Join the mapathon and become an online volunteer for 1 night

Mapping the area affected by Cyclone Idai

  • 28 Mar 2019
  • 17:30 - 20:00
  • Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft
  • Register here
Western Europe
IHE Delft

Tropical Cyclone Idai is regarded as one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere as a whole. The storm caused catastrophic damage in multiple nations, leaving hundreds of people dead, hundreds more missing, and an estimated 400,000 people have lost their homes. On Thursday 28 March, IHE Delft is organizing a Mapathon to map the affected areas in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

At this event, we will be collecting donations for Red Cross Netherlands' fundraising account.

Mapping Party

During the Mapping Party, volunteers will map the buildings and other features in the country, on OpenStreetMap, a detailed, open-source map of the world. Volunteers in the mapping district will later add local information, for example on schools, sanitary provisions, hospitals and water points. That way the data on the map will become more relevant on the ground.   

We invite everybody to become an ‘online volunteer’ for a night. You don’t have to have any experience; it is easy to learn and we have trained experts available to help you on your way. Bring your laptop and mouse and join the initiative. 

Importance of mapping vulnerable areas

Good mapping material is essential for strengthening vulnerable places around the world. Places which are suffering from epidemics, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty or environmental problems, for example. Mapping helps governments to make better (policy) decisions and aid organisations to offer better assistance, because they have more knowledge in advance about medical activities and the distribution of needed relief supplies. In cases of disaster, they are able to react better and quicker. 


Missing Maps is an international crowdsourcing initiative through which people from all over the world contribute to the augmentation of the world map on OpenStreetMap. In doing so, they focus on the world’s most vulnerable spots. More than 15,000 people are involved and, together, they have contributed more than 24 million updates. So-called mapathons are being held all over the world to bring the map more up to date, little by little. 


Everybody is welcome to join the Mapping Party, which will be held at IHE Delft, free of charge. Specialist technical knowledge is not a prerequisite.  

Staff members, MSc students and PhD fellows from IHE Delft can just come to the Restaurant 17.30 hrs and join the mapping party in the restaurant. 

If you do not work or study at the Institute, but are interested in joining: please sign up here. We will make sure that you are registered to enter the building and join the party. 

We also encourage all of our alumni to join online. For more information contact Maria Laura Sorrentino, Alumni Relations Officer. 


Please find in the following link the video with all instructions to participate in the mapathon. 

Missing Maps continues

Missing Maps is an initiative of the Red Cross, MSF and other NGOs aiming to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world. Learn more about the project here.

You can get involved as an individual here, even before & after the Mapping party has ended, or if you are unable to attend. The Missing Maps organizers will let you know by email when there are tasks that need doing – or when there are other mapping parties, like this one, being organized. 


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