Skip to content

UNC Humanitarian Mapathon

Photo of
Hosted By
Mike T. and Jessica S.


The University of Northern Colorado's Geography and GIS department will be hosting an OpenStreetMap Humanitarian Mapathon at Weldwerks Brewery in Greeley.

Using satellite imagery we will be mapping the area around Montego Bay Jamaica. The data we create will be used by the Red Cross in their efforts to assist local residents and authorities to be prepared for natural disasters. After the mapping from satellite imagery is complete, a Red Cross team will travel to Montego Bay to train local staff and volunteers how to capture more detailed geospatial data using the OpenStreetMap platform. The final data will assist with program operations and decision making.

FREE PIZZA will be provided. If you are planning on attending, please RSVP so we can get a count for ordering.

This event is open to the public and no experience is necessary. The process is simple, and experienced people will be on hand to get participants started and to answer questions. You do need to bring a laptop computer. An external mouse is highly recommended as well.

Over 50 people participated in the last UNC hosted mapathon. Let's make this event even bigger!

Weldworks is a great venue with free parking on site.


Q: What software/platform will we be using?

A: You can make edits using any OpenStreetMap editor. We will provide instructions for the iD Editor (, and there will probably be several mappers in attendance who will be using the the more advanced JOSM Editor (

Q: What should I do to prepare?

A: No preparation is necessary, however, if you don't have an OpenStreetMap account you can create one ahead of time here ( Learning resources are available at ( and MapGive ( . However, none of this is required ahead of time.

Q: Do I have to bring anything?

A: Please bring a laptop computer. An external mouse is highly recommended.

Q: What can I expect?

A: A "quick start" guide will be provided as well, and experienced folks will be on hand to answer questions. Then it is just folks sitting around mapping from imagery and socializing. Some of that socializing will probably be about the mapping ("how do I...?" or "how would you map this?"), but most will probably not be. I will tabulate the results after and send out to the participants.

Q: Does participation in a humanitarian mapathon count toward my GISP?

A: I corresponded with the GISCI and they indicated it does. I don't have other details as to what category it may be listed under. Be sure I have your contact info and make me aware that you need documentation for the GISP.

Q: I am with the media and would like to do a story on this event, do you have more information?

A: We are working on a press release, in the meantime, you can contact the organizers through this forum.

Q: I can't make it exactly at 5:00 pm, can I come late?

A: Absolutely! Arrive at any time and leave at any time. These are very laid back informal events.

Q: I am a long ways from Greeley (or otherwise cannot attend in person), can I participate remotely?

A: Yes, it won't be nearly as much fun as hanging out in person with 50+ other map geeks, but you can participate remotely. The "Quick Start Guide" is here:

508 8th avenue · Greeley, CO