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
Virtualisation in the age of smart dataActifio solution strategist Gareth Donald discusses virtualisation in the age of smart data: the next frontier on the march to the cloud. Read More
SATA confers on customer service and billingThe Southern African Telecommunications Association (SATA) held a Customer Service, Quality of Service (Qos) and Billing Conference. Read More
Study: Payments industry in fluxA new study indicates that cards will account for 273 billion transactions at a combined value of some US$30 trillion by 2018, but as mPOS grows, new forms of payment will flourish. Read More
Nissan parades ‘ICT built’ brand in MalawiNissan has paraded its brand new 2015 y62 Patrol Ti series in Malawi, which is said to have taken advantage of ongoing ICT innovations and features built-in navigation and digital entertainment. Read More
Digital fuels growth in Africa’s entertainment and media industry: PwC reportAfrican entertainment and media industry has entered a new landscape – one where the media is no longer divided into distinct traditional and digital spheres, according to a report from PwC. Read More
Deloitte unveils Tech Trends 2015The sixth annual Deloitte Tech Trends report examining disruptive technologies with the best potential to impact businesses within the next 18 to 24 months, will be released in Johannesburg today. Read More
Microsoft promotes Africa’s innovators through DEMO Africa 2015Using the Demo Africa platform as a veritable vehicle for the development of African innovators, Microsoft, under the 4Afrika Initiative, has confirmed its support for the upcoming DEMO Africa event in Lagos. Read More
NITDA affirms confidence in DEMO Africa 2015Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has affirmed its confidence in the ability of the DEMO Africa forum to become the continent’s rallying ground to discover technology leaders and entrepreneurs. Read More
Alcatel-Lucent VP calls for collaboration to achieve Data Revolution in AfricaThe Vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa, Daniel Jaeger, has reiterated the need for African stakeholders to work together to address challenges in the way of ICT development in Africa. Read More
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
FEATURED STORYInnovative designer takes e-waste to another level
Gladys Muyenzelwa is a Gaborone based artist and designer who has an eye for ethnic and contemporary design. But unlike other designers, Muyenzelwa has found a way of using e-waste to make her creations.
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.
COMPANY NEWSLuba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3
Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.