How many organizations do you reach in Lagos in 5hours? “I manage to do three, if it’s on the mainland and two if it’s towards or on the Island” replied our focal point in Lagos. So what about Abuja “I always do 2 in 1hour, so I reach 10 in 5hrs, however, getting the exact location or address remains the biggest challenge. Even most of the popular on-line yellow pages don’t have a recent and reliable data of important places in Abuja, same with the popular Google maps!” narrated our focal point in Abuja.

Participants at the Google NYSC Lagos Mapup engaged
in Ground truth activities

By the end of 2012, Google Map Maker will have data to cover about 5million unique miles, in 3,000 cities on every continent! Including Antarctica. One of the greatest contributors to these massive data is Google Map users – I mean me and you, and we keep populating the maps every day. Abuja is not an exception. Nevertheless, am being told several times, that “the location of that pub isn’t right on Google Maps”, that “there are now five new schools on that avenue, but we do not have them on our list as gotten from Google Maps”. Recently, a friend on facebook posted “Please can anyone help me with the direction to a nearby hospital around Cadastral A7,  my child just had a deep cut”, and a student from one of the universities asked me “why won’t Google have my building on Google Maps?”
Mappers doing a ground truth of images from Google Maps
Students of  the University of Ibadan Mapping their campus  

These are some of the issues the Google Map Maker Mapup tagged the “Abuja Mapping Party” tends to solve. In 6 days, starting from January 26 – February 2, 2013 (Find programme of activities here)  we hope to have mapped about 9,000 points which include roads, pubs, offices, schools, hospitals, gas stations, parks and other point of interest within Wuse II, Wuse Zone 1-7, Jabi, Utako, Life Camp and the largest estate in West Africa – Gwarinpa. The event will give you an opportunity to show/share your local knowledge by mapping places in Abuja, exchange ideas and win while having fun.  The Abuja mapping party will show participants how to map different places, draw roads, add categories and discuss other features. This will enable them become citizen cartographers and improve the quality of maps and local information. If you will like to join us, kindly register here  and don’t forget to come with your back bags, coffee cups, plug – outlets and your computer devices.

Mappers at the Google/NYSC Lagos MapUp Event

The event hopes to make particularly Abuja, a smart city, a better mapped city with relevant and recent local information such as roads, schools, hospitals, banks, hotels, police stations and such other important places entered by you, having local knowledge. We will be looking out for the youngest and oldest mapper amongst us, as such we invite children, students, geo-spatial experts and people from all works. “Google Map Maker Souvenirs’ and refreshment will be available, and a certificate of participation will be given to all participants at the end of the event” affirmed Adepoju Emmanuel, a Google Map Maker advocate and ambassador.

Author: Oludotun Babayemi

I work on for profit or not - for - profit projects as a Project Planner, Grant Writer and Information Manager.11 years ago, I started Cloneshouse Nigeria, 10 years ago, I started Follow The Money, with a Colleague in 2012, a citizen-led movement that promotes social accountability in rural communities, which a year after, got registered legally as Connected Development [CODE]. In the past 7 years, I have evaluated projects on Water, Power, Education, Health, Disaster Risk in Nigeria, and West Africa countries with the United Nations and the Japan International Corporation Agency. Education and Fellowships include Stanford University, USA; Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; School of Data, Open Knowledge International, UK; USAID - Crisismappers. I Tweet @dotunbabayemi and am an email away at oludotunbabayemi@gmail.com

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