OpenAerialMap Diffusion

Organisation: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

Partners: Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Location: International

Type of grant: Core – diffusion

Status: Ongoing

  • The ZMI website highlighting OpenAerialMap

  • Destroyed (red) and damaged (orange) structures in Tonga after TC Gita

OpenAerialMap (OAM) is a set of open source tools and an online platform for searching, sharing, and accessing openly licensed satellite and drone imagery.


Satellite and drone imagery is becoming increasingly available after a disaster. It is often difficult to determine what is available and how to access it easily. OAM seeks to solve this problem by providing a simple open way to host and provide access to imagery for humanitarian response and disaster preparedness.


After deploying OpenAerialMap in mid-2015, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) began working with humanitarian response agencies to help incorporate the platform into their activities. To date, imagery has been contributed in Tanzania, Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia, Mexico and many other places across the world. Having such a global framework in place enables imagery to be contributed and sourced from a single location and means that responding organizations can save critical time locating imagery after a sudden onset disaster. Instead of waiting hours, days, or even weeks, value added activities (such as using the imagery to create base maps of affected areas, undertaking rapid damage assessments, and other analyses) can begin immediately; leading to more effective decision making during humanitarian crises.


Through the diffusion grant, we plan to achieve the following objectives:

  • Partner with imagery providers to increase volume of data shared and available through OAM.
  • Raise awareness among humanitarian organizations on the benefits of openly licensed imagery.
  • Develop a communication (including social media) campaign and publish success stories about open imagery.
  • Implement interoperability standards for OAM to work efficiently with GIS mapping software.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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