[HOT] Bahrain & Libya mapping

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc at arkemie.com
Thu Feb 17 21:24:56 GMT 2011

Hash: SHA1


This is absolutely great !

Here are a few thoughts that you could pass on to her:

First thing, "Primum non nocere", like physicians say. In this kind of
politically non-permissive context, every precaution should be taken
to avoid exposing people involved to any unnecessary risk that might
arise from this activity (including abroad and even if it seems
relatively much safer).

This has been raised on the CrisisMappers mailing list, and this blog
post from the Standby Volunteer Task Force has been updated to
incorporate some of the discussion:
(I'll also paste at the end of this message an email I sent about
tools for protecting privacy).

Then, I think it might be great if a capacity was available to answer
specific needs that might arise.  Imagine a journalist wanting to
locate some event. "Where is the town or the square/street mentioned
in this tweet?" An example was the square mentioned earlier in this
thread, or eg http://bit.ly/hbHSvJ . Ideally, this might imply a
network of volunteers from different regions, possibly hidden behind
the scenes. (OSM, even though currently much less complete than other
map products over Libya, can have a quick update time.)

Beside the news context, of course, local knowledge is very valuable
to OSM. I hope it should be relatively easy for anybody to use
to give pieces of information like "A town/village/etc... named xxx is
here" (with names in Arabic and Latin alphabets if possible) or "A
street/square/etc... named yyy is there".
(Would anyone familiar with other tools for a similar function, like
Skobbler MapDust, offer a comparison?)

Then, if some people become more interested in OSM and wish to
contribute more to build a free map of their country, they can
volunteer in many ways, coordinating, editing the wiki, and of course
mapping... To learn how to trace a road, for instance, a nice 3 minute
video had been made for Haiti response.

(By the way, this might be yet another incentive for the H.O.Team to
organize its general pedagogical material :).

And, like Mikel said yesterday in the conference call, some of the
people involved in the Egyptian OSM community were also involved in
the recent events. So there might be some natural links between
freedom in maps and elsewhere...



- -------- Message original --------
Sujet:     Re: [Off Topic] [CrisisMappers] Crisis Mapping Algeria now
Date :     Mon, 14 Feb 2011 15:18:27 +0100

> http://openalgeria.crowdmap.com/

Dear xx,

Many thanks for this.

Seeing the security advice on that page, I feel it might be useful to
attract the attention of the audience here to the recent comments that
were posted on the blog page: http://blog.standbytaskforce.com/?p=259

Regarding Hushmail, one can also read Wikipedia, or the Limitations
section of

Enigmail [1] (that I am using to sign this message) is a Thunderbird
plugin to encrypt e-mail, where you can keep your private key on your
computer. (If you don't want your IP address to appear, you can
copy/paste the encrypted message to some webmail, such as gmail or

An advice that I have seen from several sources is to use Tor [2] (+
TorButton) for anonymity, with https for encryption. In this regard,
HTTPS Everywhere [3], from the EFF, can be useful to connect to the
encrypted version of major websites, when they are available. (By the
way, https://openalgeria.crowdmap.com/ does not seem to be working.)

Jacob Appelbaum twitted about Skype on Feb 9th
He points out that variable bit rate codecs, such as used by Skype,
may allow phrases to be identified (
http://zfoneproject.com/faq.html#vbr ).
And that "Tom Skype is probably the biggest reason not to trust #skype
- - they have shown themselves untrustworthy: http://bit.ly/1Jx0n".

He advises OTR [4] for text chatting.

Best wishes,


[1] https://enigmail.mozdev.org
[2] https://www.torproject.org
[3] https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Off-the-Record_Messaging ,

PS: Today, I'd just add to this that I've found that Tor Browser
Bundle is very easy to setup. It includes a browser and optionally an
instant messaging client. It can be run from a USB flash drive.
Jacob Appelbaum had also mentioned voice messaging systems that he
considers better than Skype, like ZFone.

Le 17/02/2011 20:26, Todd Huffman a écrit :
> My roommate is Libyan and active in the Libyan diaspora, and she's
> offered to help coordinate diaspora for projects.  If you or others
> are looking for Libyan input on projects please let me know.
> Cheers,
> -.- .--- -.... .--- --.- --.-
> Todd Huffman
> HuffmanTM at gmail.com
> Office: (765) 633-2691
> Twitter: @toddhuffman
> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 2:40 AM, Jean-Guilhem Cailton <jgc at arkemie.com>
>> Hi,
>> There is always also the #hot channel on IRC for lightweight coordination.
>> @Floris: Do you know where is Maydan Al Shajara, the central square
for the
>> protests in Benghazi ? I couldn't find it in that other map either. ;)
>> I am considering proposing the hashtag #OSMapLibya on Twitter for
trying to
>> collect local knowledge and help from the Libyan diaspora, with respect to
>> street names, for example. OpenStreetBugs might be a suitable tool for
>> (Just had a look: there is even a recent bug (Jan 31) complaining
about the
>> lack of a specific guide for Libya, compared to Tunisia and Egypt.
"why are
>> we invisible or wut". Wiki editors welcome...) :)
>> Of course, similar hashtags (#OSMapAlgeria, #OSMapYemen, #OSMapBahrain...)
>> could be used later, if this kind of social media interaction works.
>> What do you think?
>> Best wishes,
>> Jean-Guilhem
>> Le 17/02/2011 10:40, nicolas chavent a écrit :
>> Thanks Katie for following up on the Arabic Mapping.
>> I can not devote to this crisis time, although I feel like all something
>> fundamental is happening there and as you put it that OSM can play a
part, 2
>> points:
>> I am wondering how to best coordinate on this fluid crisis mapping at wide
>> regional scale
>> * The wiki_project pages of each country have been used and we shall
>> continue to do so; no wiki project lybia
>> * I feel that to have an overview of our engagement in this mapping, an
>> Arabic Mapping Coordination page in HOT, or a dedicated atriom group could
>> be helpful to compliment the mailing list and help keeping track of
>> and planning actions. This would be broad (strategy/ main activities),
>> implementation would happen in the country_wiki_pages eventually in
>> dedicated crisis section
>> Do we foresee any needs for imagery outreach in Lybia, Bahrain?
>> Excellent day to all
>> Nicolas
>> On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 4:38 AM, Katie Filbert <filbertk at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Political instability has spread to other countries throughout the Middle
>>> East, including Bahrain where crackdown has been harsh.  Bahrain is a
>>> country, an island in the Persian Gulf.
>>> Parts of Bahrain are mapped well, but there are large sections of Manama
>>> (the Capital) and elsewhere that are completely unmapped.  We have
>>> Bing imagery for all of Bahrain.  For now, Google Maps is so much better
>>> than OSM for coverage of Bahrain so for any immediate needs like
Ushahidi, I
>>> would recommend using Google Maps.
>>> In Libya, the situation is escalating in the country's second largest
>>> city, Benghazi.  In OSM, Benghazi is very poorly mapped and Google
Maps is
>>> not great either though much better than OSM.  Yet, we have great Bing
>>> imagery.
>>> In the long run, good OSM data is a good thing for both Bahrain and
>>> Libya.  Hopefully, we will be able to do some on-the-ground outreach
in both
>>> countries at some point, but for not filling in basics like roads is
>>> helpful.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Katie
>>> PS - there still is a need to map places in Egypt.
>>> --
>>> Katie Filbert
>>> filbertk at gmail.com
>>> @filbertkm
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> HOT mailing list
>>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
>> --
>> Nicolas Chavent
>> Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
>> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Haiti
>> Mobile (Haiti): +509 389 583 05
>> Mobile (France): +33 6 89 45 54 58
>> Landline (FRA): +33 2 97 26 23 08
>> Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
>> Skype: c_nicolas
>> Twitter: nicolas_chavent
>> _______________________________________________
>> HOT mailing list
>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
>> --
>> Jean-Guilhem
>> pgp 0x5939EAE2
>> _______________________________________________
>> HOT mailing list
>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>> http://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot

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