Project Proposal

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File:Map Kibera.pdf

Map Kibera

This project has three central goals:

  • Raise general awareness of the living conditions in Kibera by mapping, as much as possible the extents of navigable streets and other mappable features within the informal settlement.
  • Catalyze the local community and expand the capabilities local participatory mapping, expanding previous work and initiating mapping parties within Africa starting with Kibera.
  • Test the licensing mechanisms of multiple mapping platforms by making raw data freely available and uploading that data into multiple systems.

Over several weeks, local inhabitants of Kibera along with volunteers identified during the first WhereCamp Africa will be trained in techniques of GPS and paper based surveying and map creation, and create a comprehensive map of roads and facilities in Africa's largest slum. This activity will involve an initial two day intensive training, followed by 2-3 weeks of self-directed map making. This is a similar structure to the successful JumpStart Palestine map in Bethlehem. Several local organizations have expressed interest in providing a working venue, and experienced international mappers will be on site to facilitate the entire mapping process. Following the completion of the map, the raw data will be made freely available for upload into multiple collaborative mapping platforms, and GPS units will remain with community organizations for continual training and data collection.

Kibera itself has had some pilot mapping projects initiated, but not followed through. The FreeMap India project was initiated by C.R.I.T in Mumbai. The starting aim was to provide open mapping data in order for slum dwellers to participate in the planning and development process. This led to a series of tranings in open source and data tools in Mumbai, and throughout India, and the successful catalysation of an active OpenStreetMap community in India. In conjunction with the FOSS4G (Free and Open Source For GIS) conference in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008, OpenStreetMap held several events in Southern Africa, including the specific successful mapping of the Mandela Park township in Hout Bay.

Multiple Upload and Licensing

By uploading field collected data into multiple platforms, the project can test in a very practical, real and public way, any restrictions over use and hopefully encourage a meaningful dialogue about the uses of community collected map data. Following the announcement by Google at WhereCampAfrica in April 2009 of the generally availability of downloadable vector data for Kenya, the group came away with questions regarding the usability of street data and the local impact of several competing collaborative street mapping initiatives currently underway including OpenStreetMap, gRoads, Google Map Maker and Tracks4Africa. Mission critical operations such as those run by the WFP are hesitant to use OpenStreetMap data that can be created and maintained by unknown sources. The gRoads initiative creates data from known sources but uses a comparatively heavy data model. Google Map Maker downloadable data is not available throughout Africa and both Google and Tracks4Africa sourced data come with license and redistribution restrictions.

Data will be made available for the following collaborative mapping projects.

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