Speaker Bio & Abstract

Melanie Eckle Secretary of the Board
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap
Research Associate, Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology

BiographyMelanie is a Geography Master student and research assisstant at Heidelberg University who first joined the HOT community as OSM and HOT Mapper. She soon combined her passions, mapping, humanitarian aid and research, through her work with disastermappers heidelberg and in the disaster management department at HeiGIT (GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University). Being positioned at the intersection of research, application development, OSM interested data consumers and the HOT and OSM community, she is now supporting the HOT Board by building a bridge between researchers, developers, the data consumers and the HOT and OSM community- to address our questions and challenges within and with the community and to raise more awareness in the international world of academia and disaster management about the potentials of HOT and OSM. AbstractInnovation in computer science, remote sensing, geoinformation and location technology allow an increasing part of the public to become geodata producers and to address tasks that have previously been limited to experts. These developments open up new possibilities to empower citizens and to help them address potential challenges through open map data. Moreover, citizens can get engaged in disaster management, humanitarian practice and development projects as well as other activities to achieve the SDGs.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) facilitates open data and in particular OpenStreetMap (OSM) use to support these efforts. HOT coordinates a global mapping community and development of open source tools to support OSM data creation and access. These data and tools are put to use for mapping, monitoring and modelling SDG related features as well as indicators. Furthermore, HOT launched an annual Microgrant Program to enable related local community projects. The Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) is partnering with HOT and is a member of Missing Maps. In coordination with its partners, HeiGIT conducts research and develops tools, services and innovative processes for new analysis methods to support humanitarian efforts, to improve relevant data from multiple sources, and to help monitor and achieve the SDGs.