Launching #Map2020: A New Campaign for Building Better Maps in Undermapped Regions

Mapillary and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team are joining forces to accelerate map data collection in undermapped regions. Local mappers are invited to use street-level imagery in mapping projects that address humanitarian or developmental challenges. Two of the projects submitted to the #map2020 campaign will be selected for a fully-funded trip to HOT Summit in Heidelberg, Germany this September.

Mapper in Zanzibar Mapper in Zanzibar

Map data saves lives. There are few places where this is more evident than where street scenes change dramatically as a result of a natural disaster, or where maps are outdated or otherwise lacking in information. Without maps it becomes a lot harder to get medical assistance to those in need, infrastructure planning and maintenance becomes impossible, and disaster resilience efforts are hampered.

Despite this, a significant portion of the world’s population lives in areas lacking detailed and up-to-date maps. The 20º north of the equator and 20º south of the equator are particularly in need of more accurate maps. That’s why Mapillary and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team are joining forces and launching #map2020, a new campaign for using street-level imagery and computer vision to fill in the missing maps.

#map2020 invites local mappers to submit mapping projects that use street-level imagery and collected map data for humanitarian purposes. By submitting mapping projects, mappers of the two most successful projects will be offered a fully-funded trip to HOT Summit in Heidelberg, Germany, where they will present their projects and findings to the international humanitarian mapping community.

Building better maps, together

Street-level imagery is an important asset for all mapmakers as it provides a detailed view of the situation on the ground. Map data is easily extracted from street-level images by humans, and when the imagery is uploaded to Mapillary, computer vision takes that to the next level by detecting and extracting map data from the imagery at scale.

With #map2020 we’re inviting local mappers to make street-level imagery an integrated part of their map data collection from the get-go. By capturing imagery with Mapillary, the data will be accessible to anyone who might need it and, as per Mapillary’s commitment to OpenStreetMap, it will remain freely available for editing and improving OpenStreetMap.

At the end of the campaign, we will have a network of mappers with the experience of collecting and using street-level imagery. In addition to this, a number of locations across the world will be densely mapped, with the opportunity to expand this to other locations. To be considered as one of the two successful projects to travel to HOT Summit in September, a project must have uploaded at least 200,000 images to Mapillary by the end of the campaign period and have used the images to address a humanitarian or development challenge.

Today, we’re opening for submissions for organizations that would like to take part in the #map2020 campaign. Read through the project requirements and submit your intention to participate.

Mapping team in Indonesia Mapping team in Indonesia

Taking part in #map2020

The #map2020 campaign gives participating mappers a lot of room to define how they would like to integrate street-level imagery in their mapping workflow. The criteria below have been set up to ensure that #map2020 builds upon existing mapping capabilities and is addressing a challenge that has already been given priority in the local area.

Project requirements

  • Determine the humanitarian challenge that your project is addressing.
    • Projects are encouraged to choose a challenge your organization is already addressing.
    • #map2020 is a focused project where you can implement a new mapping workflow that addresses your stated challenge from a different angle.
  • Define a manageable area of interest where this challenge is an issue.
  • Determine at least three map attributes that you will be adding to OpenStreetMap and how the collection of this information helps to address the challenge you have described.
    • These map attributes should be visible within street-level imagery. Organize and complete dense street-level image capture in your chosen location using equipment such as smartphones and action cameras.
  • Edit with this imagery in OpenStreetMap, adding the attributes relevant to your project.

Mapillary will be offering participants webinar sessions during the campaign to walk them through the key tasks involved and discuss creative solutions to challenges that may arise. The webinars will cover the following topics:

  • How to plan capture and work with capture equipment and cameras
  • Uploading methods
  • Using the imagery and derived data in OpenStreetMap
  • How computer vision and machine learning can be used in each project

HOT and Mapillary will together select the most compelling case studies and they will be invited to share their results at the HOT Summit in Heidelberg. The trip (flights, accommodation, and HOT Summit entrance) is fully funded by Mapillary and HOT.

#map2020 timeline

  • May 9: Submissions open
  • June 1: Submissions close
  • June 1: Mapping projects commence
  • May 22 – June 14: Online webinars
  • June 30: Campaign ends, mapping results submitted
  • July 2: HOT Summit projects announced
  • September 19–20: HOT Summit in Heidelberg, Germany

Click here to read more about the campaign and submit your mapping project.

We’re very excited about #map2020 and we hope you’ll join us in this campaign. Better maps are needed across the world, and there’s no greater way of getting there than by doing it together. By sharing learnings and findings with each other, we’ll all become better mappers as a result.

Here’s to better maps, everywhere.

/ Rebecca Firth, HOT & Edoardo Neerhut, Mapillary

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