Skip to Main Content

Humanitarian Mapping

An introduction to humanitarian mapping from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team


Humanitarian mapping uses software and satellite imagery to crowdsource improvements in maps. Map data is then shared with relief organizations to aid in disaster recovery.

Getting started

Schaffer Library is using software from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) for its humanitarian mapping tasks. 

You will need:

  • A computer or cell phone
  • An internet connection
  • A browser

When you are ready, navigate to HOT's task manager ( to begin.

Account setup

  1. Navigate to the Tasking Manager,
  2. If you don't have an OpenStreetMap account, use SIGN UP in the menu to make an account.
    1. Enter your name and email address.
    2. A new window or tab will open up. This will allow you to register on
    3. Provide your account information and click Sign up at the bottom of the form.
    4. Close the tab and go back to the Tasking Manager.
  3. If you already have an OpenStreetMap account, click LOG IN.
  4. To review this process, go to:

More information and help

HOT provides lots of support and documentation. 

  • Beginners: use the "Learn" button at the top of the page for Quick Start guides, videos, and more.
  • More advanced users: reference the User Guide to learn more. As you encounter errors, you can use the Support button to report a problem or connect with developers on Slack.
Highly recommended: even if you are not a beginner, review the videos in the LEARN area. They are filled with useful tips, advanced mapping, and "cheat sheet" guides for mappers of all skills.