Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Let's map Africa

[cross-posted from the Google Africa Blog]

We are excited to announce that users may now build and edit maps in Map Maker for 45 new African countries, bringing the total number of countries covered in Map Maker to 122 countries, covering a population of 3 billion people. The Map Maker team is very excited about this announcement as Africa symbolizes our dream - to bring rich, deep map and local data to places that had none. Having good maps and local data spurs investment, local commerce and planning. Many NGOs also depend on a good base map to plan and execute their work. So much so that many NGOs have told us that they either cannot do their work without good maps or have to spend a lot of effort building these.

However, we need your help. With Map Maker, any user can create or edit map data including schools, buildings, local businesses, national parks, trails and safaris. If you have strong local knowledge, this is your chance to make a little difference.

The countries enabled for editing today are: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Morocco (including Western Sahara), Zambia, Zimbabwe. And don't forget that you can also edit the several other countries in Africa that were made available in August: Cape Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Reunion, São Tomé and Príncipe and Seychelles.

We leave you with an image of Nairobi, Kenya, where Google MapMaker has been working on a project in partnership with a team of seven students from three Kenyan universities to create better online maps for this region.

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