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Mapping Africa: The Fruits of WhereCamp Africa


Not too long ago we covered the fact that the first ever WherecampAfrica was being held in Nairobi. Well, I neglected to follow up and there are some cool things that have come out of that event.


WhereCamp Africa: Kampala is tentatively planned for Friday October 30th at the same venue as the Africa GIS 2009 conference. (I had to look it up, GIS= Geographic Information System) The event will occur on the final day of the conference and should allow plenty of opportunity for traditional GIS folks to interact with local developers.

A little about the GIS Conference:

AFRICAGIS is the premier conference and exhibition focusing on geo-information technologies and applications in Africa. The principal objective of AFRICAGIS is to provide a platform for geo-information professionals from Africa to learn about geo-information technology and its applications. It provides a forum for geo-information professionals to meet, interact, and be updated on new developments, products and emerging trends and issues.

There is more information coming, so stay tuned and well let you know about all the WhereCamp developments.

And if that is not enough mapping fun for you…. also in the works:
WhereCampAfrica Bamako!
In the planning stages for April 2010 during the 2nd annual African Geospatial week. During which the annual CGIAR-CSI (The Consultative Group for International Agriculture ResearchConsortium for Spatial Information) meeting will take place. Keep your eyes peeled!

Along with all the camps the team at WhereCampAfrica in conjunction with Open Street Map and Development Seed is also planning a potential Open Source Mapping Project in East Africa: AfricaGIS Participatory Mapping Project.

From their Prospectus

The opportunity is immediately available to leapfrog the African mapping community into the latest accessible practices of the GeoWeb, utilizing open data, open standards and open source software for application and systems development.
This project aims to catalyze a dormant but otherwise very motivated African geo community through local, community based, but scalable participatory mapping

With four ambitious phases, this project works hard to get the participatory part right:
We have already told you about phase 1:
WhereKampala – An informal un-conference focused on mapping and spatial technology where participants set the agenda.

The rest of the phases include:
Map Kibera – Mapping the Kibera slum area of Nairobi to raise awareness, catalyze a community and test open data licensing with major vendors and initiatives

Mapping Parties – Expand on mapping Kibera and hold mapping parties in and around East African capitols including Nairobi, Kampala, Lilongwe and Kigali.

Open Source Geo Workshop – Train in the use of Open Source Geo technologies, including PostGIS, GeoServer, GeoWebCache, GeoNetwork and Open Layers immediately before or After the AfricaGIS conference.

This all volunteer project is looking for funding to get off the ground… so contact them if you are interested in giving this important project a helping-hand.

Find Jubal Harpster:
via e-mail:
Jubal on Twitter

WherecampAfrica on Twitter

For those of you looking for more information on the first WhereCamp:
One of the main objectives of the original camp was to showcase the opportunities that rapidly changing Information and communication technologies offer. The hope was to really leverage the media to raise awareness especially in the area of agricultural production and productivity. Media represented at the event included BBC, IPS, UN IRIN, Nation TV and Newspaper as well as the Africa Science News Service. The complete list of media outlets that covered the event is impressive. WhereCampAfrica Coverage Report_June2009

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