The hills around Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, are dotted with large, unplanned settlements known as ger districts. Mongolians from rural areas have moved to these communities, which are connected by an ever-expanding road network. The Asia Foundation is working with the City Municipality of Ulaanbataar to map these population centers so that the City can deliver vital services – water, solid waste management, electricity, public transportation, education, and healthcare – to these marginalized, underserved communities.

Colorful roofs and unpaved roads are visible in the valleys around Ulaanbataar.

We’ve worked with our friends at DigitalGlobe to deliver to The Asia Foundation’s Mapbox account more than 2,000 km2 of imagery captured in the past 90 days. The Asia Foundation and its partners will trace this imagery using open source mapping tools and add new data to OpenStreetMap. Fresh satellite imagery traced with open tools will power a new map of Ulaanbataar that has the potential to change the lives of Ulaanbataar’s residents.

If you want to support The Asia Foundation’s tracing efforts, you can add this URL to your OpenStreetMap editor as a custom background layer and start tracing today:

http://b.tiles.mapbox.com/v3/the-asia-foundation.ulaanbataar/{z}/{x}/{y}.png

The high resolution WorldView-2 imagery is vivid and detailed:

Urban areas are detailed, capturing the activity of a busy city.

The hills of the city are lined with ger districts.

Hit me up on Twitter or e-mail satellite@mapbox.com to talk about how custom imagery can support your work.