African universities to feature on Google maps
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
All Kenyan universities will soon have presence on Google maps effectively enhancing navigation in the institutions across the country.
A similar project will simultaneously be carried out across 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Students from over 90 universities in 12 sub Saharan African countries have been brought together for a two-week mapping workshop to put their university campuses and surrounding areas on Google map.
This means getting lost on campus will be a thing of the past, and it will be possible to determine shorter routes as one navigates any featured campus.
The project by Google Student Ambassadors (GSA) is bringing together students from across Africa to ensure the universities are placed on Google maps.
How the program works
The Google Student Ambassador Program in Sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2011 with students selected from 28 universities in 6 African countries.
The ambassadors act as liaison between Google and their universities. They are technically savvy students who introduce their institutions and peers to Google tools, technologies and opportunities, and who are determined to leverage technology to make positive impact in their communities. They also help to make the internet more relevant to their communities.
“We can hardly imagine what’s in store as the GSA program expands into new regions and new universities. We hope that bringing these outstanding students together will help them learn more about mapping and its benefits and they can lead in putting their universities on the world’s ma,” said Obum Ekeke, Regional Program Manager - University Programs & Outreach, Google Sub-Saharan Africa.
Obum said over 90 universities across SSA will simultaneously have their campuses uploaded onto the world’s map, and give them visibility like never before.
The activity is expected to create thousands of edits on Google maps. The university students and surrounding communities will benefit from easier access to useful venues and buildings, such as: administrative blocks, cafeterias, accommodation and dining buildings, libraries, laboratories, banks and other useful places in their various locales.
When it started
The event started last week with more than 1800 student super mappers being trained from across Africa. This week, the students have been trained on Google Map Maker and the benefits of being able to easily locate necessary amenities and facilities around them.