Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Technical

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The HOT Technical Working Group' is not an active working group. Consultation [1] took place in 2023 to start a new HOT Tech and Innovation Working Group. Terms of Reference for that group were signed off by the HOT Board in March 2023.

The HOT Technical Working Group discusses the current status, coordination possibilities, and priorities for tool development, and for hosting and operations aspects of HOT tools. This is driven by HOT needs on the ground and needs within the larger humanitarian community which HOT operates in. HOT activities can demand novel new tools or enhancements to existing tools for processing, analyzing, and visualizing osm data. HOT activities also often demand that tools work offline, in low bandwidth scenarios, and in cross platform scenarios.

Join the working group if you'd like to contribute to the software development process of tools, share new ideas, or provide support to users who want to use OSM tools. Most activities and documentation is tracked on Github within the Tech repo.

The Tech WG is lead by: Rob Savoye.

Active needs:

  • Software developers interested in helping build and evolve HOT tools
  • Individuals who would like to serve as emergency support to HOT tools
  • Share about OSM and other tool development that is happening outside of HOT that may be helpful to community members
  • Support contributing to the documentation and organization on Github

Terms of reference


  • prepare and disseminate technical requirements for HOT organization
    • which resources are provided by HOT - Tasking Manager, HOT Export, ...
    • which resources are used by HOT - Google, Amazon AWS, dedicated servers, ...
    • plan resource usage
  • plan, coordinate and manage HOT software projects
    • prioritize issues and feature requests
    • maintain and support HOT software repositories
    • provide technical requirements for services
  • maintain and administer HOT computing resources (servers)
    • fix availability/performance/reliability issues
    • plan and implement backup policies and contingency plans


  • TWG Lead
    • organize TWG meetings and prepare meeting agenda
    • prepare reports for the HOT Board
    • flail SysAdmin and Project Managers
  • System administrator
    • administer HOT computing resources and services
  • Project manager
    • act as a link between project and everybody else, you are a go-to person for a project
      • communicate with developers and designers
      • communicate with users on reported issues
    • prepare bi-monthly project status report
      • issue report, what's going on, user feedback, what are priorities
      • is there a need to start thinking about fund raising to push new features
    • communicate with the service maintainer to deploy new changes
    • inform community about changes made to the project - a short mail to the HOT main mailing list
    • has all privileges on the project source code repository
  • External members:
    • Developers
    • Designers


  • Meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 16:00 UTC (check calendar to subscribe or get the link)
    • meeting minutes added to TWG wiki
    • meeting summary posted to the HOT main mailing list
  • ad-hoc meetings - if required
  • TWG mailing list


Meeting format

Meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at 16:00 UTC (check calendar to subscribe or get the link)

  • Meeting is announced on the hot@ mailing list the week before, and also reminder on the day of.
  • Meeting agenda should be prepared before the meeting
  • We do go rounds to everyone checked in on channel and present. Discuss anything brought up, make plans, tickets, communicate.
  • IRC log posted to the wiki.

Calendar inviteː Google Calendar

Meetings and minutes/IRC logs

2017 2016 2015
2014 2013 2012



HOT Services and Projects Overview

Active services

Name Resource Service URL Hosting Project manager Notes
OSM Tasking Manager amelia Pierre Giraud -
Tasking Manager (dev instance) amelia Pierre Giraud -
Tasking Manager 2 (dev instance) amelia Pierre Giraud -
HOT Website amelia Felix D. Drupal
HOT Exports GeoFabrik virtualized server Dražen Odobašić leave as it is
Separate Data Store (testing) amelia ??? -
LearnOSM GitHub ??? American Red Cross is working to document the current process, to make it easier for translators to contribute without getting involved directly in github, and provide guidance for technical coordinators. This documentation will be in draft form for comment in the next couple weeks. If you have any suggestions on this process, contact Mikel.
HOT Training Center(training courses) Internal amelia Russell D. Moodle -
Visual Tag Chooser Heroku (account is registered to Tim Waters), is it possible to transfer the account to HOT ??? ??? ask for the site backup and move to the new HOT server
HOT Imagery requests coordination service (HIRC) amelia Dražen Odobašić -
Crowdsourced imagery feature detection (Hakken) ??? ??? ??? -

Additional projects

Name Resource Project manager Notes
HOT/HDM JOSM Map Style skorasaurus -
HOT/HDM Tagging Preset skorasaurus list of tags

Inactive services

Name Resource Service URL Hosting Contact Notes
??? Schuyler Erle ???, Kate Chapman ??? wiki:
Tasking Manager (Argentinian instance) -*- ??? ??? ???


Name Resource Notes
  • dedicated Hetzner server specifications
  • Quad core Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1245 V2 @ 3.40GHz
  • 16Gb ECC RAM
  • 3Tb of disk space
- - -
Name Resource Notes
Mumble Mumble
OpenAtrium Internal discussion/organization for HOT board, members, projects
OpenAtrium Archive Backup of old OpenAtrium

External services

'Humanitarian' (HDM) style tile server

Integration in different tools

Further work to ensure that this rendering (here for Haiti) can be visualized in the different tools we use. It is currently available in JOSM as a map painting style. It is also needed for various map services or tools:

  • Walking Papers or Field Papers
  • Garmin maps
  • QGIS
  • MapOSMatic (see above in the dedicated section)
  • OSMAnd (if feasible)


MapOSMatic is a key tool in developing countries where communities and/or local authorities have no easy access to the Internet. The service provides pdf that can be easily printed in small format paper and is the only way for some communities or local authorities without Internet or even electricity to access the OSM data. Example here.

Nevertheless, it needs to be improved:

  • improving the rendering by scale, currently mostly too thick, forcing to create maps on bigger formats than the ones aimed and then downsizing them (eg A2 for a A4 print)
  • allow different zooms by format paper, eg from inner city scale (max of POI) to municipality territory (focus on place names, and main amenities in the index, no residential streets)
  • allow to choose what tags would be put in the index. Eg health or shops would be sometimes interesting
  • allow HDDM style to be available as a base layer to select
  • City Selection : Searching for cities such as Tombouctou, Paris or London return no result. This functionality should be revised to give the opportunity to zoom to a city and then move on the map to select the zone to map. provides the information about the repository. As of August 12, 2013, no feature requests have been added yet for the authors.

OSM contributors statistics

The HOT Projects deployed in various countries have requested the possibility to produce Contributors statistics.

A script developped for CAP103 Haiti project will be adapted.

HOT services and tools ideas

General ideas

  • To facilitate communications of field and training teams in context of low bandwith and instable internet connection, and support various humanitarian actions
    • Cache
    • Server : ftp server, possibility to deploy some applications like the private data store
    • etc.
  • HOT Virtual Machine (VM)
  • Easy to generate statistics packaged into the form of a HOT Dashboard
  • Specific enhancements of the Tasking Manager made to allow a use in the context of managing field surveys with large teams. Details discussed in the past with P Giraud

Local server for field deployments

The various HOT Teams deploying in Haiti and various african countries are confronted with poor and intermittent internet connection. A local server could facilitate group mapping sessions in various ways:

  • internet front-end
  • caching : tools like mapcache could be used if they offer the possibility to not cache Bing Imagery (to respect license)
  • local version of applications where a significant reduction of internet need would be obtained

People Interested