The OpenStreetMap Use for Medical Humanitarian Operations by Médecins Sans Frontières

Room: Auditorium A

Sunday, 15:00
Duration: 20 minutes (plus Q&A)


video on media.ccc.de


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  • Jana Bauerova (Médecins Sans Frontières)

Follow the OSM journey of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from a mapathon in Berlin in 2014 to creating and contributing geodata for numerous MSF operations through the Missing Maps project. This talk will be about how MSF uses OpenStreetMap internally and how we contribute through remote and field mapping. We will also share the lessons learned and reflect on the biggest challenges for MSF in creating and using the OSM data.


The OpenStreetMap journey of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started in 2014 with a mapping party in Berlin and field mapping in Lubumbashi. Eight years later, OpenStreetMap is the reference geographical dataset for most of MSF operations on the ground.

OpenStreetMap has been used in public health interventions, disease outbreaks, mortality studies and to support large logistical operations. Still every day we are learning how geographical information can support us in doing our job better, in reaching more people, in saving more lives.

MSF is not only using OpenStreetMap, but it also actively contributes to the map through the Missing Maps project launched in 2014 together with the American Red Cross, the British Red Cross, and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. Since then, MSF has trained dozens of Missing Maps champions, co-organized hundreds mapathons and involved thousands of volunteers in some 30 countries.

In this presentation we will talk about how MSF uses OpenStreetMap internally and how we contribute through remote and field mapping. We will also share the lessons learned and reflect on the biggest challenges for MSF in creating and using the OSM data.