[HOT] COVID-19 - How you can help

Russell Deffner russell.deffner at hotosm.org
Tue Mar 17 14:00:45 UTC 2020

Dear HOT Community,

We have been receiving more and more inquiries about our response to
COVID-19, also known as the Corona-virus, so we thought it prudent to put
together a message of what we are doing, and willing to do, regarding
mapping for this response.

NOTE: HOT suggests remote mapping events only while COVID-19 remains a
significant threat to public health. We have some guidance on how to
conduct a successful remote-mapathon
from our partners in Missing Maps. Heed local warnings and restrictions
before attending any mapping events in person or mapping in the field.

As always, we respond to formal requests, typically from partners such as
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International, the Red Cross/Red Crescent
societies and others to our Activation Working Group email and Slack
disaster-mapping channel. This does not guarantee an Activation by HOT as
we still need to assess that what we ask of our volunteers - you - is
obtainable in a timeframe that will result in assisting the response.

In regards to COVID-19, HOT has not yet received an official request. In
light of that, we are suggesting that local OpenStreetMap Chapters &
Communities make the discovery and launch projects to map those resources
that are lacking in your area. HOT is here to assist with identifying those
resources and where they are lacking, getting projects set-up on the
Tasking Manager, or if needed, getting you trained and on-boarded to create
projects for your community, as well as communication/recruiting mappers
from the crowd to help with your mapping efforts.

NOTE: For healthcare and aid organizations looking for geospatial data, we
continually push OpenStreetMap extracts to the Humanitarian Data eXchange
(HDX) <https://data.humdata.org/>. We are currently working to ensure
updates for the most impacted countries are available. Do let us know if
you have data needs not being met!

In order to make an impact on COVID-19, HOT will rely heavily on local
communities. While we work with partners to identify things that can be
achieved on a global scale; we encourage you to look for things you can do
locally to assist health care and aid workers nearby. Here’s a short list
of things you and your local OSM community can do to prepare for and reduce
the longevity of COVID-19...


   Start by comparing the completeness of healthcare facilities in
   OpenStreetMap here:https://healthsites.io/map

   You can also use healthsites.io to directly input missing healthcare
   facilities and attributes.

   Look at the road network in your area, often in large disease outbreaks
   it is of critical importance to have a complete road network. Consider
   using the MapWith.AI <https://www.mapwith.ai> site to speed up the
   process by having AI assist your road network mapping.

   See if there are other data-sources available (and compatible) for
   bringing into OpenStreetMap, such as healthcare facilities, major
   transportation network features, or even buildings in general;
follow the import
   guidelines <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Import/Guidelines> for
   including 3rd party data.

   Or, map the ‘old-fashioned way’ by digitizing features from satellite

And reach out either directly, or by replying to this list, if you need


Russell Deffner

Russell.Deffner at hotosm.org

Disaster Services Coordinator - Activation Working Group

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT)

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