It is fun to write a blog post about a new feature, but by far my favourite post of the year is today’s, in which I announce our annual donation to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team as a way to help kickstart their annual fundraising drive.
For those that don’t know, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team (usually abbreviated as HOT) is an organization that helps coordinate volunteer mapping of crisis regions around the world. Their work focuses on improving the maps in regions hit by disasters but also creating the digital geo-infrastructure in places with chronic problems like diseases like malaria.
Anyone can get involved. Here’s a screenshot of one of their projects:
Over the last year the “Tasking Manager” - the site where all the projects are listed - has been steadily improved and you can easily filter by mapping difficulty, type of mapping, campaign, etc.
One of the most powerful things about HOT is that it is a tangible way for anyone, anywhere to help during a crisis. Beyond the tangible benefit (for everyone) of more open geodata, HOT is great in that for many people this is their first introduction to the power of OpenStreetMap. Hopefully they then go on to become regular contributors.
For several years - both as OpenCage, and before that as a part of Lokku (the company we spun out of) we’ve been fortunate to be in the position to help HOT’s efforts financially. We’re delighted that we’re able to keep the tradition going this year, many thanks to our loyal customers who make it possible. HOT’s impact has grown over the last years, with more and more projects in every corner of the globe. I just had a look at the current open projects and there are ongoing efforts focused on Puerto Rico, Mexico, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and many more. Please consider getting involved via a financial donation but also as a mapper.
Many thanks to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team community for all of their efforts and best wishes for a great 2018,