#1672 - Missing Maps: IDPs, Damascus suburbs, Syria (Maarba) (Archived)

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This project was archived.

This project is more suitable for experienced mappers as the area has a very high building density

  • Author: Missing Maps
  • Requesting Organization: HOT
  • Priority: Medium

Since 2011, the Syrian crisis has caused a massive displacement of the population. The UN estimates over half of the population is desperately seeking refuge; many have escaped to neighbouring countries, but many more remain as internally displaced persons (IDP) in Syria. Humanitarian aid organisations need base maps to understand the geography in which they operate and better assess the emergency needs of the people. The areas of Al Tal, Qudsiya, and East Ghouta reportedly host an important number of IDPs at risk of suffering from inhumane conditions. The purpose of mapping these areas is to provide humanitarian organisations with material they can use for operations and operational research.

The Missing Maps project aims to map the most vulnerable places in the world (affected by humanitarian crises: disease epidemics, conflict, natural disasters, poverty, environmental crises). Building on HOT's disaster preparedness projects, the Missing Maps tasks facilitate pre-emptive mapping of priority countries to better facilitate disaster response, medical activities and resource allocation when crises occur.

A view towards Sheikh Muhyi-d-Din and Qasioun, Damascus view of dense buildings of Damascus. Photo by Abanima CC BY-SA 3.0

Created by bgirardot - Updated - Priority: low


Entities to Map
buildings and roads
Changeset Comment
#hotosm-project-1672 Maarba, #Syria #MissingMaps Mapping #buildings and #localroads
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

  • Use Bing imagery for this project. Mapbox imagery is also a big help in the most dense areas, but align it to Bing and use Bing as the reference for mapping.
  • Please remember, you are mapping the footprint of the building, so please try and align the building shape with the base of the building and not the top.
  • Correct building mapping example: Buildings mapped at the base Vs buildings mapped at the top
  • A short video detailing how to map this specific project: Mapping Tall Buildings in Syria
  • The city center is the most difficult mapping, if you would like easier mapping, select a task square outside of the direct center of the city.

Roads and Paths

  • Digitise the roads as lines (make sure they join correctly to neighboring roads)
  • Always connect roads to other roads where they meet and never end roads on Residential or other area polygon edges.

You will most often use the following road classifications for this project:

  • JOSM: highway=residential
  • iD: road=residential


  • Buildings are generally multi-storey and should be tagged as building/building in iD and building=yes in JOSM.
  • Please remember, you are mapping the footprint of the building, so please try and align the building shape with the base of the building and not the top.

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