From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Available languages — MapSwipe
Afrikaans Alemannisch aragonés asturianu azərbaycanca Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu Bân-lâm-gú Basa Jawa Baso Minangkabau bosanski brezhoneg català čeština dansk Deutsch eesti English español Esperanto estremeñu euskara français Frysk Gaeilge Gàidhlig galego Hausa hrvatski Igbo interlingua Interlingue isiXhosa isiZulu íslenska italiano Kiswahili Kreyòl ayisyen kréyòl gwadloupéyen kurdî latviešu Lëtzebuergesch lietuvių magyar Malagasy Malti Nederlands Nedersaksies norsk norsk nynorsk occitan Oromoo oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча Plattdüütsch polski português română shqip slovenčina slovenščina Soomaaliga suomi svenska Tiếng Việt Türkçe Vahcuengh vèneto Wolof Yorùbá Zazaki српски / srpski беларуская български қазақша македонски монгол русский тоҷикӣ українська Ελληνικά Հայերեն ქართული नेपाली मराठी हिन्दी অসমীয়া বাংলা ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ગુજરાતી ଓଡ଼ିଆ தமிழ் తెలుగు ಕನ್ನಡ മലയാളം සිංහල ไทย မြန်မာဘာသာ ລາວ ភាសាខ្មែរ ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ አማርኛ 한국어 日本語 中文(简体)‎ 吴语 粵語 中文(繁體)‎ ייִדיש עברית اردو العربية پښتو سنڌي فارسی ދިވެހިބަސް
Screenshot of MapSwipe
Author: Missing Maps Project
License: Data (CC BY 3.0) and App (BSD) (free of charge)
Platforms: Android and iOS
Version: 1.1.0 (2016-07-01)
Source code:

Super-simple contribution to humanitarian mapping (indirectly) by helping find features in imagery

MapSwipe is an app developed by a team in collaboration with the Missing Maps Project as an easy way for people to contribute to humanitarian mapping efforts. The contribution is indirect. A form of "second level crowdsourcing".

The app was launched July 2016. Listen to a radio interview about it and see the HOT mailing list posting for release information.

Users swipe through satellite images of a region, tapping the screen when they see features they’re looking for including settlements, roads and rivers. This information is fed back to mappers who need this information to build detailed and useful maps. At present, they have to spend days scrolling through thousands of images of uninhabited forest or scrubland looking for communities that need mapping. Now, members of the public can directly contribute to MSF’s medical activities by locating people in need more quickly so mappers, and ultimately medical professionals on the ground, can get straight to work.

Apps locations

Using MapSwipe

MapSwipe is very intuitive.

  • Choose your 'mission'. Each mission will indicate what you are looking for (for example, buildings and roads)
  • Swipe right to see the next tile.
  • Tap once on a square to indentify a feature
  • Tap twice if you are not sure, but you think there is a feature
  • Tap three times to identify bad / no imagery or cloud cover

See the guide, MapSwipe guidance: interpreting satellite imagery for more help on feature indentification

What happens to the results?

We're left with a view of where settlements are located across a very large area. This is available to download on MapSwipe analytics, and is being used either directly or to guide further mapping priorities. This for example feeding into the design of OSM Tasking Manager projects, in an manual observational way, or via automated project designing mechanisms which are still somewhat under development.

DisasterMappers Heildeberg recently blogged about Integrating MapSwipe and HOT Tasking Manager They developed a process for taking MapSwipe results (left) and setting up a Task Manager project to map the settlements (right)

The GIScience Resarch Groups at Heidelberg University provides python scripts to process the mapswipe data:


Open Source code & issue tracking on github:

App is hosted on

The app is managed and developed by the MapSwipe volunteer working group that meets every two weeks. If you would like to be part of these discussions, you can join the MapSwipe conversations on Slack. Please do sign up here:

Blogs and News

June 2018

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

January 2017

November 2016

July 2016