[HOT] Mapping Northern Nigeria ?

Blake Girardot bgirardot at gmail.com
Sat Jan 17 16:17:20 UTC 2015

On 1/17/2015 3:36 PM, S Volk wrote:
> On devasted areas (by wars or natural catasptrophes):
> Hi Jeremy, Pierre, Blake and mappers around,
> I've been mapping around since Baga massacre have been reported, images
> on OSM look very good enough in many areas of Northern Nigeria and
> Cameroun to trace buildings or, at least, road network, alternatively
> using both sources of images from Bing and Mapbox on iD (sure, better if
> can get more hi-res images for the hole area).

This is great Sérgio, that is really going to help. I started looking at 
it as well. Big road network mapping is probably best done just as we 
are doing it outside of a Tasking Manager project. It will make any 
future Tasking Manager projects go much better if those roads are well 

> It's not hard to find those devasted areas and buildings by comparing
> the images in OSM with recent publicly released satellite images. Guess
> it would be a great help for humanitarian efforts related to destruction
> and population displaced (I think also on tasks of Gaza, tsunamis,
> earthquakes and similars situations).

The good news is that according to Amnesty International, dedicated 
humanitarian groups can already use those images. The only issue is that 
our mapping is somewhat complicated because we are creating another 
resource that has users besides humanitarian orgs, namely the OSM database.

And here is another set of images from Human Rights Watch using land 
coverage comparison from the Spot satellites to show terrible fire 
devastation as well in some of the villages, 90% destroyed in some areas:


> In what Kevin Bullock said, is it confirmed that such satellite images
> of devastation from Digital Globe released on newspapers, like by
> Amnesty
> (https://adam.amnesty.org/asset-bank/action/search?attribute_603=Nigeria+Satellite+Images+January+2015),
> are free to use to map on OSM by "manual" comparision?

I understand exactly what you are saying. Can we just look at the 
imagery for example directly on the Amnesty International site and then 
look at our screen with Bing/Mapbox imagery and draw the areas by 
looking at landmarks like buildings and trees to mark the devastated 
areas. I feel the same way you do, that seems like it should be totally 

Unfortunately, the answer is we are not supposed to do that either 
unless we have an explicit license to use the imagery for HOT mapping. 
It is interpreted as just the same as loading it up as a layer in JOSM 
and tracing, but instead of loading it up in JOSM we are "loading it up" 
in our heads and then tracing it and creating a "derivative" work from 
those AI images that we do not have explicit permission to do that with.

We will get that updated January 2015 imagery eventually, but it will 
just take a bit longer. We want to make sure we follow exactly what a 
license allows us to do or prevents us from doing.

In the mean time, that imagery is already licensed and being used by the 
pure NGOs like AI, Human Rights Watch and probably others, so that is 
great news and typical of the great work DigitalGlobe does around the 
world, it will filter down to us eventually through the established 

> Sorry if bad english.

You speak great english, sorry I don't speak anything else.


More information about the HOT mailing list