Humanitarian OSM Team/philippines ondoy

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Flooded street due to typhoon Ketsana

This is a HOT activation in the Philippines

Tropical Storm Ketsana (Philippine Local name: Ondoy) brought torrential rain and flooding in Luzon island and in the capital area of Manila. On September 26 2009, in just 12 hours, rainfall to the metropolitan area brought more water than the monthly September average and broke a 1967 rainfall record. Flood water levels reached a record 20 feet high in rural areas. As of October 24, 2009, at least 464 deaths were officially reported from the first typhoon.

UPDATE: We are now assisting the documentation of disaster reports affected by Typhoon Pepeng/Pharma

MapAction was able to use our maps immediately (read Mikel's blog post), but there's plenty more data we can input.

To join the discussion please subscribe to the talk-ph mailinglist

QuickBird satellite imagery

High resolution QuickBird satellite imagery was kindly donated by DigitalGlobe with coverage of Pangasinan, one of the affected areas. See Maning's blog anouncement. approx coverage bbox

User:gravitystorm has made this available as tiles at the following URL:

Using in Potlatch

Click the following link: Start potlatch with QuickBird imagery

Philippines QuickBird imagery in Potlatch.png

Or you can switch to it mid-editing by going to the settings and pasting in the custom tile URL:!/!/!.png

Remote mapping

At the current time it is useful to help map the area covered by this QuickBird imagery as remote mapping effort. Later on it may become out-of-date, or more accurate mapping may be achievable by the locals. Maning says: "We need more contributors. Right now, some areas are heavily damaged by the typhoon, locals are unable to connect to the internet. Once the community have recovered we will then coordinate with locals to fill in the gaps."

Large areas of natural=scree represent the flooded area, so presumably mapping areas either side of this should be a priority, although maps of the entire region will be useful. Feature priorities:

  • The road network fully
  • Tracks running across the flood scree (where clearly visible)
  • landuse=residential areas
  • River networks / irrigation channels (Can just about see these).
  • Large buildings

Later on we could aim to map all individual buildings to give a better map of settlements. The resolution is good enough for this, and could be achievable if we get enough people on the job, but this is not the first priority.

Ideas for development of maps tools

See mailing list discussions such as this thread:

OSB-like Interface for locating areas needing rebuilding efforts

An appeal proposed by maning. What we currently need is:

1. A temporary server space we can use.

2. Create mashups on related information about the disaster (osm data for Metro Manila and adjacent provinces is good enough as a map background), news feeds, location of evacuation sites, missing persons list.

3. An interface in which users can report what is happening on the ground, (I'm thinking of an openstreetbug interface)

i.e. This street in unpassable due to floods. This street needs water.  
This street has no electricity.  
Too much garbage on this street please collect now.  

This way communities can report problems and hopefully close "bugs".

Wishlist of Features

  • No registration needed (we need a very low barrier of entry)
  • Ability sort/categorize the reports according to types of "bugs", administrative boundaries, etc.
  • Compile reports in a spreadsheet like format
  • Export to pdf maps for printing for field workers to use
  • Integrating and
  • RSS report to include lon/lat
  • Integrate other webmap as KML layers (news report maps, flooded areas map)


  • Coders
  • Maintainers of bug reports
  • Coordinate transmission of reports to concerned agencies

Inspiration from:

Status: Map interface running at:

Testing results

  • bug reporting - OK
  • gpx export - OK
  • rss feed - OK
  • permalink (outside in the map) - OK
  • permalink (inside in the map) - clicking the permalink opens a bug reporting form
  • needs better terminlogy
    • Create an Error Report - "create a request report" OK
    • Fixed Error - "fixed request" OK
    • Unresolved Error - "unresolved issue"
  • re-open a bug - OK
  • The hyperlink on the rss report goes to the main OSB page - OK

Data updates

Update data in affected areas.

  • Update rivers, canal and other water tributaries.
  • Improve road network (new roads and topology) to assist routing.
    • Add data for accessinbility - is it possible to add a temporary tag in osm incorporate accessibility info (access tag)? Or get a subset of the planet dump and then add these tags solely for this purpose?
  • Outline of residential areas including informal settlers (these communities are the most affected)
  • Public schools - usually used as Evacuation areas

Priority areas

Data imports

  • Maning got permission to trace roads from topographic maps. Need help in adding more info in the digitized maps.

Data Donations

  • DigitalGlobe donated QuickBird images (resolution: 0.6 meters visible band) for areas in Pangasinan.


    • Maning is downloading images.
    • Uploading the processed images to remote ftp for generation of TMS
    • TMS now available.
  • SPOT-Asia donated SPOT images (resolution: 10 m at visible band and 20 m for multispectral) for areas in Eastern Bulacan

Option to use the data:

  • Create a secured non-cacheable WMS - pro: anybody with proper credentials can access the data and use it in josm or merkaartor. con - need a server to host and maintain
  • Give the actual images to interested volunteers - pro: easy to distribute just provide a download link or send a dvd con: we cannot guarantee that the imagery won't be sold or anything.
  • Let's organize a map tracing event - pro: we have another social event to look forward invite LGUs who can use the data. con: logistical preparations

other initiatives we can support

Volunteers for Sahana Project


We can help by providing technical expertise to use openstreetmap data for their maps.

other webmaps KML for possible reuse showing evac sites - - I initiated contact with this group for collaboration, they are doing an excellent job of documenting current situation on the ground. Might be good to integrate data from OSM and vise versa. - Google landing page with a webmap containing 4 layers: Road conditions, Donation centers, Situation map, Missing persons.

  • Donation centers data seem to come from this map:

  • Missing persons come from the ondoymanila Google Site above

Other resources

  • Dartmouth Flood Observatory - providing real time water/flood maps using Modis Terra and Aqua satellites. Maning has the mapinfo vector files. Will be converted to a webmap suitable format (KML).
  • Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission TRRM

People Interested


Thea Clay