News

Supporting cyclone devastated Mozambique through ‘Missing Maps’

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
24 June 2019

Arup people from across the Australasia region have joined together to hold ‘Missing Maps’ sessions to support emergency efforts in the aftermath of Cylones Idai and Kenneth, Mozambique.

The cyclones hit southern Africa earlier this year, but the emergency disaster response has been hampered by the lack of accurate and up-to-date maps of affected communities. 

Missing Maps is an open data, collaborative online project, that helps map areas where humanitarian organisations are trying to meet the needs of vulnerable people. Many places where disasters occur are literally ‘missing’ from any map and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts.


The enthusiastic response to the map-a-thon demonstrates the strong Arup culture and values where people want to be making a difference to communities in need. ”

Michelle Cheah Community Engagement Manager, Australasia

Led by our Community Engagement programme, more than 100 volunteers in six offices took part during their lunchtime, many mapping simultaneously. 

Using an ordinary laptop, elements such as buildings and rivers were digitally traced from aerial imagery and added to the mapping platform to be verified and used by humanitarian organisations. 


Collectively, our people contributed:

This was part of a global six-week campaign at Arup that has seen volunteers mapping from 40 offices around the world, from London to Los Angeles, Madrid to Manila, Hong Kong to San Francisco.