#1018 - Nepal Earthquake, 2015, detailed mapping 2nd pass (Archived)

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This project was archived.

  • Author: HOT & Kathmandu Living Labs Volunteers
  • Requesting organization: Nepal government and International Response community
  • Priority: Urgent
  • Imagery: Bing and MapBox

The international community is responding rapidly. The international charter has activated. We are also coordinating with Nepal government, international organizations and the DHnetwork.

Sunday April 26. More than 2,000 deaths are reported. We have just finished the first pass of mapping for road network. For this task we will map details such as buildings, settlements, waterways. etc.


Welcome and we appreciate your contribution! If you have not mapped before, please TAKE THE TIME to follow tutorials from the mapgive and learnosm sites before you join in with the current tasks. Eg you will learn how to SQUARE THE RECTANGULAR BUILDINGS.

Created by maning - Updated - Priority: low


Entities to Map
roads, buildings, settlements, waterways
Changeset Comment
When saving your work, please leave the default comment but add what you actually mapped, for example "added buildings and a residential road".

Watch a short demo video featuring this task

Imagery NOTE: Use BING or Mapbox imagery.

For squares not yet completed, If Bing Imagery is missing, verify with MapBox.

If no Imagery, Add a comment NO IMAGERY and indicate the task as Completed.

Comment  source=Bing Imagery
If any problem with Bing Imagery, verify if MapBox covers the area. Then, source=MapBox

This is imagery from before the earthquake. Note that you may see some new data on IDP camps or other other post-disaster observations as part of some other different analysis which is happening in parallel. Please don't delete this kind of information just because you can't see anything in this imagery.


Roads/Highways - Trace all roads. Often in the mountains, only paths exist. Trace these paths and assure to connect them to the road network.

Do not trace all the paths in the fields or small paths of a few hundred meters that do not connect to road networks. This make more difficult to read the map and identify the important paths.

From Nepal roads page on the wiki

  • highway=primary Road corridors that carries a huge volume of traffic between arterial roads and has a high density of public transport services. These roads often connect two relatively distant localities in urban areas.
  • highway=secondary Collector roads that carry lower volume of traffic and has either no public transport service or a lower density of public transport service. These roads often connect two neighboring/nearby localities in urban areas.
  • highway=road Roads traced from satellite imagery for which a classification has not been determined yet. This is a temporary tag indicating further ground survey work is required.
  • highway=residential General residential roads in a planned locality. Wide enough to carry slow moving residential traffic.
  • highway=service Generally for access to (or inside) a building, industrial estate, universities, parks, etc.
  • highway=pedestrian Roads that are almost exclusively used by pedestrians and are out of bounds of motor vehicles in normal conditions, such as plazas and squares.
  • highway=track Unpaved motorable tracks

Also, look out for pedestrian suspension bridges. They are common and can look like this. Tag as: bridge=suspension / highway=footway / layer=1

Buildings - Trace ALL individual buildings and tag it as building=yes. Please SQUARE THE RECTANGULAR BUILDINGS. with iD, you just need to click on the building once drawn and then a few icons show up as extra tools, and there is a square icon to square buildings. you can also type 'S' as a shortcut. Same thing for round buildings: there is an icon and the shortcut is 'O, to get perfect circles. For clusters of building, DO NOT enclose the whole area as one building. It is important to trace individual structures for future damage analysis.

Residential/Settlement areas - For areas with a lot of individual buildings, enclose the area with a polygon - tag landuse=residential to indicate settlements. This is important for getting an overview of the concentration of population/affected communities. Buildings should be traced first before tracing the residential/settlement areas.

Waterways - Trace rivers and streams as lines, use the tag waterway=river or stream.


Minimum data needed to validate/invalidate a tile/task are the following:

  • roads - validate if the major highways (primary, tertiary) connect to the residential areas. Some settlements maybe isolated and the road leading to them may not be visible in the imagery. If this is the case, no need to invalidate the task/tile.
  • residential/settlement areas - validate if all settlements (a cluster of 20 or so houses) are enclosed with landuse=residential polygon/enclosed way.
  • major waterways - validate if major waterways (waterway=river) was traced as a way/line. No need to trace large rivers as polygons/closed way (waterway=riverbank), irrigation ditch/canals, or storm drains.

For more information about validating, check this tutorial.

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