HOT for Nepal

Earthquake epicentre and aftershock locations from USGS

The aftermath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal at 11.56 am on 25 April was chaotic. The quake struck at a depth of 9.3 miles, and combined with the tremors and aftershocks that followed has killed at least 5,000 people. That number is still growing.

In addition to donating to a relief effort, you can help Humanitarian Open Street Map Team (HOT) remap the area. MaptimeHQ turned on the batsignal two days ago, mobilizing all chapters to assist in #HOTforNepal effort. batsignal

MaptimeYVR therefore spent Tuesday evening searching and plotting map features, and learning from each other as we went along. Thanks to the brilliant presentation by Clifford Snow last time, the majority of our members were familiar with the OpenStreetMap process.

Mapping Nepal

It is a great cause to contribute to, with caution: incorrect identification can hurt more than it helps, like a lining a road where there is only a path and therefore difficult for cars to access. A good rule of thumb is to pick task appropriate for your skill level, and if you’re unsure of what you’re looking at, ask for help, or move on to the next task.

As Beth from HQ writes:

"If you can’t find something easy to do for the Nepal earthquake relief, find another easy task for another area that needs mapping!!

"Making this data takes time, and every little bit helps. Sometimes after the initial media surge following a disaster, people forget about it. But places like Haiti still need help years after their earthquake. The Red Cross often gets too much blood after a disaster, and then is left shorthanded when there is no longer media around an event. All that to say, any bit that you help, for any instance that needs it, is amazing!"

Again, thanks to the BC Libraries Cooperative for powering our meetups.

Maptime is for everyone regardless of background, technical skill. Maptime is for you! We welcome anyone wanting to share, learn, and teach anything related to cartography. Shoot us an email (, or give us a tweet, and we will get back to you!