OpenDroneMap HIF Project – Global

OpenDrone Map is supported by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. The Humanitarian Innovation Fund supports organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance.

OpenDroneMap aims to allow organisations with humanitarian purposes to process UAV imagery and push those results to other platforms and crowdsourcing projects.

It gives first responders and aid organisations the possibilities to:

  • Rapidly assess disaster damage to building infrastructure;
  • Rapidly asses powerlines and other electricity infrastructure;
  • Identify usable roads and transportation infrastructure;
  • Identify useful areas for humanitarian organisations to set up a base camp;
  • Organise road clearance activities;
  • Estimate population displacement;
  • Identify temporary shelters and locations to set up new shelters;
  • Survey the impact of the disaster on agriculture and farmland;
  • Execute Search and Rescue actvities after (natural) disasters.

Effective disaster preparedness, monitoring, relief coordination, as well as damage assessments are predicated on reliable, up-to-date geographic information that marries well with on-the-ground knowledge. The imagery available from the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is of high quality, has a high level of spatial detail and offers flexibility in requisition.

The detailed, cloudfree view that UAVs provide has great potential for field tactics (e.g. determining the best possible route for a convoy), and is useful for the allocation of resources for relief coordination (e.g. damage assessment and determining which areas are affected most).

Additionally, processed UAV imagery can be transformed into unique additional products—three dimensional (3D) point clouds, digital surface models, and digital elevation models, which are required for natural disaster preparedness planning and societal and infrastructure vulnerability assessments.

The outcomes we seek with OpenDroneMap are faster and more informed decisions for humanitarian relief efforts. We expect that better, more detailed, more relevant, and more flexible mapping efforts as provided by UAVs will aid by making those faster and better informed decisions.

OpenDroneMap will serve as a platform to produce software and required documentation capable of end-to-end UAV imagery processing (from data to map) suitable for use by humanitarian organisations during disaster planning and relief efforts.

By shortening and simplifying UAV imagery delivery and analysis, OpenDroneMap will support the scalability of crisis mapping and will have the capacity to augment preparedness projects, such as MissingMaps, with high resolution imagery.

This project is made possible with the support of the Humanitairan Innovation Fund and is executed in collaboration with Cleveland Metroparks, the University of Wollongong, and Vela Aerial.

More on OpenDroneMap.