[HOT] Are there any detailed reports or research on the utilization of HOT maps on the ground?

Chris Daley chebizarro at gmail.com
Fri Nov 7 17:02:37 UTC 2014

Hi all,

As a humanitarian aid practitioner with numerous field missions I feel I
can speak from at least that perspective on the utility of HOT's work in
general. I first used OSM when I was planning a mass vaccination program in
Malawi in 2010. Accurate maps are essential when planning emergency
immunisation programs as you want to get the highest possible coverage
rates. The only maps we had were hand drawn, old or in limbo because the
Malawi government was trying to sell us the data they had. In the end, I
found the data I needed on OSM and it meant we could add dozens of villages
to our coverage that otherwise would simply have been forgotten.

If only HOT had existed then as it does now!

This is only one of many aspects of humanitarian aid delivery that requires
up to date and accurate map data that is freely accessible. Emergency food
distribution, managing refugee camps, WASH etc. The needs far outstrip the
means all too often. So far, OSM is the only platform and HOT the
organization doing this on the scale required.

There is a lot about digital humanitarianism that is at best misguided
internet solutionism and at worst risible, narcissistic or dangerous to the
people it is intended to help. The work that HOT volunteers perform is most
definitely not. I highly doubt there would be anyone with genuine
humanitarian experience who would disagree and I am curious as to why
someone would think this way. That some of the biggest names in Aid have
gotten behind the Missing Maps project speaks volumes about how important
this work is to them.

Keep those mappers mapping, we need them more than ever!


>>> On 10/31/2014 1:25 PM, Gideon Hartmann wrote:
>>>> Hey mappers,
>>>> whenever I tell friends about the HOT projects, I get a lot of sceptic
>>>> responses. Most people don't see the importance of our maps and there
>>>> are even voices saying it is much more something to keep mappers
>>>> occupied than actual help.
>>>> If I go deeper into online research on the impact of HOT, I can find
>>>> some opinions here and there, but these are mostly very vague and based
>>>> on few people's opinions.
>>>> Is there more than "The maps helped a lot!" or "The maps could help in
>>>> case xxx..." anywhere?
>>>> Are there any quantitative data sets or any scientifically executed
>>>> interviews?
>>>> Keep mapping!
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> HOT mailing list
>>>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot

Chris Daley
Pacific Northwest

e: chebizarro at gmail.com
m: +1601 980 1249
s: chebizarro
tw: chebizarro
tz: PDT

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist
the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
- H. L. Mencken
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