Making maps for good!

MissingMaps Mapathon is a way to volunteer your time and learn new skills, while contributing information in a collaborative workshop environment to OpenStreetMap for the benefit of aid agencies around the world.

MissingMaps is run by a group of charitable organisations including Medecins Sans Frontieres the American and British Red Cross and the Humanitarian OSM team. They help organise Mapathons around the world to map areas which are prone to disease, war or other crisis. We volunteer regularly and were contributing to mapping Haiti during the disaster in 2016.

We hosted a MissingMaps Mapathon at the UK Mapping Festival this year to highlight the impact of crowd-sourced mapping to a wider audience across cartographic disciplines. Missing Maps is also a great way to introduce new people to the area of geography. It provides an insight into how to use GIS to create the basics: a point, a polyline and a polygon, while making valuable contributions to OpenStreetMap. The task that we gave ourselves was to Fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with Maps working with Janet and the team at the Tanzania Development Trust, which is part of the SDGs.

m00499_Blog_Missing_Maps_Mapping_Festival_2018; Fighting Female Genital Mutilation; FGM; with Maps; task; #MissingMaps; #TanzaniaFGM; #TanzaniaDevelopmentTrust; #UKMF2018; UK Mapping Festival 2018; Refreshments sponsored by @clearmappingco

OpenStreetMap is the alternative to Googlemaps. OpenStreetMap is a map of the world, created by people like you and free to use under an open licence. Contributions are welcomed in up-dating the world map and making it more relevant to your location. Keeping any map updated is a constant headache, but a world map in such intricate and local detail remains a challenge for even large institutions.

By digitising satellite imagery, we can create a new map of the world, for the benefit of everyone. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. By hosting mapathons, we use human capital to generate better maps for those in need. With 15 people in the same room at the same time, we can complete one of the challenges and support the work of humanitarian agencies around the world. This means that in some deprived areas around the world, this is the only detailed and freely available map of the country. Every mapathon challenge is further checked on the ground by volunteers to ensure the information is correct and labelled. This turns buildings in places of worship or community centres and roads into named streets which is incredibly useful in locating the best place to have maximum impact with humanitarian aid.

– Better maps have 3000+ girls find safehouses to avoid being cut

– Coincided with a death rate fall of 75%

– 600 mappers have been trained in Tanzania with 40% being female

We really admire the work that these organisations do and we want to support them in their work by mapping places in need.

Are you looking for a team-building or corporate social responsibility (CSR) workshop with a difference? We are always looking for new venues to host our monthly MissingMaps sessions. We undertake all the planning, promotion and make it as hassle-free as possible.

Keep an eye on our website to find out the next MissingMaps mapathon dates and times or sign-up to our e-newsletter here.

Call us to discuss MissingMap workshops on 01326 337072 or email us at