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Map Kibera

Mikel Maron (OpenStreetMap)
Location: Ballroom III

The first complete, free and open map of Kibera, Nairobi

Kibera is the largest slum in Africa, situated in Nairobi, Kenya. Many UN agencies, including UN-HABITAT, US Government agencies such as USAID, and NGOs, like Carolina for Kibera, have presence nearby in Nairobi, and as a result, Kibera is one of the most well known, researched, and serviced slums anywhere. Despite this focus, Kibera remains literally a blank spot on the map, its patterns of traffic, scarce water resources, limited medial facilities, etc. remain invisible to the outside world and to the residents themselves. Without basic knowledge of the geography of Kibera it is impossible to have an informed discussion on how to improve the lives of residents of Kibera.

Map Kibera will produce the first complete free and open map of Kibera. This November, motivated young local people will be trained to create maps using OpenStreetMap techniques. This includes surveying with GPS and digitization of satellite imagery and paper-based annotation with Walking Papers. Individuals from the blossoming Nairobi tech scene will help train and make connections with the larger community, and create a sustainable group of map maintainers beyond the initial three week November effort. Data consumers will be consulted for their needs, to help add direction to feature types collected, and aided to immediately make use of the map data. This is being led by OSM’s Mikel Maron who recently led a similar mapping project of the Gaza Strip and Jubal Hapster, principal and co-founder of Spatial Development International, technical lead of AGCommons and organizer of WhereCampAfrica.

Photo of Mikel Maron

Mikel Maron


Mikel is co-Founder of Mapufacture (now part of GeoCommons), and specializes in Open Geospatial and Wiki technologies. He’s been active in the standardization of GeoRSS and in the OpenStreetMap collaborative mapping project, and several open source projects. He’s developed two of the first Wikis in use at the UN. Previously, Mikel worked as senior developer of My Yahoo! and researched evolutionary models of ecosystems for an MSc at the University of Sussex.