Mapathon staged for South Sudan

COMPUTING

|
Image: By Google maps
Mapathon staged for South Sudan

South Sudan, about to become the world’ s newest country, is being mapped with the help of Google and the World Bank.

The World Bank reports that more than 60 members of the Southern Sudanese diaspora came together to help locate schools, hospitals, and other social infrastructure at a “ Mapathon” on South Sudan this week. Held at the World Bank’ s headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the US, the day-long event was jointly organized by Google and the World Bank. South Sudan is expected to become the world’ s newest country come July this year.
 
The event began with remarks from World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Obiageli Ezekwesili, who talked about how today’ s technology can empower civil society, including the diaspora, to collaborate and support the development process. This is especially in places which face daunting development challenges, such as South Sudan.  “ This is about shifting the center of gravity from organizations to people, and empowering them to solve their own problems and develop their own solutions using maps,” said Ezekwesili.
 
South Sudan is a large but severely under-mapped area, and without geospatial information on basic social infrastructure, it is challenging for the government, civil society, and development partners to visualize plans, see existing infrastructure, and select areas where they want to work and develop projects.

Having good maps of roads, settlements, buildings and other services will help key stakeholders to evaluate risks and current needs, and better target their efforts to support the development process. The World Bank Group has played an important role in Sudan’ s development since 2005, and is deepening its engagement in South Sudan as it prepares for independence.
 
“ Traditionally, you work with cartographic agencies to develop maps that take months or even years to publish. With innovations in geospatial tools and access to local knowledge and data gathered from people who know their communities best, maps can be created in real time that have real value, said Aleem Walji of the World Bank Institute.

The “ Mapathon” provided training for participants using Google’ s online mapping tool, Google Map Maker, and groups sat together to map the regions they know best.  It is one of several events the Bank has organized with different private sector partners designed to showcase the growing importance of mapping for development.  

Several hundred edits were made to the map of South Sudan in four hours by volunteers from the South Sudanese Diaspora, technology, and development worlds. As those edits are approved they will appear live in Google Maps.
 
The mapping exercise is a first step in tapping into the tacit knowledge that Southern Sudanese diaspora have on the region, and aims to build a community of practitioners that will remain engaged in South Sudan over time. “ South Sudan is so underdeveloped in many aspects, and technology is one of them. So by mapping South Sudan, this is a step in the right direction. It is also a useful way for the diaspora to connect with our people on the ground,” said Reec Akuak, a small business owner based in the United.States and Treasurer of the Southern Sudanese Community, an umbrella organization for the Southern Sudanese diaspora groups in the U.S.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE COMPUTING NEWS

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

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

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.