Unprecedented relationships on the ground and spanning the globe, along with rapid advances in collaborative tools, are fundamentally changing how data and analysis are created and shared for humanitarian response. It’s all made possible by OpenStreetMap.

Just last week, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) activated and brought the total count of mapped buildings in the severely flooded areas of Sri Lanka to more than 87,000 buildings.

Mapathon organized by SLIIT FOSS Community & OSGeo Lab of SLIIT

Understanding Risk Mapathon

The Sri Lankan Government Disaster Management Centre requested a count of buildings in the impacted zone to guide the scale and location of their response efforts. This request in itself is extraordinary, considering all the other important work of the DMC amidst a major crisis; this is the result of several years cooperation with the World Bank GFDRR and HOT.

Within days, HOT assessed the need, designed Tasking Manager projects, rallied a global community – with contributions everywhere from international gatherings on risk to students in Sri Lanka – and produced dependable, actionable results.

I’m again proud that the GFDRR team and the HOT community came forward to help us. We worked together to be prepared over the last three years and now we get real outputs.

-Srimal Samansiri, Sri Lanka DMC

Mapbox, among many others, is proud to help in coordination and technical support in the response, and in the preparation. Just a few weeks ago, in calmer and seemingly long ago times, we were integrating UAV imagery collected by DMC in Sri Lanka. And we’ve been sharing guidance to the development of OSM Analytics, used to count 87,000 buildings in the flooding zone.

Relationships and great tools, all together, result in extremely fast coordination, mapping, and insights.

Get in touch with me for connections into the global OpenStreetMap response community.