About Open Mapping

Open Mapping, or crowdsourced mapping, is when volunteers work together to create a free map of the world. These maps help play a critical role in humanitarian and development missions. Learn about all the components of MapGive.


OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a United Kingdom-based non-profit project that is building a free digital map of the world. Online volunteers, or remote mappers, contribute data that creates an accurate, detailed and up-to-date map. There are many free maps on the Internet, but the underlying data in many other maps is not available for the public to use due to legal and technical restrictions. OpenStreetMap opens up the map and the data to the public and makes it free to modify and use under an open license (Open Data Commons Open Database License 1.0).

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) coordinates the creation, production and distribution of free mapping resources to support humanitarian relief efforts in many places around the world through OpenStreetMap. HOT efforts made a significant impact supporting earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010. Launched in January 2009 and incorporated in August 2010 as a U.S. based 501c(3) non-profit organization, its mission is to apply the principles of open source and open data sharing towards humanitarian response and economic development.

Imagery to the Crowd

Imagery to the Crowd (IttC) is part of the State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU). The HIU provides information to decision-makers and partners in preparation for and response to humanitarian emergencies worldwide, promotes innovative technologies and best practices for humanitarian information management. IttC publishes high-resolution commercial satellite imagery purchased by the United States Government, in a format that volunteers easily map into OpenStreetMap. IttC addresses significant data gaps for humanitarian and development needs.