WikiProject Gaza Strip

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Gaza Strip, Palestine
latitude: 31.41, longitude: 34.39
Browse map of Gaza Strip 31°24′36.00″ N, 34°23′24.00″ E
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Gaza Strip is a territory in Palestine at latitude 31°24′36.00″ North, longitude 34°23′24.00″ East.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.

Wikiproject Gaza Strip is focused on rapidly increasing the level of mapping available in the area for humanitarian relief efforts and other purposes. Detailed information about the region is available in the WikiProject Gaza Strip/Region article.

See also WikiProject Palestine


To provide useful mapping of the Gaza Strip in the immediate future for use by relief agencies and other people on the ground. To create a 'asset register' of buildings of importance to the local community, the schools, hospitals, mosques.

To achieve this we aim to

  • Collect information on this page about what needs to be mapped and what information we already have available.
  • Collect a list of people and organisations to contact who may be able to provide local information from first-hand experience
  • To identify and contact organisations who may be datasets that we can use
  • To coordinate the adding of data to the actual map

Status as of 24 March 2009

Currently select OSM editors have access to the satellite imagery and have added a good deal of roads road names, place names, etc.

JumpStart are working in the West Bank with PCBS and ARIJ to add even more detail. Expect another round of updates in a couple weeks.

Peter Miller has produced a KML

There are quite a list of settlement names, each one needs to be positioned on the map and ticked off and that needs local knowledge. The lists are here (one list per region)

The UN has data on hospitals, schools, etc. We need to follow up with them to release their data.

Possible to identify agricultural land use from the imagery .. someone could put in outlines for fields, olive groves, greenhouses. Basically make maximum use of the imagery.

Arabic speakers have indicated some problems with mapnik's renderering of Arabic text. Needs investigation and solution.

Data sources


All BBC information is (c) Copyright BBC. It can only be used as a source in assocation with a significant amount of other sources which confirm the information.

The BBC published Map: Gaza offensive - Week One and Map: Gaza offensive - Week Two. Note this map show the Rafah Crossing too far north probably in the position of the Salah Edin Gate (which is now closed). This map also shows the Yabna Refugee Camp in the position where we have 'Tall as Sultan'. Yabna appears to our research to be an old name or old camp and not a name currently in use. Zeitoun is shown near Netzarim whereas it is actually a suburb of Gaza City much further to the north.

They have also published a Gaza Conflict Map. note that Jabalie too far to the east and it also shows Rafah in the position of the old town/Rafah camp and it should probably be shown further south.

The current dataset

DATA: daily data dumps are available as .osm and .shp files from (thanks to Frederik Ramm). There may be issues with the fonts in the shapefiles. Gaza is based on the admin boundary and Gaza-bbox is a slightly larger rectangle (Lat 31.18, Lon 34.17; Lat 31.62, Lon 34.60).


Routing is possible in the area using your navigation although that only works with mapnik at present. How often is the data updated? is it once a week?

Yes, once a week. The update completes usually somewhere in the weekend. --Lambertus 11:20, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I can't put a lat/long into the link to yournavigation - if I do then it shows it the area correctly for a few seconds and then immediately jumps to somewhere in Germany.

There is a permalink for each completed route, you can use that as a starter. --Lambertus 11:20, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Commercial aerial photography

Ideally we need high quality recent aerial photography for the whole of the ares. The follows aerial photography suppliers may be able to help. 2m is highest resolution by US/Israeli law.

  • Digital Globe - Quoted about $5750 for 2m imagery
  • - Quoted $8k for 2m imagery
  • Cnes/Spot Image
  • GeoEye - Getting a quote tomorrow. Could possibly be $385/scene * 7 scenes = $2695.
  • Infoterra has some 2m SAR imagery around Gaza in their archives.

06Jan09 update: We have now confirmed that Digital Globe reseller eMap [] can provide good quality 2m color photography for digitisation purposes with recent acquisition dates. There is also B/W available shot in the north today! The cost for the whole Gaza Strip is about $5760.

07Jan2009 We are needing to check the terms of use of the photography to ensure we can use it in an OSM context - something about export regulation - we hope to get it sorted soon.

07Jan2009 We are now collecting pledges to pay for photograph - see donations section below.

09Jan2009 I've contacted the office dealing with sales for Europe, it is Rome. I will define things like payment on monday morning. --Simone 16:23, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

13Jan2009 We have sorted out what photography is available and that they are happy to supply it to us for our purpose. We have raised sufficient pledges to go ahead and have identified a suitable partner charity as a conduit for the charitable funds. We are currently waiting for the charity to confirm that they can perform this role for us. Assuming that they are, we will then get the pledges to the charity who will then send money to the foundation who will then place the order. Once we have done that the company will make the images available on their FTP site for download. We will then process it and host it. We will do this as fast as we can but we might still be a few days away from having stuff available on-line. I believe that we will be getting black and white 2m resolution photography for the north taken on the 6th Jan 2009 and colour 2m resolution photography for the south taken in July 2008. PeterIto 17:53, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

23Jan2009 OK, so we sourced data from Digital Globe, we had problems clarifying the terms from the US distributor. We then found a distributor in the EU, we checked the license out (which was fine), we found a charitable partner and asked them to help . Two days later they said 'no' because it was not a process they were familiar with and they were uncomfortable with working in a war-zone. We have now gone back the states and been clarifying the license terms of the US supplier (which have some complications in it) but think it is now ok, we have got a charitable partner who are happy to work with us, and we now need to get that US charity cleared by CAF in the UK (who need to do this before they send charitable funds are sent abroad). We should be able to give a further update early next week. Note however: There are restrictions in the license and access to the photography will be limited. We will give priority to the people who have identified themselves on this page and who have made edits recently, but we can't make it 'publicly available'.

How about a weekend 'Trace-athon', meeting in a single location, where permitting and coordinate an all out tracing session. -- Firefishy
Would a server with logon restrictions work? Give rights to a set of users. Or VPN? --LeedsTracker 02:27, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
6Feb09 We now have all the money side sorted and a charitable partner approved so can start moving money around. I believe that Mikel has a plan for how to give people access to the photography, which will be 'post-conflict' 2 meter resolution and so will therefore allow us to map the place pretty much as it is now. PeterIto 19:46, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

20Feb09 We now have the photography (taken 20th Jan09) and it is available (using JOSM) on request from Simone. Various contributors are already adding content using it.


The European Commission representing West Bank and Gaza (EUWBG) publishes a useful map of the Gaza Strip Governorates 2006 showing main roads and the main settlements and administrative boundaries. Base data by PA MoPIC 2000, updated March 2006.

The EC Joint Research Centre provides the base map data for the UN OCHA maps of the Gaza Strip. The data is available for download here for non-commercial, non-modifiable use .. which excepts OSM of course, but it may still be useful elsewhere.

The data does not reflect the official opinion of the European Communities or other European Community institutions. Neither the European Commission or any person or company acting on behalf of the European Commission is responsible for the use that may be made of the data.

C European Communities, 1995-2009 Reproduction is authorised, except for commercial purposes, provided the source is fully acknowledged in the form "Source: European Commission, Joint Research Centre,

Here are some links to the OCHA maps.

  • Hospitals, Power Supplies: [1]
  • Street Map: [2]
  • Waste Water, Water Wells: [3]
  • Bisection Line recent conflict: [4]
  • Refugee Camps High Quality: [5]
  • UNRWA Camps Low Quality: [6]
  • Population Density: [7]
  • Sewage Treatment Plant North Gaza: [8]
  • Gaza Wharf and Fishing Area (as per Oslo): [9]
  • 6th Jan Damage Assessment: [10]

First-hand information sources

We're seeking contacts with first-hand knowledge of Gaza. Please add any leads below. If you attempt contact, please make a note here.

  • Bloggers
  • Photographers from flickr
  • Photographers from panaramio
  • Wikipedians working on relevant articles
    • See Wikipedia section above
  • The 'Palestinian' quarter of the town you live in. Why not print out the and current map and go and ask in the cafes for people to draw on it in the areas they know, come back and enter it in OSM.
    • Sheffield PSC contacted - they are 'friends' with a prominent Rafah Blogger
  • Demonstrations against the current war are likely to attract people with local knowledge. Again, print out the map and go and get people to add to it and then come back and enter it in OSM.
    • Any suitable events?
  • Staff at UN agencies
  • Staff with NGOs in Gaza


CHF International published a VILLAGE SERVICES PROGRAM in 2004. It show details the administrative sections of South Gaza (from the El-Qarra entry point to the Egyptian border) on page 27 although some of the information seems old. It also lists various NGO's operating in the Rafah/Khan Younis region as at August 2004. Some crossing points shown have changed.

ReliefWeb has this good map of the area showing many settlement names (in English only). The map was prepared by the Logistics Cluster (


Gaza Strip Enclaves 2005. No information on copyright provided.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs published a Humanitarian Needs Assessment document in June 2004. It shows various suburbs of Rafah on page 20 but still shows settlements and check-points which were removed after in 2005. The map is based in information available in 2004 and the base mapping is 2002. There appears to be no copyright message anywhere in the document.

The UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) published a series of Gaza Crisis maps. The first was published on the 31 December 2008 using imagery from June 2007 (copyright Digital Globe).

They published UPDATE 1: Situation Map-Gaza Crisis on the 5 January 2009. The imagery which is the base for the map is (c) Digital Globe June 2007. The image is overlaid with settlement names, the locations of hospital, mosques and education establishments. The position of Tall as Sultan it shown too far to the north.

A further Damage assessment for the Gaza City area on the 9th January using imagery from the 6th January. This image is overlaid with the names of the Suburbs of Gaza City. The base image is (c) GeoEye 2008.

They published UPDATE 2: Damage Assessment Overview for Gaza & Gaza North Governorates - Update 2 on the 16 January 2009. The imagery which is the base for the map is (c) Digital Globe 16 January 2009. Good coverage of Gaza City and North Gaza area with locality names and road overlay (unnamed), the photographic image is quite poor.

Update UNOSAT has released source files in ESRI Geodatabase and KML. Attritubion should be given to “Damage Analysis: UNITAR-UNOSAT”. This data itself may not be useful to OSM, but perhaps generally useful.

This map shows the locations and extents of some 79 Palestinian settlements and neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip

UNOSAT kmz UNOSAT GeoDatabase


The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published a map in 2005 showing settlements, camps, major roads and various borders over a high quality aerial photography. There is no mention of copyright on the document. It is therefore probably a good source of names - I can't imagine the CIA suing OSM for using a document that didn't have a (c) message on it. However there are some errors and confusions. The name Rafah appears four times on the map, once in Egypt in the position of the now closed Canada camp and once in the position of the main town of Rafah (although sources vary about where this should be). It also appears twice to identify camps, once in the position of the current Rafah Camp but also as a section of Tall as Sultan.

Works of the US Government are usually public domain: Copyright status of work by the U.S. government

note: the rest of the USA related links appear to be broken geocoded LANDSAT ETM+ satellite maps, GeoTIFF with 15m panchromatic channel

Naval Research Labs GIDB Portal publishes Israel eMaps WMS with (roads, imagery, many different layers). The data claims to be free of restrictions in usage, but probably isn't. The many different layers rely on you reading Hebrew to know which is useful (the first layer isn't at all useful and disagrees with border location, presumably some others are more useful and up to date)


Information from Wikipedia can be used in OpenStreetMap, but do check the references to ensure that Wikipedia ia actually right. If you find an error you might like to correct it or at least make a note here.

World Health Organisation

The WHO have an interactive map of all hospitals and clinics. The information is marked copyright (c) World Health Organisation.


Low accuracy aerial photography is available for all of the Gaza Strip and higher accuracy photography for the south east section which is available in edit mode using Potlatch. The low resolution photography can be used to identify settlement boundaries and some major roads, the medium resolution photography can be used to map a surprising amount of detail, including many roads, tracks and some buildings, but it is not possible to identify smaller urban footways. This photography appears to data from before 2005. Although the imagery itself is copyright to various providers, Yahoo have indicated that OpenStreetMap can derive mapping data from it.


Features to identify

  • Roads suitable for vehicles
  • Names of roads
  • Tracks
  • Paths and other pedestrian routes
  • Hospitals (details now moved to into appropriate Governorate)
  • Schools
  • Mosques
  • Electricity infrastructure - power stations, sub-stations
  • Water supplies, treatment plants etc
  • Sewage treatment plants
  • Larger Buildings
  • Names of buildings
  • Address for buildings
  • more?

See Level of detail discussion on the talk page.


Information on the region is now being collected in WikiProject_Palestine_Gaza/Region. Existing content has been moved there.


All questions/discussions are now hosted on Talk:WikiProject_Palestine_Gaza. Existing content has been moved there.

People willing to help

Add your name here, and what you're able to do, and a way to get in touch

  • User:Mikel
  • User:Pshipley
  • User:PeterIto I seem to be taking 'facilitator' and 'fundraiser' roles
  • Firefishy
  • User:NeilP
  • Richard will readily reproject/tile any aerial imagery for use in Potlatch
  • User:LeedsTracker can trace some satellite pics. Submitted a story to boingboing on 2009-01-17, kottke and slashdot on 2009-01-21
  • User:FredB : I have traced some streets in the Northeast with the Nasa Landsat imagery and contacted some French associations (waiting for replies).
  • User:Sergionaranja : satellite tracing
  • Simone: dealing with the company selling the images in Rome, satellite tracing.
  • John07 satellite tracing
  • Lucadelu satellite tracing
  • steve8 satellite tracing, or anything else I can do remotely, frequent mapnik renders to temp server space given an automatically generated selected .osm file (as per geofabrik selections)
  • Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason interested in tracing the 2m aerial photography
  • Earle Martin also interested in tracing
  • Claudius satellite tracing; familiar with tracing (Iran, Gaza); JOSM development
  • Dalkvist satellite tracing
  • Chippy can trace aerial imagery.
  • Ciarán - Will trace until my eye's bleed.
  • Donovan - I have arcINFO and can do networks (Street networks, assessing travel times, etc...), digitizing and classification of imagery, and incorporate the amenities into the network to see what is readily available and determine if infrastructure is adequate for population
  • User:jhellen - I'm able to use ArcGIS or AutoCAD if needed


Amer Rabayah of Engineers Without Borders, Palestine

"EWB-Palestine supports OpenStreetMap's effort to create a free and open map of Gaza. This important work will assist the logistics for international agencies and humanitarian organizations, when they are allowed to deploy, increase awareness and detailed understanding of the present crisis, and ultimately help people in Gaza"

Anne O'Sullivan of JumpStart International

"JumpStart International reaches out for immediate help to identify individuals with knowledge of Gaza's geography, road names, place names, and other geographic features who may be able to support an OpenStreetMap initiative to produce a comprehensive map of Gaza that can serve to support efforts by the UN and other agencies to better inform people and provide humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip."

Thanks. More endorsements from organisations on the ground in Gaza will greatly help us in our efforts us raise the required money and allow us to get mapping sooner! We know the funds are there, the donors are just wanting to hear that this project is valued by the intended benficiaries.

Is your organisation is in Gaza and does it want this to happen? If you do then:

  • Add your comment and contact details here (you will need to register on the wiki to edit it)
  • Add a comment to Mikel's blog post with you name, organisation and comment
  • Email Mikel privately at mikel_maron [at] yahoo [dot] com


We are aiming to raise the required funds from a small number of grant giving bodies and generous individuals in the very near future mainly in the UK. We think we are going to need about £5000.

  • Can you use Gift Aid for UK taxpayer donations? Benefits this project and donors --LeedsTracker 14:46, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Yes is the short answer - We will be aggregating funds into a CAF account and sending it from there. If anyone is able to help then either email me or Mikel with your offer - we will work out the details of Giftaid in due course. Possibly people could let others know of the appeal. PeterIto 15:41, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

If you are able to pledge £500+ then please email mikel_maron [at] yahoo [dot] com or petermiller63 [at] googlemail [dot] com and let them know of your offer. We can accept charitable donations in the UK and will hopefully also be able to accept them in the USA. Donors can request not to be identified.

We are currently sorting out how to route the charitable money to the data supplier and also clarifying that the US export controls are not going to stop us - can't see why they should when Google use the same data but it is an issue which has been raised.

To be clear we will not take real money until we have addressed these issues and have raised enough to buy some useful imagery. However, when we have addressed them we will want to be able to access the money rapidly hence getting the pledges in at this point.

If we end up with more money pledged than we require for Gaza (we are still sorting out the prices and products we want) then we will only take up the offers that are required, unless .... why not buy tiles for the West Bank? Possibly we should get serious about buying out own top-notch photography but for now lets get Gaza bottomed out.

Pledges so far

Pledger Amount Total
'PM' £1000 £1000
'AB' £1000 £2000
'PS' £1000 £3000
'DM' £500 £3500
'JR' £500 £4000