Africa lags on mapping
COMPUTINGBy BiztechAfrica - 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
VMware announces general availability of latest VMware cloud management solutionsVMware has announced the general availability of new and updated offerings to the industry’s leading portfolio of management solutions purpose-built for the cloud era. Read More
CA Technologies Top 5 IT Predictions for 2014CA Southern Africa has revealed its top five IT predictions for 2014. Read More
African Union marks Science and Technology weekScience and Technology is key for Africa’s socio-economic advancement, says the African Union. Read More
Samsung, 49M embark on consumer educational driveSamsung Electronics South Africa has announced a national consumer education campaign in support of the 49M initiative, offering practical actions to save energy in daily life. Read More
Five technical considerations to resolve before moving into the cloudMoving into the cloud is often not as simple as it seems. If this move is not done correctly, cloud solutions could fail to deliver, says Jasco. Read More
Top backup tips for SMEsGreen Apple IT advises on ways to protect valuable data from load shedding problems. Read More
Mainframes: underpinning the cloudContrary to some beliefs that the cloud will replace the mainframe, IBM Solutions Sales Manager Satish Babu points out that the mainframe supports cloud. Read More
Microsoft announces first African female country managerMicrosoft has announced the appointment of Otema Yirenkyi as the company’s first country manager for Ghana. Read More
Cloud uptake set to explode across AfricaNew research indicates that African organisations are taking cloud seriously, with Nigeria set to lead in cloud adoption. Read More
FEATURED STORYGaming app introduces investors to trading
A new virtual stock market app is equipping would-be investors with the skills they need to trade.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHCorporate cyber security threats of the year
91% of organisations polled suffered a cyber-attack at least once in the past year, says Kaspersky Lab in its security review of 2013.
COMPANY NEWSVMware announces general availability of latest VMware cloud management solutions
VMware has announced the general availability of new and updated offerings to the industry’s leading portfolio of management solutions purpose-built for the cloud era.