Data Week #7: Data with IFRC Africa, YouthMappers Nairobi

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

Considering Data literacy journeys with IFRC Africa Region

IFRC Africa Strategy Meeting
Converting data literacy theory to practice needs a large infusion of reality. The more people I meet the more value is added as we plan for data literacy programs at the individual and institutional levels. Last week I joined my IFRC Africa colleagues from the regional office as well as the leaders for various country offices and cluster heads. There are 49 national societies (Red Cross/Red Crescent societies) represented by the IFRC Africa Regional office. Countries in the MENA region are supported by the IFRC Beirut office. We converged in Mount Kenya to dive into the strategic plan and roadmap for the coming year. By the end of the week, the walls were covered with charts, lists, and plans. Distilling some of the immediate and future needs, it was a great opportunity to sanity check my data literacy work plan for the coming year. We focused on how to engage youth while supporting some complex changes across countries and major thematic work such as disaster resilience and health. They inspire me with their hard, complex work accompanied by their earnest efforts to incorporate data literacy into their activities. The upcoming IFRC Data Playbook will be co-created across the regions, clusters, thematic areas by many people. Thankfully, we are building alliances with the data leaders, emerging data savvy and the data curious.

YouthMappers Nairobi

YouthMappers around the world

University of Nairobi YouthMappers

Kenyan Red Cross volunteer Esther Muiruri mentioned that the average age in Kenya is 18. If we are going to be data-driven and engage youth, then it is most fortunate that groups like YouthMappers, Map Kibera and Map Mathare are flourishing. From university students to local community leaders, I had an opportunity to connect with the Nairobi YouthMappers Chapter. There are 3 chapters across Kenya. Already they have supported a number of local and international humanitarians and development programs.

(map source: YouthMappers)

Modeling programs

There are many models for implementing shifts in a workplace. Some organizations host interns and fellowships to bring new areas of knowledge into organizations. To be honest, data use is all around IFRC. While assessing ‘data readiness’, my assumption is that there are a number of existing and emerging data leaders within the Federation. We must host skillshares or even consider internal mentorship programs. It really depends on the connections to curate an ecosystem map or, as humanitarians like to name, 3Ws (who, what, where). Slowly we are collecting data on ourselves.

While there are many frameworks to assess data readiness for countries, there are few for individuals or organization. Like any framework, there is a coldness in them, but it helps to give some focus on the data reality check as well as the socialization and feelings (eg. fear of change) that might be considered. Here is a sample of those competency frameworks:

  • Web Literacy via Mozilla (problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication),
  • Digital Literacy via the World Economic Forum (digital identity, digital rights, digital literacy, digital communications, digital emotional intelligence, digital security, digital safety, and digital use), and
  • Critical Social Impact Skills (below) Social Impact competencies
  • Competencies for Social Impact:
    Critical Social Impact Skills

    (source: Stanford Social Innovation Review, November 23, 2016)

    There are many skills leading up to being a ‘data journalist’ or a ‘data scientist’. Just like any functioning company or organization, we need both soft and hard skills to make this happen. I am most fascinated with building ways we can add small, medium and large tasks/learning opportunities. This means convening and deputizing advocates as I go.

    The Netherlands Red Cross and colleagues created this diagram of ‘the Humanitarian Data Scientist’. I think it is really the ‘Humanitarian Data Team’ as many of the skills rest in individuals across the organization.

    Humanitarian Data Scientist

    (Credit: Maartin van der Veen, 510, Netherlands Red Cross)

    Evidence-Based Decision-making

    The reason we are focused on data literacy is to get data ready. We aim to improve evidence-based decision-making. In parallel, many colleagues are working on technology solutions to connect all the various data elements by topic and region. Humanitarians are very mindful that people come before data. As danah boyd rightfully pointed out this week, we do need to be sure the machines meet our values with algorithm accountability.

    Short Video (5 minutes): “Transparency ≠ Accountability” (article)

    There is a mailing list for computer scientists driving this agenda: “fairness, accountability, and transparency in machine learning” (FATML) (click to join)

    (photo credits: Heather Leson, CCby)


Data Week #6: Social Data, Mobile Data Collection Workshop

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

What resources and frameworks can we draw on to build a data-driven organization? Fortunately on this journey, I have had the opportunity to meet many colleagues working on a variety of thematic areas around the globe. Just in the past week I found myself in a room of civil society data and security leaders, health practioners (community event-based health surveillance) in Geneva with the Norwegian Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and more, a roadtrip with the American Red Cross to visit a software provider and now I’m in Kenya learning from leaders from across the continent of Africa. Truly, late December will be for distilling and napping.

Mobile Data Collection Training Workshop in Asia (Philippines)

There are many mobile data collection projects and tools used across all the IFRC network. My colleague Miki Tsukamoto recently co-hosted a workshop to collect best practices with many National Societies including Australian Red Cross, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the Hong Kong Branch of Red Cross Society of China, Mongolian Red Cross Society, Myanmar Red Cross Society, New Zealand Red Cross, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Philippines Red Cross, Vanuatu Red Cross and the Vietnam Red Cross Society.

Field exercise in Katuhatan (Valenzuela)

The workshop aimed to combine survey methods, processes and how to use the mobile data collection tool of preference selected by the region. Part of the workshop was practical user testing with a field exercise in Katuhatan (Valenzuela) They worked with volunteers to pilot the questionnaire. I think this is a fantastic way to share best practices in a collaborative way.

Resources everywhere

As we aim to build a data-driven organization, how can we collate relevant resources and obtain guidance both inside the Federation and in the wider networks? One of my core priorities is to create an IFRC Data Playbook. To achieve this goal, I am meeting with people across the Movement and engaging external partners/allies. Their input is invaluable as we co-create this resource. Last week at the Aspiration Non-Profit Software Development Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of people working on Data Literacy topics. Two sessions provided some key questions to think about with data-driven project.

Progress check – (“doable, winnable and replicable”)
1. How can we tell we are making progress.
2. Barriers and Enablers in the Health of Shared Resources.


The American Red Cross has been documenting their training materials online. If you are looking to learn more, take a look.(click here) We have a plan to aggregate the multiple data resources to help people on their data journey. This will be done in collaboration and with credit to any individual or organization.

Smart Insights about social data

How can we communicate better

Since I joined IFRC, one consistent message is how each team is working to change communications flow with communities. This means we need to understand how some people communicate. While not everyone is online or using social media, the numbers of people on Facebook is still growing. Last week they launched Facebook Community Help for emergencies. I think we can expect more companies to tackle this online.

What about Open Source to support humanitarian work?

Open Source technology supports the backbone of the internet and many organizations. There are a growing number of open source projects across the humanitarian field. Colleagues at ICTWorks created some tips to help guide you.

“Open source, at the end of the day, is one tool of many in increasing impact for stakeholders. Its popularity across all industries and governments is tied to its ability to build faster, smarter technologies. However, building open source in a sustainable way requires approaching it from a developer’s perspective, especially in building a healthy community around any project.”

Read the full article here.

Photos can support your data mission: Climate Change

Data is just part of the story. How can we show impact to augment the data story? The National Geographic shared a series of photos on the impact of Climate Change. Take a look (Click here.)

Information requests

Do you have a data story from the Federation? Please share!


Data Week #5: Aspiration and Data for Food

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

Aspiration Non Profit Development Summit 2016

Data strategies for events

Brainstorming is a common concept but have you “Agenda Hacked“? This is a methodology of collecting and collaborating on topics that you want to discuss. This week I am at the Aspiration Non-Profit Software Development. The photo above shows how agendas can be community-driven. Once participants provide their input on what they would like to learn, share, and discuss, the team determines sessions to build out agenda based on the audience. Consider it real-time data collection for decision-making. How can we apply this facilitation method to connect with communities and each other?

Around the Movement

The Netherlands Red Cross initiative team (the 510) has published an article detailing their work using machine learning and predictive modeling.

About the project: “The Priority Index predicts the number of houses damaged per area in the region that is hit by Typhoon Haima. The model is a first attempt at building evidence on how to use data to predict priority areas for humanitarian aid within hours after a typhoon.”

Read more here.

The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Change Center has a new virtual reality game: “puts users in the shoes of decision makers, letting them decide whether or not to ring an alarm bell, stamp papers for aid delivery, and load supplies into a relief truck – all from a virtual hill overlooking the green valley and the surging waters of the dam.”

The Canadian Red Cross has partnered with Aviva to do some work Missing Maps.

Alnap webinar: Data Quality

Data quality is always a factor when considering programs around the world. Our allies at Alnap are hosting a webinar to help you consider barriers and opportunities: “Flying blind: gathering and using quality information in situations of constrained access.”
Register for the webinar

How can Apache’s lessons help Humanitarians?

“The software is not defined by a temporary alliance of business leaders. “Business interest and strategies change and it is not good to be dependent on this.””

One of my big mandates at IFRC is to help guide various open data and open source initiatives. In the humanitarian space, this is a delicate navigation due to privacy and security concerns. The lessons of building community and sustainable collaboration are well-worn by leaders at large open source groups like Apache Foundation. Something to ponder as we navigate changes.

What about big data for Food?

This TED talk really nailed the crux of how research and humanitarians can collaborate. As well, Mallory Soldner (speaker) gave a reality check on when data scientists can actually be effective.

(Photo credit: Heather Leson, Aspiration Non-Profit Software Development Summit, November 2016)


Data Week #4: GO Project, Malawi Red Cross

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

Malawi Red Cross MapSwipe 2

Help the Malawi Red Cross

A few clicks and taps could help the Malawi Red Cross with their humanitarian efforts. Games for change in the humanitarian space are growing. The Malawi Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross have a programme needs your help.
MapSwipe is a gamefied mobile app developed for the Missing Maps Project to enable fast satellite image classification on mobile devices. It is a game that allows anyone to quickly make decisions about which items have roads and/or buildings in the images. These ‘tagged’ images are then sorted to have mappers at Missing Mapathons add the details into OpenStreetMap. Then, the data is used for local programmes like delivering health needs and logistics. The new mission on #MapSwipe for the Malawi Red Cross / Netherlands Red Cross collaboration to raise awareness within vulnerable communities in disaster prone areas of the possible dangers of natural disasters.

GET MAPSWIPE: The easy to use MapSwipe app can be used on android and iphone devices.

ABOUT Missing Maps – Learn more about MapSwipe and Missing Maps on Facebook.

Go with Data

This week we are sprinting on the GO Project – this is a humanitarian emergency data project to support responders in the Federation. IFRC aims to be a data-driven organization based on evidence based decisions. We provide current IFRC datasets, Red Cross Red Crescent datasets, links to other humanitarian resources and data learning materials. The team is envisioning the next steps to get from prototype to implementation. All the code is online.

GO Team sprinting

Teach Around the Data

Clearly expecting people to simply become data ready or a data scientist is unrealistic. So, while we build tools, training and programmes it is key to focus on the ecosystem around data literacy. From
Emmanuel Letouzé, Director and co-Founder, Data-Pop Alliance; Visiting Scholar, MIT Media Lab:

“I am arguing that the current focus on data literacy is an opportunity, reflecting back on the nature and role of literacy in history, to promote and foster a consequentialist, broader and thicker, conceptualization of data literacy as literacy in the age of data, one that will allow citizens and societies to challenge current power structures and dynamics to meet their goals, and perhaps the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Alright, so we build!

Building community around data training

Atlassian site
One of the items that I am keen to build is a Data playbook to serve the diverse communities within the IFRC and National Societies. The existing leaders are creating materials and we are connecting on how to share widely.

A playbook is a document and/or website that is an editable place with recipes, best practices, and technology. There are many styles and methods to build this type of project. Atlassian just launched a new Playbook which truly rocks with easy to use methods to build digital teams. It is inspiring to consider how we can create data literacy guides like this. (source:”Did Atlassian just crack the code on digital teamwork“.)


Data Week #3: ODK in Ecuador, HDX wins Award

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

We have some training highlights from Ecuador, Tool tips from England and an Innovation podcast to feed your brain.

OpenDataKit Training with the Ecuador Red Cross

In Ecuador this week, Boris Gaona lead Ecuadorian Red Cross volunteers in the OpenDataKit (ODK) Advanced Course, given by the IFRC and CREPD Team. Data skills are critical for preparedness and for local capacity building. (photo credit: Boris Gaona)

BorisGaona training ODK with Ecuadorian Red Cross (Oct 31, 2016)

What is OpenDataKit?
OpenDataKit (ODK) is used around the world by Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers. It is a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions. With ODK you can create a dataset form or survey, collect the data via mobile, send it to the server than aggregate it to use for reporting or programming.

Humanitarian Data Exchange wins award

Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) is an open source data site to help humanitarians share data. The project is 5 years young and is being built by an open source community. An example of the collaborative power of HDX is that there were over 1000 downloads of Haiti administrative borders after Hurricane Matthew. A number of Red Cross Red Crescent teams contributing and using HDX. As we grow our efforts on a collaborative and transparent data journey, HDX will be a key partner and means to connect with our humanitarian allies.

humdatawins ODI

Congratulations to the whole HDX team for winning the Open Data Innovation Award! (About the Open Data Institute award.)
(Photo by Zaheda Borat)

Fancy Data

Keeping up with all the data methodologies and hype can be hard. Definitely, there are some exciting opportunities with blockchain. I’d encourage you to read about some of the work over at the Start Network on this front. And, if you want to see what business, especially #fintech is up to, do take a read of Don and Alex Tapscott’s book: BLOCKCHAIN REVOLUTION: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World

It is hard to know when to add a new technology/process to your budget or workflow. A data ally shared this blockchain articledata and handy chart to help you decide:

Do you need blockchain Oleg Larovsky


Speaking of data and standards, Open Referral is busy creating the Human Services Data Specification – an exchange format for publishing machine readable data about health, human, and social services, their locations, and the organizations that provide them.” I wonder how this might help our work?

Learning zone

Simon Johnson is a data leader within the British Red Cross. He created a web cheatsheet to help you on your data basics. Check out his “50 Humanitarian IM Tips.”

The amazing Data Science Central has curated a list of Business Analysis tools. Perhaps one of these might help your work? Click for Business Analysis tools. Note: It is a top 18, not Top 20. Listicles ensue.

Thinking about Mosul

The sheer volume of people displaced in Iraq is overwhelming. Our partners over in IFRC Communications advised that:

“Thousands more people are expected to arrive in the coming days and weeks as fighting around Mosul intensifies. Humanitarian agencies estimate that the fighting could displace more than one million people. This is on top of the 3.2 million already displaced by the conflict. Throughout the country, some 10 million Iraqis are in need of aid.”

Let that sink in as winter approaches – 3.2 million displaced, 1 million about to join them and over 10 million Iraqis are in need of aid.

Consent, Systematic change and Innovation

coffee cup by Clockwise (noun project) noun_162033_cc
As we well know, the programmes and planning around data and change require regular big thinks, divergent paths and numerous cups of coffee.

Data and Consent gets a review by Linda Raftree and crew:

“Is informed consent even possible when data is digital and/or opened? Do we have any way of controlling what happens with that data once it is digital? “

Panthea Lee of Reboot encourages us to think about “upstream data” (reporting) and “downstream data” (programming) as we plan our data-driven projects.
“Data is inherently messy. It’s a snapshot of information from a specific time and place. There is a lot of narrative and context and meaning that is embedded in data, that need to be drawn out through conversations. We have to understand decisionmaking, and then adapt and present the data to directly support it.”

And, just how to we get from innovation to Systematic change? The Terms of Reference Podcast tackles this for us.(click to listen)

(Image by Clockwise, Noun Project)


Data Week #2: YouthMappers and Typhoon Haima

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

How can we support these existing efforts of data leaders? From youth in Bangladesh to partnerships between humanitarians, researchers and governments, here are some examples of Federation bright spots on our journey to be more data-driven.

Bangladesh Red Crescent and YouthMappers

Students at Dhaka College set up a chapter of YouthMappers. They’ve partnered with the Bangladesh Red Crescent for training and support. The YouthMappers mandate is to not just build maps, but foster a mapping community of leaders.

Sawan Shariar:
“I am a volunteer of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. And now I am working as Youth Chief of Red Crescent Youth, Dhaka College Unit (RCY,DCU). After successfully completed the Training for Training: OpenStreetMap I realize that, this training will be very useful for the volunteers of RCY, DCU. So I tried to understand my teachers and principal, how it’s effective and importance.”

Read more about their work here.

Data for Typhoon Haima (Philippines)

Typhoon Haima Modeling

The Netherlands Red Cross data team prepared map and data products to assist in the Typhoon Haima response in the Philippines. They shared all the items on the Humanitarian Data Exchange. The team partnered with researchers combining government data and machine learning to assist with damage assessment prediction.

See the data and more details on the Humanitarian Data Exchange:
Typhoon Haima

Free Data learning

This week in data learning has a few recommendations:

First off, Until October 30, 2016, Linked In has many courses online for free. I’ll be taking some of the WordPress ones. There is a 1 hour course on Data Visualization (Click here) and a 2 hour course on Data Viz with Excel (click here).

The Tableau conference on November 7 – 11 is being livestreamed. There are some free hands on courses and demos. Sign up here.


Given that philanthropy supports the heart of what we do, learning more about the over $300 Billion economy (just in the USA alone) seems like a major priority. A recent publication Philanthropy in Democratic Societies is shining a light and ask for critical thinking around the function and role of these big organizations. Happy reading!

Why does Data Literacy Matter

“In the next economy, the most important skills may be difficult to quantify or commodify—but optimizing for human welfare demands that the people driving the innovation economy take them seriously.”



Data Week #1: Hurricane Matthew, Small Data, 5 minutes to learn

[ed. note: Data Week is a blog series to share highlights from data-driven Red Cross Red Crescent national societies, learning opportunities and thought pieces on all things data from ethics to evidence. This content will be migrated to an IFRC wordpress blog in the coming weeks.]

Co-creating spaces and networks to get people involved with technology has always been my passion. At the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent, I am contributing to a movement-wide initiative to build a data-driven organization making evidence-based decisions. The role is leading Data Literacy Programs. For years, I’ve been building data learning and use into communities, software projects, NGOS and research institutes. Now, I have an opportunity to support a vibrant network. Join me on this journey as I write as we go. This is a prototype newsletter to serve the community. Feedback welcome.

Mapping with the American Red Cross

Around the world, mappers continue to add details to support efforts in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. You can see real time edits by clicking this. Also see the overall edit statistics here is a link of global changesets. Some of the projects are being lead by the team at American Red Cross (you can see the progress on the HOTOSM Task Manager (Task Manager – a way for people to divide up the work.)

Number of OSM Contributors: 2,145
Number of Map Changes: 2,734,621
Total number of Changesets: 31,722

Mapping Haiti

More or Less 5 minutes to learn

1. How to build multi-line data viz from Infogr.am (3 minute video)

2. What is Data Science?
Everyone keeps changing the definition. Over at Data Science Central, they’ve aggregated a list of articles to help you wrap your head around it.

15 hours, more or less, to learn

Free: ESRI is hosting a MOOC “Going Places with GeoSpatial Analysis

Free: Data Visualization: Principles and Practices


Pie Charts Explained by XKCD
(Source: XKCD)

Big Ideas

How do we become data literate organizations? Well, over in the social media marketing world, Ryan Holmes is sharing tactics to help organizations become more digital literate. How can we build small interventions and big impacts within our organizations.
“The problem — this digital skills gap — was deeper and more pervasive than I realized.” – Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite.

What about small data?

With all this talk about big data, I have been waiting for more praise for small data. There is data nutrition (re:insights) in all types of data. Hamad Haddadi, former colleague, shared a book from some of the Small Data Lab folks: Small Data: tiny clues that uncover huge trends. (Added it to my reading list.)


“How to measure” and “what to measure” seems to be constant debate. The Social Progress Imperative launched their SDG( Sustainable Development Goals) measurement report card. Can we or should we use this methodology or a hybrid for NGO programs? And, should we even be measuring unlike things? A recent ICTWorks article shares some thoughts on the value of ranking systems:

“I have a proposal – it’s modest and unsolicited: stop funding rankings. Start, instead, funding internal capacity building workshops – invite experts, practitioners, and providers (whose time you pay for) to start from the issues and your context, and build practical, ethical, user-centered approaches from the ground up.” – Sean Martin MacDonald

Audio Book

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality – Cathy O’Neil

I’ve been listening to this audio book for a few weeks. When we think about barriers for using data in humanitarian response, it is always good to know what the machines are up to and some of the ethical questions to consider.

Help wanted

What kind of content would you like to see in my Data reports? Do you have links to share? Send it all my way – heatherleson at gmail dot com.


Expats Watch The Hip

On Saturday night, the Tragically Hip will play its last show of the Man Machine Poem Tour. Gord Downie, the lead singer, is ill so it is expected to be the last show. All around Canada people are planning Tragically Hip listening parties. My social stream is full of memories, videos and plans. The Hip, as one dear friend pointed out, is the soundtrack of some of our lives. Canadian. It strikes the core of our quiet nationalism, understated but passionate. A Slate article helps explains it some. But over 30 years of life and music memories including of one of my favourites of Gord “swimming” on the Ontario Place rotating stage to “New Orleans is Sinking” (August 1991!). It is hard to explain or enumerate how the music just layered and supported our own stories. Thank you.

Click here to get listening options.

CLOSED For Hockey

Watching from afar

The CBC is broadcasting the show across radio, tv and youtube. I emailed them hoping that the livestream would not be blocked. They assured me that there is no geofencing, that stream is open for the world. You see, as an expat, we are already far away. Shared experiences become even more precious. The concert starts at 03:30am AST in Qatar. For a friend in Hong Kong, it is 5 hours ahead. Each of us plans to find a stream and watch. Our ‘Canadian’ family and friends are timezones away. Yet, we can participate thanks to the CBC, the band and, surely, the lawyers making it possible.

Saturday nights, in season, is always Hockey Night in Canada. This time the main show will be music. In 2010, Canada had a huge hockey game in the Winter Olympics. Literally, there were signs all over my Toronto neighbourhood. I took a picture and posted to Twitter that Neighbourhood, City and Country was Closed for Hockey. Across Canada people will have a large shared and in person time to watch the Hip. It will be well-known that this is happening. For those of us abroad, we’ll be online. Thank goodness for the internet to help connect us. If you see a sad expat Canadian on August 20/21, ask us about the show.

My thoughts are with the band, their friends and their families.

Time for some Courage. #homesick

(Images in the sign are from Noun Project. CCBY. The “x” is by Doejo and the “sign” is by Kate T. The sign was made with Canva.)


Co-creating and Celebrating Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Maps connect us and tell stories. On Thursday, September 22, 2016, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team will convene for our 2nd annual HOT Summit in Brussels on the eve of the State of the Map conference. Both events celebrate OpenStreetMap and the community.

HOT Summit Logo

Top 5 Reasons to be at the HOT Summit

1. Leaders will share their map stories from around the globe

Check out the amazing programme of speakers from Indonesia, Canada, US, Tanzania and more.
HOT activation traininng in Jakarta

(Photo by Mhairi O’hara at the HOT Activation Workshop, Jakarta 2015)

2. Meet and build HOT and OSM together

The map is bigger than one individual. It is a community, a network of networks.

Bill Gates on OSM in Nepal Response May 5, 2015

3. Provide input into HOT’s future strategic planning

We are 6 year’s young and so much to do. Give us advice, take a task, share your experience, express your opinion. We will have many conversations and coffee conversations about the future of HOT. Help us co-create this strategy.

Road by BraveBros. from the Noun Project noun_106568_cc

(Image credit- Road by BraveBros. from the Noun Project)

4. Learn new skills from peers

The talent in this community to teach each other is amazing. Having an in person space to learn, ask questions, grab a side table to map makes the HOT Summit a space for everyone. Just ask. I am sure that we will find someone who can answer your questions or even learn a thing or two from you!

Mapping Nepal (photo by Gopinath Parayil))

(Photo for the Nepal Earthquake response by Gopinath Parayil)

5. Have fun mapping for change with your new friends

A few of the HOT community attended the World Humanitarian Summit. Many of us had not met before in person. Times of laughter and solidarity make all the difference.
HOT at WHS 2016

(photo for WHS 2016 using Heather’s phone)

Why join us?

How can we get to the next million participants creating the largest open map? How can improve everyone’s experience from novice to advanced? What are some of the project highlights from around the world?

Achieving our mission to help humanitarians and economic development with OpenStreetMap means widening the circle. Sure, we will talk fine details about mapping, but there is space for everyone to explore and contribute. Even if you are not a ‘mapper’, but are curious about open source and open mapping, then join us. We aim to improve the map and grow the global community. Over the past months, our team has been demonstrating how HOT can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and help humanitarians with Missing Maps. This action packed day has tickets available for 66.24Euro. (Register today!)


You can MapSwipe!

Every day we use our phones. We tap, we read, we photograph, we chat, we view, and we connect. But wait! What if your ‘tapping’ time could help a humanitarian? Queue MapSwipe.

mapswipe_lockup_whiteblue larger

Your quick tapping decisions about images could save mappers time and help the most vulnerable. Satellite imagery for project regions are added to MapSwipe. Then, we give you project tasks focused on looking for key items. For example some projects will look for houses, if you see a house in a tile, you tap once for yes (tile turns green), if you are unsure you tap twice (tile turns yellow) or if the tile is flawed (blurry), then you tap three times (tile turns red). Multiple people look at the tiles so that we can crowdsource to higher accuracy. Once the project is completed, we share the curated data with mappers who will review and map the data on OpenStreetMap. All of this is to help humanitarians have the best map possible.

MapSwipe main project screen “In a humanitarian crisis, the location of the most vulnerable people is fundamental information for delivering food, shelter, medical care and other services where they are most needed. And, although it may be hard to believe, millions people around the world are not represented on any accessible map.” (Pete Masters, Missing Maps Coordinator, MSF, July 14, 2016)

MapSwipe is available today on the Google Play and Itunes stores. Download and MapSwipe Today!

MapSwipe is a Missing Maps project aimed to proactively map the places in the world where the most vulnerable people live before a crisis happens. Missing Maps is a partnership between Medecins sans Frontieres, American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, CartoONG, and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team.

Please share MapSwipe widely with your friends and family. And, do let us know how we can improve. Help bit counts!

About MapSwipe Team and Project

MapSwipe was funded by MSF UK for the Missing Maps Project. Currently, all projects are for Missing Maps partners, but this might change in time. The tool was developed by an amazing team. Congratulations Ivan, Pim, Sadok, Alison, Pete, Astrid and Bennie. You all inspire me. (Note: My contribution of advisor was on my personal time as a proud Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Board Member. )

Imagery is provided by Bing (Thanks Microsoft!).

Thanks for Mapswipebe a mobile volunteer with mapswipe

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