Humanitarian Advancement Through Technology June 1 - 4 th, 2014

Workshop-1 D1.4

Workshop: Humanitarian Open Street Map


Since the Haiti  earthquake in 2010, new partners support the UN Agencies and International organizations through the Web 2.0 or Collaborative Web.  OpenStreetMap is one of these community of volunteers. It has shown on several occasions its ability to mobilize hundreds of contributors and support remotely, providing maps and services necessary for such actions. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) makes the bridge with the humanitarian organizations.

In this session, we will discuss open source methods for humanitarian technology. The workshop will include an overview of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s (HOT) activities, some of the tools and best practices. We will include stories of activations around the world from Indonesia to Haiti to Philippines and the DRC. Our session also includes hands on training from HOT community leaders. Join us and learn about new methods in digital and in-person responders using OpenStreetMap.

Presenter: Heather Leson,  Board Member, HOT (Humanitarion OpenStreetMap Team)


Heather will also be facilitating the Community Engagement Workshop on Monday afternoon (Workshop-4 D2.4)


Heather Leson is a community builder and programme manager for global open source projects and communities. Some of the organizations she had lead include the Crisis Mappers Network, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Open Knowledge Foundation, Ushahidi, Random Hacks of Kindness, Mozilla and more. Heather has over 15 years of experience in technical incident management, software life-cycle development, customer care, and Internet communications.

In her current role as Community Engagement Director at Open Knowledge, she creates and delivers community programming for the organization’s diverse community, specifically focused on the School of Data model.

Previously, Heather created and managed programs for Ushahidi’s diverse community, and mentored members of its open-source developer ecosystem. Her earlier leadership in open source communities such as Random Hacks of Kindness and CrisisCommons saw her successfully organize numerous participant-driven “unconferences” and hackathons.

As a Board member for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team , Heather is focused on community engagement, organizational development and fundraising.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. Recently, she received recognition from Crowdsourcing Week as one of the Top 10 Canadian Experts.


Presenter: Pierre Beland



Pierre is an active OpenStreetMap contributor, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team Activation lead and a former Board Members (2013). As a leader in the coordination of the Humanitarian Activations, he has been instrumental in building on the expertise of innovative developers and the participation of hundreds of OSM contributors. Over the past 2 years, he has implemented the Coordination teams in the context of major Humanitarian Activations. Pierre contributed to strengthen the collaboration with various UN agencies and international organizations and to respond more efficiently to the needs of these organizations.


For the Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines at the end of 2013, the work was coordinated with the UN-OCHA and the Red Cross. Pierre co-lead the HOT activation response. He mentored and coordinated over 1000 contributors in addition to supporting key technical and strategic aspect, including satellite imagery procurement. The success and results of Pierre’s leadership can be highlighted by the following key details. The HOT Tasking Manager has assured to map large territories with the participation of  more then 1,600 contributors from 82 countries. After 10 days of activation, paper maps were delivered to field operations. Data extracts were updated hourly for GIS analysis or the use of Navigation tools on Android phones or GPS. Training of field teams was organized. For this activation, HOT received the Wikimedia-DE 2014 Zedler-Award, this underlining contribution to free and open knowledge.


For the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Pierre and his collaborators assured the support of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Red Cross teams in the context of this highly contagious epidemic.  Collaboration with field teams was also established. Plus hundreds of contributors mapped the various towns in  the hearth of the outbreak. MSF has recognized this effort, underlining the fact that this contributed to reduce significantly the time necessary to locate people at risk.



Presenter:  Samuel Paul Alce



Je suis haïtien, basé à Port-au-Prince, HAÏTI, Mapper et formateur volontaire de OSM depuis 2010, actuel coordinateur de la Carte Tap-Tap en Haïti. Je suis membre de OSM HAITI, TRAMIGO, travaille la plupart du temps en Haïti comme Coordonateur technique et Formateur dans differents projets GIS, par exemple:Saint-marc STM020 Projet de cartographie a Saint-Marc HT en 2012, et Cap103 Projet de cartographie de la zone nord d’Haiti en mars 2013.
I am a Haiti based in Port au Prince Haiti and a volunteer fro OSM since 2010.  I’m a member of OSM Haiti, Tramigo and have worked in Haiti as a GIS Technical Coordinator. I am currently working with TRAMIGO “tracking devices” (htt:// and lately also with mobile Geo-referenced data gathering System, Poimapper (htt:// developed by a Finnish technology company Pajat (htt:// and Formhub.
Some of the skills Samuel contributes includes: planning and coordination of humanitarian GIS missions, logistics coordination, capacity building, relationship building and humanitarian response leadership.

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