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
The importance of quality dataAfrica has the benefit of not having massive numbers of legacy systems to contend with when moving to extract value from data and ensure data quality, says KPMG. Read More
Time for CIOs to change strategy in the fight against consumer technologyShadow IT is simply not going away, says Sumash Singh, Country Manager at CommVault South Africa. Read More
Virtualisation in the age of smart dataActifio solution strategist Gareth Donald discusses virtualisation in the age of smart data: the next frontier on the march to the cloud. Read More
SATA confers on customer service and billingThe Southern African Telecommunications Association (SATA) held a Customer Service, Quality of Service (Qos) and Billing Conference. Read More
Study: Payments industry in fluxA new study indicates that cards will account for 273 billion transactions at a combined value of some US$30 trillion by 2018, but as mPOS grows, new forms of payment will flourish. Read More
Nissan parades ‘ICT built’ brand in MalawiNissan has paraded its brand new 2015 y62 Patrol Ti series in Malawi, which is said to have taken advantage of ongoing ICT innovations and features built-in navigation and digital entertainment. Read More
Digital fuels growth in Africa’s entertainment and media industry: PwC reportAfrican entertainment and media industry has entered a new landscape – one where the media is no longer divided into distinct traditional and digital spheres, according to a report from PwC. Read More
Deloitte unveils Tech Trends 2015The sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report examining disruptive technologies with the best potential to impact businesses within the next 18 to 24 months, will be released in Johannesburg today. Read More
Microsoft promotes Africa’s innovators through DEMO Africa 2015Using the Demo Africa platform as a veritable vehicle for the development of African innovators, Microsoft, under the 4Afrika Initiative, has confirmed its support for the upcoming DEMO Africa event in Lagos. Read More
FEATURED STORYConnectivity critical for Nigeria's ICT sector, says SES chief
Connectivity is vital for any country to fully optimise the huge potential of cyberspace, SES Sales Manager for West Africa Joy Nma Emenike tells Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.