African communities are closing the digital map gap for cities

Advances in technologies like satellites and smartphones have transformed maps as we know them. The gold standard map is now digital. It is accessible – open data approaches mean that map data can be repurposed by many agencies, organizations, and communities at once. With the growth of crowdsourcing platforms like OpenStreetMap, it is even collaborative – anyone can contribute information to the map, improving upon the work of others.

For public service delivery, detailed geographic data is crucial to reaching the right people, at the right time, with the right supplies. For example, rapid mapping efforts enabled public health responders to locate disease hotspots during West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, and they are being deployed again to slow COVID-19’s spread.

Source:  World Bank Blogs