Mapathon organisé à Prague en janvier 2019. République Tchèque.


Participatory and solidarity mapping workshops

When MSF teams arrive in a disaster zone, they face many challenges. One difficulty that is often overlooked is the lack of maps showing relevant information, such as roads, drinking water points or important buildings. To provide an appropriate and effective response, MSF teams need accurate maps.

Mapathon Unipop DLH 16 novembre 2023 mapping

What is a mapathon?

A mapathon is a collective mapping workshop: a group of volunteers meet up for 3 hours to add to the cartography of a defined area.

Mapathons can be very simple and accessible to beginners: tracing roads, watercourses or the outline of buildings, without going into too much detail.

Participants map from aerial photographs, identifying as many features as possible. This data is validated by experienced OSM users. Finally, our teams in the field add the details (type of building, quality of road, etc.).

Mapathon organisé à Prague en janvier 2019. République Tchèque.

In this way, what was a satellite image with no additional information becomes a complete map of the region, thanks to the help of volunteers.  

In total, according to the Missing Maps website, nearly 80,000 people have helped to locate around 40 million buildings and more than a million kilometres of roads and paths.

In short, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can take part in mapping the world with Open StreetMap. All you need to do is create an account on OpenStreetMap.

Our next mapathon

Make your contribution: take part in the mapathons organised by MSF Luxembourg

Would you like to get directly involved in MSF's humanitarian response? Then join us at the mapathons organised throughout the year.

Reportage RTL - 1er mapathon MSF

Our next mapathon will be held on the 21st of March, 2024