Greetings OSM Thailand,
Forgive the delayed introduction, with the many Cyclones we’ve had this year I have been wanting to make contact and with Cyclone Molave leaving the Philippines (where I’m currently based) and headed your way, now is as good a time as any.
I hear your community’s frustration with organized editing happening without the discussion, so first - it is my job at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) to make sure this communication happens in regards to disaster mapping. Hence why I’m contacting you now instead of after the fact once we have a request to map Thailand (which is actually acceptable in the organized editing guidelines, but we can do better then that).
So as my first interaction on your forum - is this the preferred way to converse if/when there is a disaster in Thailand that HOT is (preparing to respond/responding) to? It looked to be the more active place listed in the OSM Community index.
Second - don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there is a disaster that you need help with, an email to Activation.Requests@hotosm.org will kick-start the conversation.
And last, for those who do not know about HOT well, we organize a lot of the ‘humanitarian mapping’ that you see in and around OpenStreetMap. From remote mapping to get basemaps for response and aid organizations, to field mapping and training on mobile data collection, most famously our technology and innovation team creating solutions like the OSM Tasking Manager and OpenAerialMap among others, and our community and partnership engagements such as Missing Maps, the Microgrant programs and so much more. All in attempt to empower organizations, and more importantly local mappers.
We’ve made our mistakes as well, so that is partly why I’m coming here now; if Cyclone Molave causes havoc in Thailand, we don’t want to cause a swarm of people haphazardly adding data to the map. We want to coordinate with locals who know best what is needed and whether or not that is doable by the crowd.
I hope this is just a false alarm and Molave only brings you some rain, but do reach out if HOT can help coordinate an organized mapping response that puts useful geospatial data into the hands of first responders, aid organizations, and the local communities finding their way to recovery.
Disaster Response Coordinator
Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team