One step forward for “25 Mapathons” – today Online Mapathon at Humanitarian Congress

The project “25 Mapathons” made an important step forward by successfully completing the first four Mapathons of the project. Two Mapathons were conducted with German Red Cross (GRC) members from the Red Cross Regional association of Westfalen-Lippe. Another two Mapathons where hosted by local GRC chapters from the City of Heidelberg and the nearby town of Leimen. We would like to thank all participants and are looking forward to a possible future cooperation.

We as a joined team of HeiGIT and GRC personnel are especially proud to conduct events like this with local GRC groups. On the one hand it facilitates the exchange between the national and international aspect of the GRC and on the other hand it also deepens the connection between HeiGIT, the university of Heidelberg and important local stake holders like the GRC chapters.
The Mapathons were conducted online owing to the current Covid-19 situation.

Project aim and background

With the “25 Mapathons” project HeiGIT and the GRC aim to spread knowledge about Humanitarian Mapping and GIS within the local GRC chapters. Furthermore, the connection between the projects of the International Cooperation of the GRC and its numerous national volunteers are intensified. The project is funded by the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTS) to celebrate the 25 years anniversary of KTS. Further information can be found in the post “Kick off of the 25 Mapathon project”

First results

In our first four Mapathons GRC volunteers were introduced to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) Tasking Manager, Missing Maps and the concepts of humanitarian mapping. Even though mapping was not the sole focus of the event, the GRC volunteers managed to put 1313 buildings on the map which is a great accomplishment given that this was a new experience for everyone.


The GRC headquarter organises public online Mapathons on a regular basis to offer interested participants of the 25 Mapathon events the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills and come together with like-minded people.
In addition, we are currently focusing on developing training material tailored to be used specifically in GRC chapters. The objective is to give the leaders of the local GRC chapters the knowledge to conduct mapathons independently. For this reason, we are working on a handbook which sets out how to host mapathons. The overall goal of the activities is to enhance the sustainability of the knowledge transfer and equip GRC chapters with the necessary skills to independently organise Mapathons themselves in the near future and support the international cooperation of the GRC.

In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to run Mapathons with GRC chapters in Germany. We are still looking for further GRC chapters to take part in the project or which are interested in hosting a Mapathon. If you are interested, please contact

Mapathon at Humanitarian Congress

Until then you are very welcome to participate in the online Mapathon on Oct 29, 2020 07:30 PM conducted within the frame of the Humanitarian Congress. You can sign up for it here.

Stay tuned for further events and Mapathons supported by HeiGIT, Missing Maps, German Red Cross and colleagues.

Red Cross

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