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

Telecom Namibia implements information display system at Ondangua airport

A team of Telecom Namibia engineers and technicians successfully implemented for the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) a Flight Information Display System (FIDS) over the Telecom Namibia network at Ondangua airport recently. Read More

Associated Discount House migrates to Finacle 10

Computer Warehouse Group (CWG Plc) has powered the successful migration of Associated Discount House banking services to the Finacle 10 core banking application in a bid to improve their efficiency and improve their customer experience.  Read More

Cisco Systems joins GITS in Ghana to improve customer experience

Cisco Systems has joined Global Information Technology Solutions (GITS) an elite technology partner of Cisco Systems in Ghana, to engage key stakeholders in the Ghanaian IT industry. Read More

Lagos says HP’s Technology Tour will boost ICT development

Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Nike Animashaun, has said technology forums such the HP Technology Tour will help fast-track the growth of ICT industry and the economy, stressing that it provides stakeholders opportunity to brainstorm. Read More

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets. Read More

Huawei to train 1,000 African students over five years

Huawei has announced that over the next five years, 1,000 students across Africa will join its technical training program, Seeds for the Future.  Read More

Worldwide sales of cellular-embedded devices to pass 112m units this year

More than 112 million non-smartphone connected devices will be sold worldwide in 2015, as demand for ubiquitous internet access for mobile, social and information drives greater adoption, says Gartner. Read More

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

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.