Join the Missing Maps Mapathon - Mapping for Humanitarian Good

October 8, 2019

On 14 of October, to mark the International DRR Day, Syslab of the CEU’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy will organize a Missing Maps Mapathon, a crowdsourcing event that will help map the most vulnerable places in the developing world.

A mapathon is a great opportunity for volunteers to digitally connect and map the most vulnerable or already affected places so that local and international Non-Governmental Organizations can use these maps and data to better respond to crises. With the increasing threat of natural disasters, up to date maps are important for the success of many humanitarian organizations around the world in responding to disasters. Through Missing Maps using OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform, anyone can volunteer to help create these maps and have a real impact on the delivery of healthcare in the field. 

The CEU mapathon does not require any mapping experience and is open to students from any department at CEU. Such mapathons are not only a crucial tool for emergency response but also can act as a starting point for learning the foundation of GIS mapping techniques. At the beginning of the event, basic instructions will be given so that any participant can start mapping right away. 

So, join us, book your calendar for 14th October and register right away. 


What do we do on a Mapathon and how? 

After the introductory presentation, the instructor will teach you the basics of OpenStreetMap (OSM), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), and Missing Maps project. The participants will need to sign-up at OpenStreetMap simply using their email and providing other details as requested. After that, you are ready to map. 

At the next step, the basic mapping tools will be introduced, such as point, line, polygon. Participants will learn how and when to use these tools while exploring and tracing the satellite imagery. The HOT platform provides various satellite images for the same territory and the user can choose the clearest imagery for tracing.

After getting the initial idea of online mapping and practicing as a group on tracing the buildings, participants can move on to selecting individual mapping tasks through the tasking manager of HOTOSM. The system will allow user to select an unmapped grid cell and then it will be locked for that individual user. Participants will be tracing roads, buildings, ponds and so on. International humanitarian organizations like USAID, Red Cross, GFDRR will later be using these data and support people of the affected areas.