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Missing Maps project

The most crisis-prone parts of the world need mapping. With your help we can directly improve the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable people

Volunteer mappers at MSF Missing Maps event

UNITED KINGDOM 2014 © Adam Scott Hinchliff/HOT

The most crisis-prone parts of the world need mapping. With your help, we can directly improve the lives of some of the planet’s most vulnerable people.

This is the aim of the Missing Maps Project, an open, collaborative initiative founded by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the British Red Cross, the American Red Cross and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).


Upcoming Events

Volunteer mappers

We are recruiting volunteers to map parts of the world most vulnerable to humanitarian crises: places that are vulnerable to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, epidemics, or conflict.

The maps we create will be available to use by everyone, everywhere, benefiting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like MSF. These maps help local communities—providing them with something so fundamental that most of the world takes for granted.

Missing Maps is being run through OpenStreetMap, which guarantees that the data collected and the maps that come from it are free, accessible and without restriction forever. Not only this, but the maps are live, meaning that anyone can add to, correct or develop them. Essentially, a Wikipedia of maps.

Become a humanitarian

By supporting the Missing Maps with your time, you can directly contribute to MSF's humanitarian medical activities.

We use maps every day to get to patients, to assess the needs of crisis-hit communities, to track disease spread, and to respond to local events.

Currently, the maps non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like MSF use come in all shapes and sizes.

All NGOs collect geographical data of some sort, but you may be surprised to know that the maps we use are very often drawn on a piece of paper by someone who has been there.

By collaborating via the Missing Maps and uploading all the data we gather to OpenStreetMap, we can help build a detailed and useful map of the world that is so much more than the sum of its parts, meaning we can get to patients quicker, track diseases more effectively and better understand where the needs of the people are greatest following an emergency.


Join us for a Mapathon where Missing Maps volunteers get together to map a wide geographical area all at once. (If you are under 18, you should be accompanied by an adult.)

During the mapathon, mapping experts will be on hand to help you get started and to answer any questions – it’s also a lot of fun! Our mapathons make a big impact in a very short space of time.

How can you get involved?

Learn how to map and find out about mapathons around you on the Missing Maps website. Or find out about upcoming mapathons listed on the MSF-USA event calendar

Alternatively, you could host your own mapathon if you are over 18. All you need is a space, a WIFI connection, some knowledge, and willing friends (and snacks always go down well!). Find out more about hosting your own mapathon on the Missing Maps website.

Get in touch by emailing our team at