The daily commute to work or the way to our next appointment is relatively easy to find in Germany by using apps available on our mobile phones. Those apps are using digital maps that can show exactly where the nearest café or bus stop is.
In the countries where the German Red Cross operates internationally this is often not the case. In those countries, for example, entire cities can be missing on maps. This makes it difficult to plan any relief effort in the event of a disaster if you don’t know reliably how large a city is that might be affected. Roads are also often missing on maps in many regions which makes it difficult to plan how best to get to a scene of an emergency, or how to get people to the nearest health facility.
The lack of good and complete maps was the reason why Missing Maps was founded in 2014. The goal of the project is to map those areas using the open-source platform OpenStreetMap. The German Red Cross has been a member of Missing Maps since 2019 and thus is able to make important contributions by depicting particularly vulnerable population groups on online maps so that they can receive assistance when required.