#2286 - Missing Maps: Mwezeni District, Zimbabwe (roads and settlements)

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  • Author: Missing Maps / CartONG
  • Requesting organization: MSF

This project supports Médecins Sans Frontières’ operation in Mwenzei, Zimbabwe. The MSF team and their cartographer in the field are using maps to plan their operations. MSF needs a map displaying medical outreach points, health facilities and other relevant information in order to distribute viral loads and tuberculosis medication within the district. The map will also be useful to plan the setting up of mobile clinics in areas that may need support.

MSF is already using field data collection tools and applications such as OSMAnd in the remote areas they’re travelling to. However, the road network for the district has hardly been mapped at all. It is therefore very difficult to determine routes, which results in delays when responding to emergency calls (the district is approximately 13000 km² big).

Having a complete map of the road network in the district will therefore not only facilitate the planning of MSF activities via custom maps, but also all the organizations working in the area. For instance MSF and Oxfam recently collaborated on a project to map various water & sanitation phenomena in order to prevent typhoid outbreaks.

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.

Explanation by Last Prosper Mufoya, GIS Officer for MSF in Mwezeni

Created by MarTintamarre - Updated - Priority: medium


Entities to Map
Road networks and settlements
Changeset Comment
#hotosm-project-2286, #MissingMaps, Mwezeni, #Zimbabwe Added #roads and #settlements using Bing
When saving your work, please leave the default comment but add what you actually mapped, for example "added buildings and a residential road".

This is the first stage of mapping and focuses on residential areas / settlements and highways / roads.

Please use Bing imagery. If there is cloud cover, try MapBox imagery (but it might be too poor quality to use).

Commonly used tags

Residential areas are composed of more than two houses and are tagged with landuse=residential. Click here for a guide on mapping residential areas in South Kivu, DRC, on a similar context.


  • highway=unclassified roads only if connecting small villages and hamlets

Smaller offshoot roads could be left off unless they link different areas of habitation. - highway=residential inside residential boundaries - highway=track only goes to farmland - highway=path, narrow footpaths, not even a 4x4 can get down this You shouldn't have to use higher levels highway=primary, highway=secondary or highway=tertiary unless for the main roads connecting towns.

Be careful not to map small dry streams as highways. You can typically differentiate them because streams follow meanders and are surrounded by greener plants.

See Highway Africa Tag page for advice on tagging roads.

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