Missing Maps mapathons

From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Missing Maps Project

Missing Maps objectives

To map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, in order that international and local NGOs, and individuals can use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting the areas.

To support OpenStreetMap, and specifically the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), in developing technologies, skills, workflows and communities in order to achieve this.

Missing Mapathons

The Missing Maps relies heavily on mapping parties to trace areas of interest and to do data editing and uploading following field mapping activities. These parties are sometimes organised by NGOs, but are often organised by independent volunteers. This page is a place for all Missing Mapathon organisors (and potential organisers!) to share resources, guidance and experience.

Organising a Missing Mapathon

Things to think about

Missing Maps JOSM mapathon in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Missing Maps JOSM mapathon in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Who to tell...


This can be your front room, a school, an office, a hack space, an internet cafe or a multitude of other places. However, you will probably need to consider one, some or all of the following:

  • Wifi - is there enough of it? Can everyone log on (e.g. universities often require a student ID to access the wifi)?
  • Powerpoints - are there enough of them? Do you need extension cables? Laptops need juice, so make sure there is access for everyone that needs it.
  • Food - if you are having pizza or something at the mapathon, make sure the venue is ok with you bringing it.

Support and training

It is important to have experienced people at the mapathon. You may have a loads of new enthusiastic people wanting to come, but they will need some training and support. While, it is important to get as much mapping done as possible, this must not be at the expense of good quality mapping!

  • Another reason to get your local OSM community involved!
  • Ask Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team if any of the community live in your area.
  • If you have experienced mappers present, organise a validation table where they validate the task being worked on at the event. This way, they can feed back on how it's going and what people need to improve.
  • For training resources, see the resources section below.


The Missing Maps tasks are all hosted on the excellent HOT tasking manager. Take your pick from here.

For beginners: if you only have a short amount of time for your mapping party or you want an easy task for beginners, it is a good idea to look for a task that just needs building tracing. It's an easy way to become familiar with the iD and JOSM and to get used to identifying features in satellite imagery.

If you want some advice on a good task for any level of mapper, or you have any questions, get in touch with Missing Maps and feel free to ask. There are contact details on the Missing Maps Project page.


We can (and would like to) help you promote your mapathon.

  • On the Missing Maps Project page of this wiki, you'll find an events section. Add your event. We update our website from there. If you're event has not gone on to the website after a couple of days, let us know.
  • Tweet us the details, including a link to the event and we'll spread the word.


All the resources we have used for previous mapathons are available on google drive. Please feel free to use whatever you like. We only ask that if you improve or translate anything that you create a folder for your event and upload the new docs (and let us know if you do)! There are also great training materials which you can give to attendees before and / or during the mapathon.

How to find OSM people

If you are unfamiliar with the OpenStreetMap community, try to find local OSM people to collaborate with on your event. There are lot of ways to find them including:

  • Put OSM Scotland (or wherever) into a search engine
  • Search twitter and facebook
  • Join and post to the relevant mailing list for your country / region
  • Go to your area on OpenStreetMap and see who has been doing the most tagging
  • Find your area in in the brilliant Who's around me?