Map Kibera – digital technology in Africa

Here is further information on another groundbreaking African grass-roots project using information technology and creating the “intelligent city” in  modest way with open source technology and local resources… from MAP KIBERA

Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, was a blank spot on the map until November 2009, when young Kiberans created the first free and open digital map of their own community. Map Kibera has now grown into a complete interactive community information project

Kibera is the largest slum in Africa, situated in Nairobi, Kenya. Many UN agencies, including UN-HABITAT, US Government agencies such as USAID, and NGOs, like Carolina for Kibera, have presence nearby in Nairobi, and as a result, Kibera is one of the most well known, researched, and serviced slums anywhere. Despite this focus, Kibera was literally a blank spot on the map, its patterns of traffic, scarce water resources, limited medial facilities, etc. remain invisible to the outside world, and residents themselves. Without basic knowledge of the geography of Kibera it is impossible to have an informed discussion on how to improve the lives of residents of Kibera.

Map Kibera has produced the first complete free and open map of Kibera. In November 2009, local motivated young people learned to create maps using OpenStreetMap techniques. This included surveying with GPS, and digitization of satellite imagery and paper based annotation with Walking Papers. Individuals from the blossoming Nairobi tech scene helped train and make connections with the larger community, and created a sustainable group of map maintainers beyond the initial three week November effort. Data consumers were consulted for their needs, to help add direction to feature types collected, and aided to immediately make use of the map data. Projects leads are Erica Hagen and Mikel Maron.

Kibera News Network’s Joe Gatecha discusses Digital Technology and media

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