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

Botswana women missing from ICT

There has been a rallying call for women in Botswana to consider a lifetime participation in the Information and Communication Technology if the sector is to realise any meaningful growth as well as a fair gender representation.   Read More

Globecomm, Tanzania Support Foundation take computers to rural school

Globecomm announced today that it has donated desktop computers to a school in the Tanzanian village of Selela to aid the mission of the Tanzanian Support Foundation to help small communities become more self-sufficient in education, healthcare, hygiene and clean water.   Read More

The Network is dead. Long live the network!

Your network is vastly bigger than the Internet itself, says Infoblox.  Read More

Schneider Electric’s off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger now in southern Africa

Schneider Electric Solar Business, a global leader in solutions for the solar power conversion chain, has released its off-grid solar and backup power inverter/charger, the Conext SW, in the southern African region.  Read More

Phase3 seeks digitally enhanced life for special needs kids

West Africa’s largest independent fibre optic infrastructure and telecommunications services provider, Phase3 Telecom, has urged stakeholders in the ICT industry to offer children living with disabilities a good quality of life through the deployment of assistive technology. Read More

Kenya, China partner to grow ICT skills

Global technology company Huawei, in partnership with Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Technology, has dispatched to China the first beneficiaries of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” Internship programme. Read More

Big trends for 2015

Industry experts share their thoughts on the innovations that will impact business next year. Read More

ASUS appoints Andre Goosen as Country Service Manager

ASUS, the Taiwanese technology innovation brand, has appointed Andre Goosen to the position of Country Service Manager, a new role created in line with ASUS’ increased focus on after sales service. Read More

iWayAfrica managed service solution launched in Kenya

Pan African telecoms operator, Gondwana International Networks (GIN) has announced that its iWayAfrica business has launched a managed infrastructure and services solution in Kenya.  Read More

Kenya Ports Authority first to deploy Pamoja’s RUBiQ cloud platform

The Kenya Ports Authority is the first institution in East Africa to adopt the RUBiQ Cloud-based governance, risk and compliance platform.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.