For the first time, districts such as Soroti and Gulu can be located on Google Maps. This has been made possible by students of Makerere University’s Faculty of Computing and Informatics Technology who recently participated in the Google Map Maker competition.
The competition which attracted over 100 students, required students to, among other things, map their locality on Google Maps. As a result, the students added 7,000 new entries on the Uganda map on Google Maps.
Michael Kakande who emerged the overall winner made 1,201 entries of areas around Makerere University, his former school Jinja College and his home area Gayaza Kasangati – winning himself a netbook [mini laptop] from Google.
In the second and third places were Daniel Ngarambe and Miheso Eugene Swinnerstone respectively who each won an HTC Dream Android phone.
Google Maps is a service offered by the internet search company Google offering a user-friendly mapping technology that allows all countries around the globe to map themselves online.
With Google Maps, you can be able to locate areas and look for, for example, business information such as business locations, their contacts and driving directions. Google Maps provide high-resolution satellite images.
You can view a satellite image with superimposed map data of your desired location and you can zoom, pan and drag the map to view adjacent areas instantly.
“The world is becoming one big village and if I don’t find you in the village, then you don’t exist. We are beginning to depend so much on technology that for anything, you can just google. Gone are the days when online space was reserved for only big cities and towns,” said Michael Niyitegeka, the Head Corporate Relations, Makerere University Faculty of Computing and Informatics Technology.
Uganda recently got its own domain on Google Maps as googlemaps.co.ug as a way of facilitating her visibility online.
Uganda remains one of the poorly marked countries online – with only Kampala as the marked town.
Richard Ngamita, a Data Analyst with Google Africa Team explained that Google’s competition was meant to encourage students to map their areas in a view of making the world more of a global village.
To create a map of your location, you need to be signed into your Google account [gmail]. You click on the My Maps link under the search box and look for the Create New Map button. This will enable you get the satellite map for your location with which you can mark locations, paths and regions of interest on a personalized map, and share it with the world.