Kenya: Upande Ltd., a Nairobi-based technology start-up, launched Virtual Kenya. It aims to revolutionise the way Kenyans access and understand public spatial data sets for better decision-making, development planning and education.
According to Edward Mutuma, Chairperson of the Geospatial Engineering Students Association at the University of Nairobi, students and employers are increasingly interested in using new mapping tools like Google Earth to solve problems both in the classroom and in the field. But so far, there has been little support for these technologies. Virtual Kenya can help by collecting existing public data sets in one easy-to-use interface and combining it with cutting-edge mapping technology.
By taking advantage of these resources, students will sharpen their ability to interpret maps and draw inferences from geospatial data. Through community-based outreach activities, students can also apply these skills to support wildlife conservation and better environmental management in their schools and communities. With these tools and knowledge in hand, the next generation of leaders will be empowered to make better decisions for a more sustainable Kenya.