mapping contest between them. The focus here has been in mapping individual buildings with specific attributes. The student from each university who maps the most will receive a scholarship to the State of the Map 2011, the OpenStreetMap Conference in Denver, Colorado in the United States. Documents and rules for the contest have all been posted at KompetisiOSM (In Bahasa Indonesian). In rural areas the approach has been completely different and focused on working with those already doing types of data collection and mapping, attempting to make their jobs easier.

Over the course of a month, HOT had seven workshops with eight ACCESS sub-districts. ACCESS is an AusAID poverty reduction project to help with community strengthening and resilience. In these districts HOT has had workshops in which facilitators from ACCESS are trained in OpenStreetMap mapping. In addition, there were two workshops with PNPM facilitators as well which have a similar role to the ACCESS ones. In these workshops the basics of OpenStreetMap were introduced, including GPS data collection and editing for information. We also explored how collecting data in OpenStreetMap could fit into the mapping activities facilitators were already doing, and what they considered important to map. Excitement at the workshops was high and each group was unique. Some groups though that having very high-resolution satellite imagery was important for mapping. Others wanted to focus more on GPS. Even the types of icons desired varied a fair amount, Indonesia has many different types of traditional houses and this was one component with a lot of variety. This feedback is part of a larger plan to build an Indonesia specific OpenStreetMap.ID portal at

The OpenStreetMap.ID seeks to be a location where those interested in OpenStreetMap in Indonesia can get started. Moreover, users already contributing can see how their stats match up against other editors and look at specific projects being worked on. By having documentation and software translated into Bahasa Indonesian the goal is to make it easier to contribute to OpenStreetMap.

Through this multi-faceted approach of workshops, contests and translation with our partners HOT hopes to answer the question, “Can OpenStreetMap be used to collect exposure data?” Time will tell as communities, translated documents and tools get up to speed. So far though, the answer appears to be yes.