The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is supporting mapping after the Ecuador earthquake, creating map data that may prove useful to response teams, locating people and delivering services where they’re needed most. The Mapbox data team is monitoring for how we can help, and you too can make a big contribution with map data.

OpenStreetMap’s iD editor makes editing the map easy, even if you have never mapped before. If you’re new to OpenStreetMap, get on the map and register and learn the basics of iD. You can make meaningful contributions with just a few minutes of training.

Next head over to the HOT Tasking Manager, and choose one of the Ecuador Earthquake tasks (avoid “Only for experienced” tasks if you’re new). Sign in, read the Instructions carefully, then click Contribute and Take a task. Start Mapping will open iD for you to start.

Draw the shape, choose the Building preset, and square the corners of the building

Buildings are important features to map in a crisis, helping to scope the scale and location of need. Draw an “Area”, trace the building from imagery, and select the “Building” preset.

If the building is rectangular, “Square the corners” from the editing menu (or press the ‘S’ key).

Drawing a track road that leads out to an isolated group of buildings

Mapping roads is essential for logistics and planning. Make sure to map the minor roads and vehicle tracks that lead out to more isolated buildings.

Where roads cross a waterway, you should split the road into sections and mark the crossing section as a bridge. After a disaster, bridges may be damaged.

Minor roads should be connected to the main road network. iD will show a gray circle at an intersection where lines connect.

Save often!

Remember to save frequently! When editing from the Tasking Manager, you will have a preset comment set (for example, “Tracing buildings and roads for #hotosm-project-1796 #MappingEcuador”).

When you are finished mapping, return to the Task Manager and click “Stop mapping” to unlock this task square for others to edit, or “Mark task as done” to submit it for review.

Every little bit helps. Even if you can only volunteer for a few minutes, your contribution makes a difference. Follow @hotosm for the latest on the response, and reach out to me for iD pointers.