Friday, 17 February 2012

Map Kibera - Community Mapping in Nairobi, Kenya

Map Kibera

Map Kibera is a fascinating example of citizens and aid agencies using social media for community empowerment and development.

Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, is a city suburb, which since 2009 has been creating a free open map of facilities and providing news services for local citizens and community activists. 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, have presences 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. remained invisible to the outside world, and residents themselves. Without a basic knowledge of the geography of Kibera it is impossible to have an informed discussion on how to improve the lives of the residents of Kibera.

In November 2009, local 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. The work has been ongoing since, with the support of local community members and financial support from a number of agencies. In April 2010, Map Kibera started two media and local news reporting groups formed to elaborate on information in Kibera. Kibera News Network uses handheld Flip video cameras to record local news and stories and edit videos to post on Youtube and share in the community.Voice of Kibera uses Ushahidi software to map local stories and reports onto the Kibera map, and serve as a local information hub. Both groups are led by Kibera youth.

The project blog  provides descriptions of the implementation of the project which discusses the uses and promotion of mapping technology. The project wiki provides an ovierview of the project and details of plans and project documentation.

No comments: