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Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) To Hold Inaugural Summit in Washington, D.C.

First-time meeting to bring together HOT volunteer mappers, educators, community builders, humanitarians, geographers and programmers from around the world

WASHINGTON, D.C.–April 8, 2015--The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), a worldwide volunteer organization that creates free maps for disaster response, will hold its inaugural HOT Summit April 30 to May 2 in Washington, D.C.

HOT volunteers work to create and distribute geographic data that can save the lives and improve the welfare of people living in vulnerable and disaster-prone areas. 

Participants in the summit include The American Red Cross, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Peace Corps and MapGive, a project of the U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU).

Volunteer mappers, educators, community builders, humanitarians, geographers and programmers from around the world will come together at the summit to learn, discuss and share ideas about the humanitarian and economic-development uses of OpenStreetMap and other open-source knowledge and technology. HOT is a strong supporter of OpenStreetMap, whose technology is the foundation for its mapping.

The summit will take place at the American Red Cross National Headquarters at 430 17th Street, Washington, D.C., a national historical landmark. The second and third days will be held at the American Red Cross D.C. Chapter House, 2025 E Street NW.

"Our first summit sets a high bar," says Blake Girardot, one of the Summit organizers. "We have speakers from some of the most important humanitarian organizations worldwide: The American Red Cross, the GFDRR, Peace Corps and the  MapGive Project. This summit should make an important contribution to humanitarian efforts worldwide.”

Tracks at the summit will focus on geospatial technology and development, HOT partnerships and governance, education, and building capacity and community. 

Sessions will be a mix of workshops, presentations, lightning talks and roundtable discussions, with space and time for meeting HOT community members, software development and mapping collaboration.

In addition to the American Red Cross, organizations involved in the summit include Mapbox Inc., a provider of mapping software for business, Development Seed, a provider of data-visualization and mapping tools for international development, and SpatialDev, a firm that develops spatial software.

For more information about the event, including registration, accommodations in Washington and additions to the program, please visit the HOT Summit web site at

About the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).

HOT ( is a member of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community, an international volunteer project creating a free open-source map of the world. HOT provides maps to emergency workers, especially in places where map data is scarce, out-of-date or rapidly changing. HOT is able to mobilize thousands of OpenStreetMap volunteers to focus their efforts on places of the world suffering from natural and man-
made crises. OSM technologies enable volunteers to draw roads, pinpoint communities and mark important facilities from their computers anywhere in the world.

Beside OpenStreetMap’s portfolio of technologies, HOT has created its own mapping systems to focus on crisis areas in response to requests from emergency responders. 

Within hours HOT can direct its volunteers to create specific types of maps for the precise locations where they are needed. 

In addition to providing remote mapping for emergencies, HOT also travels to communities around the world to teach local people how to map their own communities, for economic development and disaster preparedness.

About OpenStreetMap (OSM)

OpenStreetMap is a project to create a free and open map of the entire world, built entirely by volunteers surveying with GPS, digitizing aerial imagery, and collecting existing public sources of geographic data. The information in OpenStreetMap can fill in 
the gaps in map data to assist in responses to disasters and crises.

OSM believes that free open-source geodata can help save and improve lives in times of political crisis and natural disaster. Through OSM’s network of contributors around the world OSM aims to make that critical map data available to all.


Blake Girardot


Copyright © 2015 Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, All rights reserved.

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