“One of the things we spend a lot of time thinking about at Google is how we can make the world’s information more accessible and useful to people all over the globe. This includes providing rich local geographic data because a huge number of search queries have a geographic component,” said Joe Mucheru, Google’s sub-Saharan Africa leader.
The mapping is done through Google Map Maker, a tool that allows people to help create a map by adding or editing features such as roads, businesses, parks, schools...
“The aim of the mapping is to link the Korogocho community to health facilities and local community radio stations like Koch FM. This ensures that when there are health problems in the area, people can send text messages to the station; the station then gets in touch with health experts to advise people on what to do,” said Leonard Njeru, one of the volunteer cartographers.
The text messaging platform is provided by FrontlineSMS, a free service that allows one to send messages to large groups of people and enables instantaneous two-way communication.
“After mapping, the information is put in the system; it is hoped that it can move to a level where it can train community health workers,” said Mr Njeru, who is also a co-founder of Koch FM, one of the community-based radio stations operating in Korogocho, adding that the mapping also enables easier access to the area as it shows directions and distance.
The mapping of Korogocho follows the earlier mapping of other major towns on Google Maps.