Helping Uganda’s communities to identify and reducing real disaster risks in resource-poor Central/East Africa through open and collaborative data collection

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Project in a glimpse


Significantly increased coverage and accuracy of OSM data in target areas in Kampala
Developed technical capacity of Government of Uganda staff and community member in using open mapping tools
Demonstrated use of innovative imaging technologies for supporting community mapping activities
Showcasing the mapping and analytical power of the data collected

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Leveraging the OpenStreetMap open data platform, to improve related information, and to quicken decision making through access to baseline community-witnessed data.

Helping Uganda's communities to identify and reducing real disaster risks in resource-poor Central/East Africa through open and collaborative data collection.

The World Bank is supporting the Government of Uganda to increase resilience against droughts and food insecurity through a Disaster Risk Financing (DRF) program. One goal of this program is to improve access to baseline data and risk related information to quicken the decision making process.

Through OpenDRI projects, open and collaborative data collection is a core part of this approach, heavily leveraging the OpenStreetMap (OSM) open data platform.

In this framework, the Uganda Open Mapping Program is aiming at developing technical capacity at local and national level in the open mapping domain, working on a pilot area in Kampala to test and fine-tune the operational workflows.

The three pillars of the program are:

Under the supervision of the World Bank, a team of local companies (MapUganda and GeoGecko) and international entities (HOT and ITHACA) are working to ensure that the planned activities are successfully carried out and the expected outcomes are met.

Local and national stakeholders (UBOS, KCCA, OPM) are involved since the beginning of the project to provide requirements in terms of features and attributes to be mapped and support the identification of the most suitable target area in Kampala.


  • Geo Gecko is a Ugandan company that extracts decision-making information from this to provide geo-intelligence in various sectors including, agriculture, urban planning, economics and finance.
  • The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. It applies the principles of open source and open data sharing to humanitarian response and economic development.
  • ITHACA is a non profit association and a center of applied research devoted to support humanitarian activities in response to natural disasters by means of remote sensing techniques.
  • MapUganda is a registered NGO working out of Kampala, accross Uganda, and promotes community mapping, generates map awareness, actively pledges open data sets and builds a network of enthusiastic mappers in Uganda.

Local Stakeholders

Capacity Development

Two 2-days training workshops tailored to the specific needs of Government Agencies in terms of OSM, mapping workflows, data collection mobile apps and data models have been successfully held in Kampala, specifically:

  • Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), 29-30 January 2018
  • Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), 19-20 March 2018

Capacity development targeting UBOS needs, including on-site training, advice and support, was carried out in February and March 2018


One of the main goal of the program is to enable the collection and updating - through field and remote mapping - of reference cartographic data as well as disaster risk management information over key priority areas defined of by the Government of Uganda. It has been established to target the Ggaba parish as priority area to be mapped.

UAV Imagery

The use of innovative technology such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and street-level photo mapping has been introduced to local government staff and community members during the two workshops held in Kampala at UBOS and KCCA. This cutting edge technology enables high resolution imagery to be acquired and exploited for detailed OSM mapping. Preparatory actions for UAV surveys, including requesting relevant authorisation and flight planning, are ongoing.

From UAV to OAM

Once the UAV surveys will be completed, the acquired imagery will be processed with the goal to generate geometrically corrected and mosaicked high resolution orthoimagery (pixel size ~ 5 cm). The UAV orthoimagery will be uploaded and shared in OpenAerialMap (OAM) to make it freely and openly accessible and to enable detailed mapping/updating in OSM.

Expected Outcomes

  • One of the main goal is to significantly increase the coverage and the level of detail of reference cartographic data in a target area in Kampala, enabling national and local authorities (e.g. UBOS and KCCA) as well as other institutions/companies to exploit such data for their mandate and for facilitating their daily tasks, e.g.:
    • addressing risk management related tasks;
    • keeping updated health and education facility inventories;
    • supporting the census data collection and management;
    • showcasing the mapping and analytical power of the data collected.
  • This specific outcome can be monitored and measured through the "Mapping status" section.
  • Developed technical capacity of Government of Uganda staff and community members in using open mapping tools, with a main focus on importing/conflating existing data (e.g. enumeration areas) and integrating these tools in operational workflows.
  • Piloting the operational exploitation of UAV technologies to acquire high resolution imagery, leveraging on existing tool for a proper data sharing (e.g. OpenAerialMap). Link to the acquired imagery will be made available here as soon as the UAV flights have been carried out and the data processing is completed.
  • Showcasing the mapping and analytical power of the data collected, e.g. producing tailored maps and integrating existing datasets to be distributed among relevant stakeholders.

Mapping status

Interactive maps to illustrate the overall mapped area, with statistics of mapping activity (e.g. km of mapped roads, number of buildings, etc).