By Evans Arabu, a geographic specialist at Google, cross-posted from Google's Africa blog.
Following the historic referendum in Southern Sudan, Google, The World Bank, UNOSAT, RCMRD and Satellite Sentinel are co-hosting an event in Nairobi, Kenya on June 30, 2011 to demonstrate the power of mapping and support the building of the world’s soon-to-be-newest independent nation on July 9, 2011. Without basic geospatial information, it is difficult for the government, civil society, development partners, and all stakeholders to evaluate the current needs, target their planning efforts, and mobilize proper resources. At times like these, it is critical to have good maps of roads, settlements, buildings and other services, with both local and official names.
This is the second in a series of mapping events. The first one was held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., alongside a concurrent satellite event in Nairobi. More than 90 members of the Sudanese diaspora, along with regional experts from the World Bank, Sudan Institute, Voices for Sudan, The Enough Project and other organizations gathered together to map South Sudan.
The goals of these events are to:
- Help build a mapping community that will remain engaged in Southern Sudan over time and become self-sufficient
- Support the innovative use of technology and data for ongoing monitoring and reporting
- Help support ongoing efforts to build Southern Sudan’s geospatial data, which is critical for a region to achieve shared and inclusive growth
- Create a mapping community that will pass on their technological knowledge to others in their broader Southern Sudan-related community
To this end, we would like to invite as many members as possible of the Sudanese community – and others who have current local geographic knowledge of the country – to this event. Knowledge of mapping software is not necessary; however, we would prefer attendees be familiar and comfortable with computers.
If you or people you know are interested in attending, please register here by Monday, June 26, 2011
Event details are as follows:
When: June 30, 2011
Where: iHub, 4th Floor, Bishop Magua Building, Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya.
For more information please visit the event site.
Photo: Google map of Juba, capital of South Sudan