Organisation: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Partners: American Red Cross

Location: Online

Type of grant: Core – development

Status: Completed


Imagery from satellites, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other aircraft is being generated more and more, however after a disaster it is difficult for aid workers to determine what imagery is available and where to access it. OpenAerialMap (OAM) seeks to solve this by providing a simple, open way to process and provide imagery for humanitarian response and disaster preparedness.

What humanitarian need is being addressed?

Reliable geographic information can be vital for decision making. Imagery from satellites, UAVs and other aircraft often serves as the base of this geographic information. Imagery can be utilized to create basemaps of disaster prone areas, collect exposure data for risk and impact modelling and to discuss risk with communities. In relief coordination, imagery plays a similar roles as well as post-event imagery being useful in damage assessments.

How does the innovation build on and improve existing humanitarian practice?

Satellite imagery has been a component of humanitarian response for several years through the Disaster Charter. Now with cheaper satellites and the advent of low cost UAVs it is possible for more organizations and individuals to create their own imagery. With this increase in availability it is important that a service exists to coordinate such imagery and make sure responders can access it in a usable manner.

What materials or research outputs are likely to be produced?

The initial node of OpenAerialMap will be created and deployed. Supporting this initial node will be detailed documentation and deployment instructions to set-up a new OpenAerialMap instance and instructions for users.

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

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