Africa lags on mapping
COMPUTING| Oct. 25, 2011, 10:56 a.m.
With growth in geographical information systems technology promising to revolutionise various areas of ICT, Africa still lags on mapping. But MapIT is working on correcting this.
Geographical information systems technology merges cartography, statistical analysis and databases to offer a wealth of new insights for business, governments, military, agriculture, health officials and environmentalists.
MapIT, part owned by TomTom, is currently mapping vast regions of the continent to build the geographical databases needed for effective GIS technologies. But it is a challenging job, says MapIT MD Etienne Louw.
With problems like unrest, wars and vast rural areas, Africa has long been incompletely charted.
Accurately mapping Africa is an ongoing concern, says Louw.
Louw says MapIT has 15 partners across the continent working on correcting this.
“I have been in the GIS industry for 26 years now and have been monitoring the capture of Africa GIS data with interest – it seems like most African countries do not have the means/political will to capture their own data and it is often left up to outside entities like TomTom to do what local governments fail to do.
We have a comprehensive fleet of 580+ vehicles and airplanes and 1450+ staff involved in this process. We work with locals as far as possible and utilise a combination of ‘crowd sourcing’ and professional back-end Q&A processes to enhance the field work.”
Even so, hurdles remain.
Louw says: “Unfortunately our field teams have been barred from entering various areas of local unrest and civil war. As much as possible is being done through remote sensing means but it is not always possible to do final Q&A without physical field work. However, having said this, the existing coverage of Africa by TomTom is comprehensive – at least to such an extent that one can ‘explore’ Africa quite comprehensively digitally on a map these days, as seen on www.streetmaps.co.za.”
The company’s data is in use by scores of clients in the internet mapping, wireless and LBS, vehicle tracking and fleet management, enterprise and government and marketing and BI sectors.
Aiming to build and enhance Africa’s maps to international standards, MapIT’s team is still exploring the roughest terrain to capture all relevant information. They have captured over 500 000 points of interest in 250 categories, and add roughly 5000 more to the database every month.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Mellanox solutions accelerate the fastest supercomputer in the worldMellanox Technologies, Ltd., a leading supplier of end-to-end interconnect solutions for data centre servers and storage systems, has announced that Mellanox interconnect solutions accelerate the world's fastest supercomputer, at the supercomputing centre in Wuxi, China. Read More
Achieving full visibility in a cloudy hybrid environmentA growing number of organisations are migrating applications and information stores to public and private cloud solutions, so that hybrid IT architectures have become the norm. Read More
Make way for VAS: The era of VM-aware storageAlong with DAS, SAN and NAS, storage now has another term, VM-aware storage (VAS). Read More
Trisat showcases online platform for schools managementSoftware development company Trisat Communications Limited has launched an online platform, nortify.com.ng, to provide digital tools to simplify school management. Read More
Transforming and maximising existing fibre networksMaximising existing optical fibre infrastructure is a challenge that needs tackling by network operators - both large and small. Read More
Technology leaders join forces to bring an open acceleration framework to data centresMellanox, ARM, Huawei, IBM, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Xilinx, Inc. have joined forces to bring a high-performance open acceleration framework to data centres. Read More
Why going paperless can make you more money – and save some tooThe environment and saving costs when moving a business to a paperless office are the two most popular benefits, but there are many more benefits to doing so. Read More
Airtel chief: Disruptive technologies vital to Nigeria’s GDP growthLeading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has said disruptive technologies can contribute significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if ICT start-ups are encouraged to create innovations that deliver value. Read More
Youths gain fom ICT Dynamix supportBotswana based citizen owned company ICT Dynamix is upskilling and employing youths in the ICT industry. Read More
FEATURED STORYFirst-ever Africa Barclays Accelerator programme concludes
Ten fintech companies have concluded the first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Africa.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHEthical Hacking students can’t get a heck of a job
Botswana ethical hacking students report that they are failing to break into the local job market.