Imagery to the Crowd…early results

We have been busy reviewing the results of the Camp Roberts / Relief 12-3 mapping experiment for the Horn of Africa. In this phase of the project, the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community was provided short-term access to high resolution commercial satellite imagery over two large collections of refugee camps in Ethiopia (Dollo Ado) and Kenya (Dadaab).  The goal was to map the roads and footpaths in 10 refugee camps, that contain a population over 600,000 people, in 48 hours. A more detailed numerical analysis of the data will follow, but from a qualitative perspective the results are amazing. Below are examples taken from one specific camp, the Bokolmanyo camp in Ethiopia, and links to each of the 10 camps mapped in the experiment.

Bokolmanyo before the mapping experiment

Bokolmanyo refugee camp in the OSM database on 20 May 2012

Bokolmanyo after the mapping experiment

Bokolmanyo refugee camp in the OSM database on 28 May 2012

The ‘Dollo Ado’ refugee camp in Ethiopia is actually composed of 5 individual camps. These camps literally did not exist in OSM before the experiment began. The latest population estimates for the camps report that in total there are 151,972 individuals / 36,721 households living in the Dollo Ado camps (from the UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa, and specifically the 22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report).

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Dollo Ado Refugee Camps

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Bokolmanyo: 4.549560, 41.539478
Melkadida: 4.522779, 41.720324
Kobe: 4.481878, 41.742554
Helawein: 4.368492, 41.861429
Buramino: 4.303960, 41.915073
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Bokolmanyo
Bokolmanyo - 39,196 individuals - 9,815 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report
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Melkadida
Melkadida - 40,621 individuals - 9,303 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report
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Kobe
Kobe - 26,695 individuals - 6,370 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report
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Helawein
Helawein - 26,463 individuals - 6,400 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report
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Buramino
Buramino - 18,997 individuals - 4,833 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
22 May 2012 Dollo Ado population statistical report

 

Similarly, the ‘Dadaab’ camp in Kenya is also composed 5 individual camps with a total of 465,334 individuals living there (UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report). These camps have been in operation longer than Dollo Ado, and contains 3 times more people. At the beginning of the experiment 3 of these camps had some map data in OSM, however the newer Ifo 2 and Kambioos camps were non-existent. All camps had significant improvements.

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Dadaab Refugee Camps

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Dagahaley: 0.193290, 40.286608
Ifo 2: 0.148573, 40.318623
Ifo: 0.119047, 40.315189
Hagadera: 0.009999, 40.370765
Kambioos: -0.043087, 40.370121
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Dagahaley
Dagahaley - 123,493 individuals - 36,041 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report
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Ifo 2
Ifo 2 - 73,019 individuals - 18,723 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report
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Ifo
Ifo - 117,146 individuals - 38,365 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report
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Hagadera
Hagadera - 138,269 individuals - 43,878 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report
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Kambioos
Kambioos - 13,407 individuals - 2,813 households
(OSM Tasking Server)
Sources:
UNHCR data portal for the Horn of Africa
UNHCR 20 May 2012 Dadaab population statistical report

 

These impressive results are due to the hard work of a wide range of people, and I would like to thank several of them: first is the OSM volunteers who donated their time and energy to mapping these camps – you literally helped put 600,000 people on the map; the HIU technology team who went above and beyond in getting the tech stack running; the State Department, Office of the Geographer (Lee Schwartz and Benson Wilder) – USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (Chad Blevins) – USG partners (Katie Baucom and Nat Woolpert) who were key to keeping the process moving; John Crowley for providing constant energy and opening the Camp Roberts venue as a place to work; Kate Chapman and Schuyler Earl from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team for advising on the process and making modifications to the tasking server to accommodate NextView; the UN’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) for its early help with image processing and serving.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning. I’ll be posting the results of the numerical analysis here, as well as details on the actual request workflow and technological implementation.