Free, collaboratively generated maps are uniquely valuable to humanitarian work and economic development, especially in places where base map data is often missing, out of date, or rapidly changing. OpenStreetMap is an open data project founded to create a free and open map of the world, built primarily by volunteers surveying with pencil and paper, GPS units or by digitizing aerial imagery and finding and liberating existing public sources of geographic data.
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team [HOT], a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was launched in 2010 to promote and support the thousands of volunteers and dozens of local groups around the world that work to build OpenStreetMap, with an emphasis on humanitarian mapping to aid disaster relief, preparedness and economic development.
In its role organizing crisis response mapping, HOT acts as a bridge between the OpenStreetMap community and traditional humanitarian responders like MSF, the Red Cross, UNOCHA as well as local groups and governments.
To further the mission of OpenStreetMap, HOT sponsors and coordinates the development and hosting of several open source software tools specifically for the OpenStreetMap community.
They also fund field training and data collection for existing and new OpenStreetMap groups, produce learning and training materials for people doing OpenStreetMap mapping and train skilled mapping coordinators to organize volunteer mappers' efforts in emergency response to crises and disasters.
HOT sponsored teams work in countries around the world helping collect geographic data and training and learning from local communities to map information in OpenStreetMap that is important to them. Their goal is to help build self sustaining local groups of motivated and skilled mappers.
They are dedicated to applying the principles of open source software and open data sharing towards humanitarian response and economic development and inclusiveness in all of their endeavors.