Press releases

09.10.2017

MAPS.ME has released a special update of Puerto Rico maps for humanitarian agencies

This special MAPS.ME update contains over 1,000,000 new and corrected objects in Puerto Rico based on satellite data from before the hurricane, to be checked by humanitarian agencies.

All the objects were added by OSM volunteers on the request of the American Red Cross. MAPS.ME users can access them after updating the app. Volunteers added approximately 583,000 buildings, about 194,000 km of highways, and over 6,700 km of sidewalks and footpaths to the map of Puerto Rico. Prior to the update, the map showed only 4 km of railways; now, it has145 km. Also, over 3,000 km of rivers, creeks, and canals have been marked.

The new map will enable humanitarian agencies to assess the scale of damage by comparing the data with future satellite images, as well as to determine the areas that need the most assistance repairing infrastructure and helping the victims of the storm. At the next stage, volunteers will assimilate changes into the complete Puerto Rico map after a proper assessment of the harm done by the hurricane, thus creating in real time the most complete and up-to-date map of the islands available.

This new data simplifies navigation for humanitarian agencies and normal users and will help with hurricane recovery. MAPS.ME maps and navigation can be used offline. MAPS.ME also supports all map-editing functions in offline mode, sending edits to OSM upon connection to the Internet.

MAPS.ME is being used on the ground for offline navigation; the Red Cross, for example, has distributed it. The Red Cross uses mwm exports generated by export.hotosm.org, which allow it to see updated buildings and roads. The organization's employees still lack route information, however, as that feature has not yet been added to the OSM export tool. MAPS.ME is helpful in this regard.

“MAPS.ME is the world’s most popular mobile-map service. It is based on free OpenStreetMap data, updated monthly, and edited by dozens of thousands of volunteers. Being so popular gives us a certain social responsibility, because when natural disasters happen and mobile and web connections are unavailable, it is extremely important to coordinate on-the-ground activities properly — and for that, up-to-date maps are, of course, a must. We are glad that in this way, we can help volunteers from all over the world perform their humanitarian work more effectively. We express our deepest condolences to those who suffered from this terrible disaster,” says Eugene Lisovsky, CEO of MAPS.ME.

Update already available for Android.

You can help to improve map of Puerto Rico  - http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/3684