Mapathon staged for South Sudan
COMPUTING| May 2, 2011, 12:16 p.m.
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.
MORE COMPUTING NEWS
Gartner's 2015 Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa points to growing importance of digital businessGartner's "Hype Cycle for ICT in Africa, 2015" report identifies over 30 key technologies and describes how they will impact business performance during the next 10 years. Read More
Rlg achieves NITDA certificationRlg Nigeria has been awarded certification from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that will allow it to produce laptops and other ICT devices for government agencies. Read More
Botswana Innovation Hub Vendor DayBotswana Innovation Hub will host the Innovation Vendor Day and Exhibition on Tuesday 18th August, 2015 at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. Read More
Sixty students graduate from Samsung Engineering AcademySixty students this week became the third group to graduate from the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy in Nairobi. Read More
MainOne’s Tier III Data Centre is first PCI DSS, ISO 27001 certified data centre in NigeriaMainOne’s premier Tier III Data Centre, MDX-I, has become the first Tier III Data Centre operator in Nigeria to achieve both Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and ISO 27001:2013 certifications. Read More
ContinuitySA donates computers to schoolContinuitySA’s Botswana office has rescued the technical impasse that affected Masa Primary school in Gaborone’s phase two suburbs. This is the third such school to get the donation from the organisation and it’s partners in recent months. Read More
Survey: business leaders see transformative technology as trigger for growthGlobal business leaders expect their IT organizations to realize measurable business and competitive advantages from technology transformation reveals a new study from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, an international executive change advocacy group. Read More
Robust ERP platforms essential for African companies going globalAs Africa’s mid-sized enterprises expand across the continent and other parts of the world, so should they look at putting in place enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms that will allow them to seamlessly manage multiple legislative environments, currencies and languages, says Sage. Read More
CA Digital Transformation roadshow heads for KenyaOn Thursday 13th August, the CA Southern Africa Road Show will host an event focused on the battle for competitive advantage in the Application Economy at the Sankara Hotel in Nairobi. Read More
Downtime in retail costs millionsRetail businesses today need to ensure that their e-commerce platforms have reliable backup and recovery solutions behind them to avoid downtime and losses running into millions of dollars, says Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.