#1658 - Fiji - Cyclone Winston - Vanua Levu 13 - Natewa Bay (Archived)

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This project was archived.

Winston made landfall at 06:30 UTC (18:30 local time) February 20th; on the north of Viti Levu, the main island in the archipelago. From there it moved west, and the large storm narrowly avoided the capital city of Suva.

The storm has reportedly destroyed entire villages and many homes were damaged or destroyed. Thousands of people are currently in hundreds of evacuation centres until they can return to their homes, if possible.

Winston also damaged power lines, leaving 80% of the population without power and impacting communications across the more than 300 islands in the archipelago. This limited or lack of communication is making it difficult to assess the full scale of the damage in the more remote islands. It is believed that some of the islands may have suffered far more damage than the main island. There are reports that Koro Island, one of the larger islands, may have suffered "catastrophic" damage.

Repair and recovery efforts began on 22 February, and rescue workers priorities are restoring communications and provided clean food and water to the many affected by the cyclone.

Created by russdeffner - Updated - Priority: low


Entities to Map
buildings mainly, roads if needed
Changeset Comment
#hotosm-project-1658 #cyclone_winston Vanua Levu Island buildings and roads mapping;
When saving your work, please leave the default comment but add what you actually mapped, for example "added buildings and a residential road".

Project Specific Mapping Notes

  • You will need to use Bing and Mapbox imagery (In iD editor -> Background Settings (on right, icon looks like 3 stacked sheets) -> Select Mapbox). Imagery availability across the North Islands goes back and forth between Bing and Mapbox for quality/cloud-cover, check both.
  • Align Mapbox imagery to objects already mapped with Bing (iD -> Background Settings (on right, icon looks like 3 stacked sheets) -> Fix alignment -> use arrows)
  • For mapping on the island of Vanua Levu, many of these towns have been mapped previously to varying degree, please mark the tile complete if it appears all buildings and roads are mapped sufficiently.
  • You are welcome to map other features like waterways and landuse; however, notice it is not being requested in this project and other mappers may not continue that river you start, etc. You may want to come back after the project is complete to map those features.


  • For OSM we are looking for building 'footprints', which from imagery we can often only estimate from 'roof-print'. Please try to accurately outline all the buildings you can find; but you don't need to trace 'every corner of the roof'. The outline should be for the full size of the building even if it is partly covered by trees in the imagery.
  • Many buildings are very close, but do not actually touch each other, try to map them close to each other without letting them connect or share nodes with each other, roads or residential area outlines. Zooming in very close to map helps with this!
  • In the iD web editor, the first time you map a building you will use the "Building" category and then at the bottom of the list select "Building" again, this is the most generic building tag we can use as we almost never can tell the more specific use of any building from imagery alone.
  • After drawing the outline, use the 's' key in the web editor to "square" the corners. In iD you have to select the building again after tagging it a building.

Roads and Paths

  • Please map roads and major paths as completely as possible by connecting them to the main road networks where ever possible.
  • Very short segments that do not connect to anything should not be mapped.
  • Short segments of a road or path that you cannot see through the trees but seem very likely to exist should be mapped to keep the road complete
  • Try and map a little beyond your task square so the person who maps the task square next to yours can easily connect them.
  • Always connect roads to other roads where they meet and never end roads on area polygon edges (such as ending on the edge of a residential or other landuse polygon) or other non-road-network feature; such as a coastline or river.

You will most often use the following road classifications:

  • highway=unclassified - This is for roads that connect small villages and settlements or groups of buildings in rural areas along a significant distance (it does not mean 'unknown'; that is highway=road).
  • highway=residential - Use for roads that access several buildings (i.e. more than a few homes) along a shorter segment or confined to a smaller area than unclassified.
  • highway=service - This is for roads that lead to individual or very few buildings (i.e. driveways).
  • highway=track - This is for roads that a 4 wheel-drive/high-clearance vehicle or farm tractor could travel on and only lead to farm fields or forests. They do not connect settlements.
  • highway=path - This is for small paths that a 4 wheeled vehicle could not travel on and are usually used by people on foot or 2 wheeled vehicles. They may or may not connect settlements or lead to farm fields. Only map the major paths that connect to settlements or other roads.

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