formerly funded by German Red Cross
GIScience and German Red Cross

Research Project

Sketch Map Tool

Logo SketchMap

The Sketch Map Tool is designed to support the collection of local spatial knowledge with the help of OpenStreetMap as a base layer. It is applicable especially when talking about risks of floodings or other hazards in familiar areas. The Sketch Map Tool combines different steps you need for sketch mapping and can support in different tasks and challenges of preparing and analysing participatory mapping.

Within the Waterproofing Data project a first prototype version of the Sketch Map Tool has been developed. The HeiGIT ohsome dashboard is used by the Sketch Map Tool for data quality analyses (Klonner et al. 2021). In a following project, which was funded by the German Red Cross, the Sketch Map Tool was improved and extended in order to make it available for real world usage by the German Red Cross and similar organizations. The project was performed in close cooperation between the HeiGIT and the GIScience Research Group, Heidelberg University. Madagascar was chosen as a study site for testing the application of the Sketch Map Tool.

The Sketch Map Tool is now a part of the HeiGIT tools and tested in different settings. It will be further developed and adjusted to the needs of the humanitarian sector. A current prototype-version of the Sketch Map Tool is released under https://github.com/GIScience/sketch-map-tool.

If you would like to learn more about the idea behind our approach and the development of the Sketch Map Tool, you can also have a look at the video of the lightning talk at GeOnG 2020 “OpenStreetMap Sketch Map Tool - The Future of OpenStreetMap Field Papers”.


Additionally, you can listen to Episode 7 “Mapping in der Humanitären Hilfe” of the Podcast CHAtroom (in German). In this Podcast of the CHA (Center for Humanitarian action) Dr. Natascha Bing (DRK) and Dr. Carolin Klonner (GIScience Heidelberg) discuss the role of maps in disaster management and the possibilities of using the Sketch Map Tool for humanitarian organisations.

Related Work

"OpenStreetMap Sketch Map Tool - The Future of OpenStreetMap Field Papers." GeOnG: The 7th Humanitarian and Development Data Forum, online event, 02.-03.11.2020.

Sketch Map Tool Workflow

Klonner, C., Hartmann, M., Dischl, R., Djami, L., Anderson, L., Raifer, M., Lima-Silva, F., Degrossi, L. C., Zipf, A., de Albuquerque, J. P. (2021): The Sketch Map Tool Facilitates the Assessment of OpenStreetMap Data for Participatory Mapping, 10(3): 130. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 10:130. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10030130

Sketch Maps in Group Discussions

Klonner, C. & Blessing, L. (2019). Gathering Local Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction: The Use of Sketch Maps in Group Discussions. In: Proceedings of the ISCRAM 2019 Conference. Valencia, Spain, pp. 1397–1398.

OSM Evaluation

Klonner, C., Hartmann, M., Djami, L., Zipf, A. (2019). Ohsome OpenStreetMap Data Evaluation: Fitness of Field Papers for Participatory Mapping. In: Proceedings of the Academic Track at the State of the Map 2019. Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 35-36.

Parcipatory Mapping

Klonner, C., Usón, T. J., Aeschbach, N., Höfle, B. (2021). Participatory Mapping and Visualization of Local Knowledge: An Example from Eberbach, Germany. In: International Journal of Disaster Risk. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13753-020-00312-8

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