The Asia Foundation Partners with Ulaanbaatar City’s Metropolitan Department of Information Technology

Satellite imagery from the Khan-Uul district shows a dense neighborhood butting up against the Tuul River. © 2014 DigitalGlobe / Mapbox

Satellite imagery from the Khan-Uul district shows a dense neighborhood butting up against the Tuul River. © 2014 DigitalGlobe / Mapbox

Ulaanbaatar City, October 24, 2014 — On October 25, The Asia Foundation and Ulaanbaatar City’s Metropolitan Department of Information Technology organized a Map “Edit-a-thon” to promote Open Street Map (OSM) at the School of Information Telecommunications Technology, Mongolian University of Science and Technology. The event brought together 60 enthusiastic young mappers and was facilitated by experienced local OSM mappers, who are actively engaged in building, editing and developing OSM in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The main objective of the event was to provide information regarding OSM and to increase knowledge of building, editing and developing OSM in Mongolia. During the morning session, the experienced mappers provided hands on guidance on OSM mapping skills; later in the day, participants gathered in pairs to start mapping. On the OSM platform, these mappers were able to view, edit, and trace using newly available digital satellite imagery of Ulaanbaatar.

This high-resolution satellite imagery was recently made available to the Foundation for tracing in OSM by DigitalGlobe, a leading provider of global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information. The new imagery is more recent and of higher quality than anything previously available to OSM editors, who will use it as a guide: adding roads, buildings, rivers, railways, and other features to OSM’s map of Ulaanbaatar. Mapbox, which provides a powerful and diverse platform for the creation of custom online maps, has processed the raw satellite imagery to prepare it for use in OSM and is hosting the resulting map tiles.

There are now more than 2,000 square kilometers of high-quality satellite imagery of Ulaanbaatar available for viewing and editing in OSM. With this DigitalGlobe imagery, Mongolian citizens and the rest of the world will have an opportunity to build a map of Ulaanbaatar that is more comprehensive than any other publicly available map.

The Asia Foundation has been supporting Ulaanbaatar City Municipality’s efforts to improve urban service delivery in ger areas, especially solid waste management. Accurate information and constant development of OSM in Ulaanbaatar will further support the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality’s in making informed decisions, and ultimately improve urban planning and urban service delivery, particularly for Ulaanbaatar’s ger areas.

Read more about the Foundation and its work in Mongolia.

Related locations: Mongolia
Related programs: Economic Opportunity