UN Maps Project

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United Nations Dynamic TLM (Topographic Line Map) Production is a mapping initiative to collaborate in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities. United Nations helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace through the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

There is enormous potential for new technologies to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping missions, as they respond to an ever-growing list of tasks in increasingly complex field environments.

The United Nations Dynamic TLM MAP Production project started at the end of 2018.

This has been promoted by Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies of the UNGSC which supports Peacekeeping operations. The Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies (SGITT) at the GSC is the operational hub for the support and delivery of ICT services and solutions to field operations. The Project set a new standard in the UN Global Service Center and want to be a starting point for tight collaboration between UN and all the humanitarian agencies.

Global peace needs global contribution. The contribution of everybody is important for peace.

Website: UNGSC

Twitter user@ un
Facebook user UnitedNationsGSC
Instagram user unitednations
YouTube channel UNGSC


This project has been developed in order to maximize crowd-sourced geospatial data to be effectively and efficiently supported the UN operational demands that will also allow to contribute to the wider public use including UN agencies and NGOs.

The Objective of this mapping project is to enrich the topographic data in different areas to assist the UN missions in their field endeavors, such as peace and security, navigation, and logistics, by providing its peacekeepers with topographic maps that will help them in their tactical and operational activities. By enhancing situational awareness through the representation of topographical data on a map to the highest degree of accuracy possible, the Project could enable peacekeeping missions to plan for various contingencies and alter force distribution to prevent conflict.

The Project aims to overcomes the problems of lack of topographic data in the field mission areas for delivering accurate and up-to-date base information, for the missions peacekeeping, to the users and stakeholders.

UN has chosen to edit data directly on OpenStreetMap also for the sake of all humanitarian projects and the local communities.

Its purpose is to ensure that all the topographic products are kept current and always updated so that the changes on the ground are promptly reflected on the maps available to UN staff in the field.

This collection of topographical data will contribute for the production of many type of maps, including:

  • dangerous areas – for example, flood or flood-prone areas, areas mined or containing unexploded ordinance, and sectors cleared or uncleared of mines;
  • security concerns – for example, incidents of accident/sickness/hostile fire, potential conflict zones, evacuation routes, mustering and regrouping points, checkpoints, security areas of responsibility, liaison offices, security warden zones;
  • military locations – for example, Congolese army units, local militias, foreign armed groups, arms trafficking routes;
  • disarmament, demobilization and reintegration locations – for example, Regrouping Centres, Integration Centres, Orientation Centres, special child soldier camps.

Projects related to OpenStreetMap

The first mission involved in the Project is UNSOS (Somalia)

Lead by the United Nations Department of Field Support, UNSOS, in Somalia aims to provide critical support to AMISOM, UNSOM and the Somali Federal Security Institutions to make them more effective in defeating enemies of peace and in creating the much-needed space for political reconciliation, state formation and extension of government authority in Somalia.

The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) was established on 9 November 2015, through a UN Security Council Resolution 2245. UNSOS is a successor operation to the United Nations Support Office for [(UNSOA)], which was established in 2009 to provide logistical field support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

For specific information about roads and residential areas mapping please follow this link UN maps for Somalia

How we do operate

Firstly, we would like to point, we don't do any data import!


We buy satellite images extracting information with JOSM. We use the Tasking Manager to divide the "mapsheets" in small squares. When data are uploaded, a first validation occurs, using the JOSM validation rules.

Validation process

Data used in the DTLM project must meet a defined standard for quality. Data validation is an iterative process that uses formal methods of evaluating a dataset's adherence to a defined quality standard. This process can help detect anomalies with features, attributes, and spatial relationships in data.

The three pillar phases of the QA/QC process are:

  • Review
  • Correct
  • Verify

Validation are made with manual and automatic processes.

The manual validation of the data aims to put the attention on the most important sets of data, investigating crucial element that the automatic validation tools cannot highlight. This step of the Review phase could be done on the OSM website or on the JOSM editor software.

Automatic validation tools:

  • OSM Inspector (Geofabrik tool)
  • Osmose (OSM France tool)

How to get involved as an individual

You can join the future local events or participate remotely by editing the Projects release by UN Mapper on the Tasking Manager. We will let you know by social channels when there are tasks that need to be worked on or when mapathons in your neighbourhood are being organised.

You can also follow … . Feel free to message us your interest and any questions you may have.

Mapathons and events

Our first mapathon will be help in our UNGSC office in Brindisi. It will be dedicated to the UN staff only.

Useful Resources, Tools, and Links


Name Description
Learn OSM Easy to understand, step-by-step guides to get started contributing and using OpenStreetMap and its data.
Missing Maps Mapathons A useful Wiki on how to throw a Mapathon; useful resources at the bottom of the page.
OSM tasking Manager/Validating Data An introduction to data validation and some helpful tips for mapping in general.
Research Related Research into OpenStreetMap and its applications from around the world in different languages.
Interpreting Satellite Imagery A useful guide to interpreting satellite imagery for beginners in a MapSwipe context, but also applicable to Mapathons.