Structure of the guide

The guide is divided into the following sections:


These are maps that are useful at any point during a response regardless of a hazard or vulnerability and are often the basis for the rest of the maps.


These are maps may help with a specific cluster problem during a response (e.g. food, shelter, WASH, etc.). They should be supported by the core maps.

Hazard maps

These are maps may be produced in response to a particular hazard (e.g. earthquake, flood, storm, conflict, etc.). They should be supported by the core maps.

Which maps do I need?

This section begins to take a look at which maps might be useful for a particular group of users during a response.


The initial version of the example product catalogue started with a review of all maps that MapAction had produced between 2002 and 2016. These maps were consolidated and categorised with descriptions written for each map based on the experience of MapAction.

Overtime, MapAction has been consulting with subject matter experts for particular sections of the guide to begin to understand better how and what is useful in a map for them. This has helped us understand what the questions are and what data might be needed to help them make better informed decisions.

Many of the maps used were produced in the field during the response and as such there may be some inaccuracies or errors.

Map example structure

Each of map example follows the same structure:

  • An example - a real life (where possible) example from the field
  • Description - a general description of the map and its overall purpose
  • Context - to the map and when it might be produced
  • Audience - who is the intended audience and how might it help influence their decisions
  • Methods - tips on how the map can be produced
  • Data - what data should be used in the map
  • Resources - where can you find additional information on the subject.


With sincere thanks to our donors:

  • The Example Product Catalogue was originally created with funding from ECHO (EU European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation)
  • This latest version of the Example Product Catalogue includes new sections on WASH, Food Security and Health as well as extensive revisions and design and functional improvements. This work was done with funding from USAID OFDA (Office for Disaster Assistance).

The catalogue features maps created on missions funded by:

  • Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • German Federal Foreign Office
  • UK DFID (Department for International Development)


  • Version 1.0 - 2017
  • Version 2.0 - 2020