From global to local OSM mapping, CartONG’s overall OSM based strategy to support humanitarian response in refugee camp

Room: Track 1 - Talks

Friday, 11:30 UTC
Duration: 20 minutes (plus Q&A)


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  • Martin Noblecourt
  • Manon Viou
  • Olivier Ribiere

CartONG is an NGO specialized in Information Management whose mission is to put data – in particular geographical data – at the service of humanitarian, development and social action projects. CartONG is one of the implementing partners for mapping and information management (IM) projects of the UNHCR, a UN agency dedicated to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Getting data on refugee sites has always been a challenge given their fast evolution and the diversity of situations around the world. Therefore CartONG has been promoting OpenStreetMap as a complementary resource and sharing platform to produce accurate and recent data that can complement UNHCR’s existing database while also benefiting other actors (in particular local ones). From remote mapping to OSM-based analytical tools for decision making, CartONG would like to share its experience on building and implementing step by step since 2017 an overall strategy to support humanitarian response in refugee sites with UNHCR. We will focus on specific technical challenges, like dealing with accurate and precise data on a large number of sites at world scale as well as at site level. The implementation is still ongoing and the strategy also evolves as it moves forward to better fit the requests of the partner as well as evolution of the OSM landscape: we will present where we stand and what is planned for the next steps.

Step 1/ Improve the consistency of the refugee sites’ tagging model on OSM (wiki documentation/ mapping data model)

Step 2/ Promote refugee site mapping on OSM (training/mapathons/data integration/ cooperation among actors)

  • Improve the availability and quality of OSM data on refugee site around the world
  • Facilitate contribution and use of OSM data.

Step 3/ Build a dedicated OSM replica for UNHCR specific use cases

Step 4/ Monitor activities on OSM camp mapping

  • Complement UNHCR’s database and compensate for lack of data on specific sites.

Step 5/ Generate a specific map rendering

Step 6/ Feed a web application for spatial analysis

  • Create analysis products (including maps, sector indicators visualization, etc) using OSM as well as other data sources, and make them available to UNHCR’s team and other actors for field operations