Community Mapping for Exposure in Indonesia

Interaction type

Government → Public  → Government

Trigger Event


A priori Disaster Response.


Community Mapping for exposure in Indonesia


Indonesian Disaster Management Agency (BNBP), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), Civil Society Strengthening Scheme (ACCESS), the crowd meaning students and local people, the Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

Data sets in use

Satellite Imagery, GPS tracks and attribute data.


Collecting spatial and attribute data and tracing in OSM platform.


Thematic maps providing damages in case of various physical disasters


Reduction of vulnerability to natural disasters.

Side Effects

Deemed as a successful example of disaster relief preparedness that could find mimics in other developing countries

Contact person


Figure: [Source:]

The Indonesian mapping project began in early 2011 and is still active. The community mapping of exposure is an important component in impact models and risk assessment. The project’s goal was to use OpenStreetMap to collect previously unavailable data, including structural data, for both urban and rural buildings and use the data in appropriate models to estimate the damages in case of a disaster. The combination of these two components and the use of realistic data led to the development of InaSAFE, an open source risk modeling software that can be used for disaster planning, preparedness, and response and for government contingency planning. The main actors in the pilot project were the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency (BNBP), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, the Civil Society Strengthening Scheme (ACCESS), the World Bank, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and the crowd—meaning students and local people.

During the first phase of the pilot, workshops were held to train participants and to educate them on building construction and data collection. Mapping was done by editing paper maps using satellite imagery (where available) and GPS tracks. Data were edited using JOSM and Potlach2-web editor; for utilizing data, the Quantum GIS was adopted. Urban areas, including Padung, Jakarta, Surabya, Yogjakarta, and Bandung—were mapped by students who took part in a mapping competition. Rural areas were mapped with ACCESS contributors and local people. During this phase, 163,912 buildings were mapped, including 29,230 urban buildings. During the second phase, from July 2012 to March 2013, exposure information was gathered.

The project has been successful from a human, technical, and financial point of view. It has enabled local government to use spatial data to visualize where people are most in danger (Chapman, Wibowo, and Nurwadjedil, 2013). The community mapping component had clear leadership, specific guidelines in data manipulation, and great coordination of the different contributors. The crowd was motivated to participate (by a wish to aid in disaster protection, a desire to win the mapping competition, or other reasons), and was supervised during the various stages of the process, and the process of data collection and manipulation was well defined. Technical support was provided throughout by HOT and OSM, assisted by open source software such as the QGIS. A factor contributing to the project’s success was the evaluation of the data by academics and project leaders.

 Some limitations of the project involve the quality of the results, which while acceptable overall and in some cases very good, was in some cases very bad (OpenStreetMap, 2012). There appeared to be many empty or wrong records concerning building structure of buildings. Some minor deficiencies also noted during the implementation, such as the use of time-consuming technical methods (e.g., use of Excel spreadsheet in data collection or manual methods of data manipulation).

Overall, the project can be used as a template for similar endeavors worldwide and as a model for  coordinating and structuring a crowdsourcing project. It is also a representative example of prevention and a priori protection of developing countries towards to natural disasters. The project succeeded because it was supported by the local government with money and time depth; and because it was well designed and defined in terms of technical structure and human resources. The workshops enabled citizens to understand the necessity of the project and its technical requirements. Incentives were also offered to encourage volunteers to remain involved and not abandon the effort prematurely. The methodology of the project was adapted to the nature of the mapping area (rural or urban).

The Indonesian experience suggests several important lessons:

  • An ex post response can be focused on appropriate models and parameters and can calculate the damages in case of a physical disaster by using crowdsourced spatial data sets.

  • Successful interaction between the VGI community and Indonesian government officials, who evaluated the data used for scenario building as reliable—led to the project’s being continued and expanded past the initial phase.

  • Risk managers and the local community can combine local wisdom with scientific knowledge to produce realistic scenarios for numerous different physical disasters that may occur at the area of interest.

  • The success of the project was due in part to the coordination of volunteers and full use of human resources and technical innovations.

  • The mixed quality of the attribute data is an issue of concern.



Chapman, kate.chapman[at], 2013. Indonesia Info. [email] Message to S. Basiouka ([at] Sent Thursday 5 December 2013: 10:17.

Chapman, K., Wibowo, A., Nurwadjedi, 2013. Filling the Data Gap with Participatory Mapping for Effective Disaster Preparedness. [online] Available at: [] [Accessed 10 December 2013]

GFDRR, 2013. Preparing Communities  through Understanding Risk [online] Available at: [ through_Understanding_Risk_0.pdf] [Accessed 10 December 2013]

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, 2013. Indonesia. [online] Available at: [] [Accessed 15 December 2013]

OpenStreetMap, 2013. WikiProject Indonesia.
[online] Available at: [] [Accessed 16 December 2013]

OpenStreetMap Indonesia, 2012. Community Mapping for Exposure in Indonesia. Project Report [online] Available at: [ for_Exposure_in_Indonesia_EN.pdf] [Accessed 7 December 2013]

OpenStreetMap Indonesia, 2012. Evaluation of OpenStreetMap Data in Indonesia. Final Report [online] Available at: [] [Accessed 10 December 2013]

OpenStreetMap Indonesia, 2014. Home [online] Available at: [] [Accessed 4 January, 2014].


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