First I’m going to give a brief explanation regarding what OpenStreetMap is.
The most common explanation is the Wikipedia of maps. Which means in the same way anyone can contribute to Wikipedia anyone can contribute to OSM. Add new data, fix mistakes, make the data as detailed as they like.
If you think about most maps can you download the data behind them? For example with Google maps you can’t download the data being the picture of the map and remix it as you wish.
Key for open is that the data is free to use, combine with other data and to give to other people. I think that is really key the difference between “free” and “open” someone might give you some data but the license says you can’t give it to anyone else. Open data like OSM you can download a copy and then you can share that copy.
There are a couple rules regarding this. The first is simple you need to give credit to OSM. The 2nd is if you improvement information you need to share it with everyone.
So how does HOT fit into OpenStreetMap?
HOT has been around as an idea almost as long as OSM. The idea being that free and open data is especially useful in disaster response, when the map often has changed very suddenly. Large groups of OSM volunteers can map those changes.
MikelMaron first presented the idea
The first activation was in 2009 in Gaza. The OSM community had a fundraiser to buy imagery of the area and worked together to update the map.
The first time though it really got big attention was after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. On the right is a before picture of Port-au-Prince on the left is an after only a couple weeks later. The problem in Haiti was compounded by the fact that the National Mapping Agency office was destroyed from the earthquake and it wasn’t clear immediately where the backup of the data was.
Then we started seeing things like this. OSM on a GPS in Haiti from an Urban Search and Rescue Group. And in the Emergency Operations Centers of places like the Pan-American Health Organization, The World Bank and others.
So with all this remote mapping and maps appearing across Emergency Operations Centers the question became can we help people in Haiti update the data? So beginning in March people beginning traveling to Haiti to see if this was possible. HOT went to Haiti 5 times that year and in August became a non-profit organization incorporated in Washington DC. We continue to support work in Haiti currently for example we are supporting Haitian trainers who are working with the American Red Cross to teach OSM.
Then the questions became “can we map for preparedness?” Indonesia the past 2.5 years. “Can OSM be used to collect exposure information”. In partnership with AusAID and the Indonesian Disaster Management agency BNBP we started trying to answer that question.
Using impactmodelling software called “InaSAFE” you can combine data such as OpenStreetMap with hazard information like a flood, earthquake or tsunami and say “what will be the result?” how many buildings will be damaged, how many schools will be closed because they are flooded?
Here is a map from the disaster management agency of Jakarta showing flooding from January of this year. This was the first time specific preparedness with OSM was then used in response. 267 urban village leaders were invited in march 2012 to come to workshops to put critical infrastructure in OSM with the help of students from the University of Indonesia
Burundi, Kenya, Chad, Central African Republic.Eurosha project helps put european volunteers in places to help with Information management for partner NGOs
Dhaka. As part of the World Bank Open Cities project.
As well as work in Senegal to start a community there. This isn’t even all the places HOT has been this year. We’ve been in Mongolia and Vietnam in October as well.
So that is some background on where HOT is and what we have done. I want to spend the rest of my talk discussing Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan
The OSM community started mapping prior the typhoon landing in the Philippines
Here is one of the hardest hit areas Tacloban in OpenStreetMap. The black dots are points of interest that were added before hand by the OSM-ph community. The international community added most of the buildings and some missing roads
Most of this has been coordinated through the Tasking Manager. This tool comes out of the project in Indonesia and was an idea post Haiti earthquake. It attempts to solve the problem of how to coordinate the mapping of a large group of people. So on the front page you have a list of jobs
You select the job you want and you get to the area describing what needs to be done. As you can see from the map on the right it shows what parts of the job are completely finished, what need to be validated and what have not been touched.
The user then clicks “Take a task” and they are given a specific square to work on. You can then go to that area in your favorite OpenStreetMap editor and start on the task. When finished you simply “Mark task as done”
At the vary core of all this mapping and coordination is the OpenStreetMap wiki. There are resources, instructions on how to help and any other information about the effort that is ongoing
Look at possible damage taking OSM buildings and combining it was a damaged area analysis by COPERNICUS
The American Red Cross has also been making maps similar to this showing where the mapping is happening an dhow it relates to the path of the cyclone
What is really important though? Imagery showing how things have changed. This can be difficult to get. It seems easy but imagery is not automatically released to groups such as OpenStreetMap to help.
Though 5 days after the storm we did receive imagery from the US State Department. This is through the “Imagery to the Crowd Initiative” which allows groups such as HOT to get commercial satellite imagery (from Digital Globe) through the US government’s license for free.
If you are interested more in the specific program this is the website here. You can see you can go from their initiative to the tasking manager and to the OpenStreetMap website itself
Here is a before picture of that area
And an after through the imagery to the crowd initiative. This allow us to map the change. The buildings that have been destroyed, blocked roads, downed bridges, etc
We can take the data that is already mapping from the original imagery and begin to update it.
So this massive effort is going on. As of now over 800 people have contributed to this map.
The simplest way to use the data is by simply printing an atlas and taking the map with you
This is a sample of the main index page of the atlas. What is cool is this is also a data collection tool
You can then write on the map, take a picture with your cellphone and upload it on the FieldPapers website. This allows others to see information you have collected and add it to OSM.
Another simple use is downloads. Here there are garmin GPS files, traditional GIS files like shape files and others.
Often the OSM data is simply used as a basemap. For example here on the Philippines Government Disaster management agency website.
There are also sites simply for looking at where the editing is focused as well.
People aren’t just collaborating electronically alone though. There are also many mapathons going on around the world. I’ve heard of work in Nepal, Nicgaragua, the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom to name a few. And in Tokyo there is such an event this Sunday.
The OpenStreetMap Community Japan is hosting a Map/hack day
It is still too early to say what will happen in the future. I hope HOT can support the OSM-ph as long as they need us in this process. I thought it was appropriate to share this photo from 2012 when HOT came together with OSM-jp to go to some of the tsunami affected areas and observe the mapping as well as make suggestions. Having this global partnerships is really what makes the map so powerful.
Transcript of "Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Beginnings and Response Today"
Beginnings and Response
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
“The Wikipedia of Maps”
Most maps that you think of as free have
legal or technical restrictions.
The “open” in OpenStreetMap
means the data is free for anyone
to use, remix and redistribute
In exchange you must
and share improvements
back for everyone
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
We use the principles of open source and
open geographic data for humanitarian
response and economic development
The HOT idea was first presented in 2005 at
a Global Disaster Alert & Coordination
System (GDACS) meeting.