Africa lags on mapping

COMPUTING

|
Image: MapIT teams in action in the field. By MapIT
MapIT teams in action in the field

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

Benin collection drive nets over 20 tons of e-waste

An e-waste collection drive coordinated by MTN and Ericsson in Benin has collected over 20 tons of e-waste. Read More

ASUS steps up Southern African service

ASUS has appointed Ensure Services as its authorised service partner, building on the company’s strategy to enhance after-sales service levels in Southern Africa.  Read More

Huawei: data centre investment will boost Nigerian connectivity

An increase in data centre investment would enhance connectivity in Nigeria and other developing countries, Huawei Technologies Company Limited has said. Read More

Africa could lead in moves to hybrid enterprise

With less legacy infrastructure to hold it back and rapid moves to mobile and cloud, African enterprise could become a leader in moves to the hybrid enterprise, says Karl Campbell, Regional Vice President for the UK and South Africa at Riverbed Technology. Read More

How technology eased Buhari’s victory: Zinox chief

The Chairman of the, Zinox Group, Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, says the deployment of technology in Nigeria’s general elections assisted the winner of the presidential polls, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to emerge ahead of his closest opponent, President Goodluck Jonathan. Read More

Youth employability the focus for Microsoft’s new Country Manager in Ghana

The newly appointed Country Manager for Microsoft in Ghana, Derek Appiah, says he sees significant potential in Ghana’s young population and is excited that Microsoft has a presence in the country to help unlock this potential. Read More

Samsung opens Digital Village in Nigeria

Samsung Electronics West Africa has launched its first Digital Village in the Oban community located in the Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State.  Read More

Phase 3 Telecom urges gender parity in ICT

Phase3 Telecom has called for gender parity in the ICT sector, arguing that it is only by doing so that development could come to the African continent. Read More

Samsung launches Digital Village in Ghana

Samsung has partnered with UNESCO and the Government of Ghana to ensure accessibility of solar-powered technologies to the people of the Volo community. Read More

Stanbic Botswana launches Instant Money cash transfer

Stanbic Bank Botswana has launched a new service offering in the form of cardless ‘Instant Money.’ Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

The transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in GhanaThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana

Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.

IN DEPTH

NIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chiefNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief

NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.