[OSGeo Africa] Fwd: [auprn:268] Nairobi - Open Source / GIS database of Naiorobi

Chris Berens chris at mapland.co.za
Wed Apr 23 01:12:42 PDT 2014

Here is a relevant posting from another group. The last word in the
abstract brings it home for me.  It would be interesting to map/quantify
any growth in take up of GIS tools in the wake of OS GIS and especially
QGIS.  Perhaps this has already been done...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: African Urban Planning Research Network <auprn at googlegroups.com>
Date: 23 April 2014 09:10
Subject: [auprn:268] Nairobi - Open Source / GIS database of Naiorobi
To: auprn at googlegroups.com

Sarah Williams, Elizabeth Marcello & Jacqueline M. Klopp (2014). Toward
Open Source Kenya: Creating and Sharing a GIS Database of Nairobi. Annals
of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 104,  Issue 1, pages


To make good decisions about the future direction of cities we need data to
contextualize and make recommendations that are based on past results and
potential models for the future. Yet access to information including
geographic information systems (GIS) is challenging, particularly as data
are often seen as a commodity or source of power by those who control it, a
dynamic more severe in contexts like Kenya. By generating GIS data for our
own transportation model and then sharing them with those interested in
doing research on Nairobi, we experienced firsthand some of the power
dynamics associated with accessing and generating information in the
developing country context. The project had several important lessons: (1)
Simply developing data does not make them open; how “open access” is
provided to the data is just as important as making them freely available.
(2) Developing data can show commitment to a particular place or project
that can help generate support for stronger partnerships and project goals.
(3) Openly sharing data about place might help push those with access to
information to share information as well. Overall this research project
illustrated that sharing data can help support a more open access ecosystem
locally by establishing a culture of data sharing but only if those
interested in using it have the technical ability to both access and use
data sets provided.

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