Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers
Global peace needs global contribution. The contribution of everybody is important for peace.
United Nations helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace. Peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities are the main objectives of our mapping activities. 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.
Your help can make the difference. Become a UN Mapper.
UN Mappers is a community of mapping enthusiasts collaborating to collect, validate and disseminate geospatial open data in areas where the United Nations carry field operations with the goal of supporting the decision-making process with more accurate location-based data. UN Mappers is part of the Unite Maps, an initiative aiming at enriching topographic and operational data in UN missions and providing peacekeeping and humanitarian actors with better topographic maps, operational geo-information, search and navigation tools, and imagery and street-level base maps.
How to join us
Our activities are accessible and open for participation for anyone who wants to contribute towards the project. The project aims to overcome 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.
Currently we are mapping in:
- Somalia (UNSOS);
- Central African Republic (MINUSCA);
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO);
- Mali (MINUSMA);
- Abyei (UNISFA).
To become a UN Mapper you can join our events or participate remotely by mapping in the tasks released on the HOT Tasking Manager. Follow UN Mappers on Eventbrite to stay updated.
New to OSM? Learn how to map
If you are new to OpenStreetMap find below some basic informations to start mapping.
The first step to start contributing to OSM is to get an account. To create you own account, sign up to OpenStreetMap here https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new
Once you have an account, you are ready to start mapping.
There are two main editors for OSM: iD (browser based) and JOSM (standalone desktop application).
A good way to get familiar with the structure of OSM is to follow the walkthrough that can be found in the iD editor. Once logged to OSM the walkthrough can be launched by activating the editing mode zooming in to the map until the Edit button on the upper left corner becomes selectable and typing ‘H’ in your keyboard or by selecting the help icon on the right side bar. Click on Start the Walkthrough to enter the walkthrough.
Useful informations about how to map in OSM can be found in the LearnOSM page: https://learnosm.org/en/beginner/
JOSM Editor is a desktop application to edit OSM that can be downloaded from the following page https://josm.openstreetmap.de/
A full guide to start mapping with JOSM is available in the dedicated LearnOSM section at this url https://learnosm.org/en/josm/start-josm/
There are some helpful plugins to improve the mapping process that we usually use:
BuildingTools: fast and simple drawing of rectangular and round buildings.
FastDraw: tool to speed up the drawing of lines without too much clicking.
To install a plugin in JOSM press F12 to launch the Preferences dialog, then select the tab Configure Available Plugins and Download List, tick the checkbox for every plugin you want to install.
Our tasks are available through the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Tasking Manager (HOT TM). Click here to see our active tasks.
To start mapping enter the TM with your own OpenStreetMap account.
Ever wondered how to map a particular feature? The very same object, despite having the same tag on OpenStreetMap, could look different from country to country.
Here you can find our editing guidelines for:
Mapathons and Events
You can find our projects in the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Tasking Manager at this link.
We also perform import projects of UN data coming from Peacekeeping missions, following OSM import guidelines. Here are listed past and current import projects:
You can find all the statistics of our editing activities within the UN Mappers Leaderboard page.
The leaderboard is computed with OSM data of contributors commenting their changesets with the hashtag #UNMappers in the countries of interest of UN Missions involved in this mapping project.
UN Mappers Logo Contest
In September 2020 UN Mappers held a Logo contest to actualise its logo. The winner was Limo Kipchirchir Collins from Kenya, a 22 years old student at Maasai Mara University pursuing a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning. In collaboration with the UNGSC Design Squad, he worked to improve his original idea and create a professional and outstanding logo.
Stay tuned! We will be releasing soon several new applications to help us with your meaningful contributions:
- The UN Mappers Community Website, from which you will have access to the whole picture of our activities in an user-friendly way. Also, you will have the opportunity to be showcased in our website blog or in the Voice of the Community page, or to stay updated on our open job or internship positions.
- The Unite Maps Learning Hub, in which we will be hosting all the educational material, guidelines and documents to get you started with OSM editing from zero to hero!
Getting in touch
We are based at the United Nations Global Service Center in Brindisi (Italy). Feel free to get in touch with us through the following social media channels!
- Email -- send us a mail if you would like to be inserted in the UN Mappers mailing list!
- Discord -- join our direct communication channel!
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/Leaderboard
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/Logo contest
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/OSM Features in Central African Republic
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/OSM Features in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/OSM Features in Mali
- Unite Maps Initiative/UN Mappers/OSM Features in Somalia