University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




Digital Humanitarianism: Mitigating Crises with OpenStreetMap (30 hrs)

30 hours

Community partner: UWEC Geography & Anthropology
Supervisor: Ezra J. Zeitler
Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community need to be addressed.

Answer This project involves contributions to OpenStreetMap, a free and editable map of the world, that assist the needs of humanitarian organizations who directly involved with disaster response, environmental change, refugee response, public health, gender equity, sustainable development, water and sanitation, clean energy, transportation, and other efforts. Learn more at


What is the mission of the agency or organization?

Answer The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is an international organization dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open mapping. HOT members work together to provide map data which assists disaster management, reduces risks, and contributes to achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


What skills are required for this project? 

Answer Skills required for participation in this project include: basic computer skills, communication skills, and map and air photo interpretation skills (training is provided).


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?

Answer Student learning and service objectives include: improved understanding of the spatial dimensions of humanitarian crises incited by environmental change and/or human conflict, the role of humanitarian organizations in addressing these crises, and ways that geospatial technologies are used to plan for and mitigate them.


What are the availability requirements for the student?

Answer Students are expected to work independently but provide weekly status updates (supplemented with statistics provided by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMaps Team dashboard) and attend monthly Humanitarian OpenStreetMap “Mapathons” hosted by the Department of Geography & Anthropology.


Additional information (not required).

Answer Feel welcome to e-mail Ezra Zeitler ( with any questions.