As a result, large parts of Mozambique are flooded and roads and villages have been wiped out. Thanks to the natural disasters, for aid workers the area is just one big empty map. By filling in the area digitally using information from existing maps and satellite images, the relief troops can at least find their way to those places where help is most needed. They can also work out how many people live in certain places, or where they might have fled to.
The Missing Maps project is a collaboration between the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. The idea of working with the Red Cross was the brainchild of a student at Aeres University of Applied Sciences who is currently an intern with the Red Cross.
The class was led by cartographer Koos Krijnders of Lelystad. He began working for the Red Cross following his retirement. For example, two years ago he was involved in mapping the damage on Sint Maarten when it was hit by Hurricane Irma.
Krijnders believes that the work done by Missing Maps is very important, because relief workers in Mozambique are desperate for this information. "The new map will enable them to work even faster and better."