Project Reports

Project Report

Community Mapping for Exposure in Indonesia : Project Report

Over the past year the Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the Australia-Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction(AIFDR), the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team(HOT), and AusAID funded Australian Community Development and Civil Society Strengthening Scheme Phase II (ACCESS) embarked on a community mapping project pilot.

The broad question to be answered by the pilot was “can OpenStreetMap be used to map exposure in Indonesia?” Exposure is an important component in impact models. Hazard is the other component and is the actual event that happens such as a tsunami or earthquake. By using the two together in a model it can estimate how many people, buildings or other important infrastructure could be affected. This pilot was the first attempt to use OpenStreetMap to collect data of this kind and then feed it into scientific models to determine what would happen if a disaster happened in a specific location.

You can download the full report by clicking on the cover below.

Asking OSM Data Quality

Spatial data on related environment built and vital infrastructure played an important role to strengthen disaster mitigation and response. Unfortunately the availability of detailed spatial data on an operational scale e.g. scale 1: 10,000 1: 5,000 often cannot be met. Official data produced by the government and the data from civil organization are often incomplete or inaccessible. This is where participatory map collected by the community and activist can be used for disaster mitigation and response.

One of participatory mapping initiative widely known and used is OpenStreetMap (OSM). OSM fully depends on contributions from community in data collection. A contributor can draw road, building, environment and features in his surrounding or elsewhere. Next, a contributor  upload the data with the information into the OSM . By using the internet  other users can download data that has been uploaded to the internet.

When the official data is unavailable, OSM can become an important alternative. However, the quality of data available from OSM are  common issues, questionable by a prospective users. Whether data about roads and buildings collected have accurate position? Whether the description provided on the uploaded features is exactly according to conditions in the field? For other users, the question is whether a building drawn according to the condition the field? Whether roads which show up on the wiki OSM is complete? Questions about data quality such as this are very common and often make government agencies and community groups reluctant to the use of the data.

To respond to these issues, research on quality of collected OSM data in Indonesia was done in early 2011 to 2012. OSM data in the city of Padang, Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Dompu used as samples of research. The applied method is utilizing large scale maps produced by Government as a reference to measure how low or high the quality of OSM data being collected. In addition, the measurement of samples with mobile GPS carried out to collect comparison data for the statistics test. Additionally attributes of data already collected also evaluated.

The result concluded that the quality of geometrical position and form from collected OSM data are quite good. Here is the full report of the OSM Indonesia quality research conducted by teams from the Geodetical Faculty of engineering Gadjah Mada University with support from HOT (Humaritarian Openstreet Team) and AIFDR (the Australian Indonesia Facility for Disaster Reduction)

Click the image below to download the full report

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  1. I’ve experienced two cases of OpenStreetMap frattrusion. In the first case, a bulk upload of out of date TIGER data erased a new extension of a road less than a mile from my house I had added. I added the road again and it’s stuck. In the second case, after spending several days working to fix the banks of the primary river that runs through my county to comply with the editing conventions outlined in the OSM wiki, another user from outside the country decided to go through much of my work and correct it in a way that doesn’t appear to me to comply with the standards specified in the wiki. I’m debating whether to go back and make changes, but given the amount of work I originally put into the edits, I may just let the changes go. Both instances were frustrating to me, but I also understand that different users will have different interpretations and that this is one of the drawbacks to crowdsourced data. In the case of the river, I was the first person to alter what had been imported from the NHD. Perhaps users should be encouraged to pay more attention to edit histories and contact the last user to edit an area when it is felt that corrections need to be made. I still believe the positives of crowdsourcing far outweigh the negatives and am still very enthusiastic about OSM. It’s clearly much more worthy of my time and efforts than Google Maps. It’s good to keep issues like these in the back of our minds as we contribute to crowdsourced projects though.

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