Measuring exposure through earth observation routines (Meteor)

Modeling Exposure Through Earth Observation Routines (METEOR) is a project that aims to develop an innovative application of Earth Observation (EO) technologies that will improve the understanding of disaster exposure. 

The project is being implemented in two phases. The first phase was based on digitizing homogeneous zones (zones with the same characteristics of buildings) to provide a dataset that is needed in the model and will then conduct ground-truthing by mapping different infrastructures that are to be included in a model. Upon the project completion in Tanzania and Nepal, the process will be replicated in 46 less developed countries which will enable these countries to understand the nature of disasters and how to respond effectively. The team has completed remote mapping of homogeneous zones and field mapping for ground-truthing. Several activities were conducted during this timeline including:

  • Remote mapping of buildings, 
  • Building attribute data collection, 
  • Data validation, verification, and uploading OSM platform so it can be widely accessible

The digitized buildings were subsequently used to conduct building exposure surveys of Dar es Salaam and the neighboring region of Pwani with seven selected homogeneous zones categorized as a high urban development zone, industrial, urban development, single-family residential, rural settlement, natural forest land, and informal settlement zones in 35 wards of Dar es Salaam. Field collected data can be accessed here

The second phase is focusing on additional data collection in Dodoma, Mwanza and Mbeya together with conducting stakeholders’ meetings with institutions/companies who will potentially use the collected data i.e Multi-hazard model.

OMDTZ has already engaged with the Disaster Management Department from the Prime Minister’s Office (DMD) and the British Geological Survey (BGS) through a week of training and workshop. We are now on a planning stage to expand our engagement to other mentioned regions but due to COVID-19, other stakeholders’ meetings have been halted until further notice.


This is a three years’ project implemented from 2018 to 2020funding

Funding and Implementing partners

The project is funded by the UK Space Agency and Implemented by Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team (HOT) through OMDTZ which was operating in the field.

Impact of the Project

  • Upon the completion of the model, these countries will be able to understand the nature of disasters, the magnitude of impact, and how to respond effectively.
  • METEOR will deliver country-wide openly-available exposure data for the 48 least developed ODA countries. Better-informed DRM decisions that meet the demands of international drivers (e.g. SDGs, Sendai Framework) will be underpinned by our national-scale data.