In 2009, the directors of GroundTruth started the Map Kibera project in Nairobi, Kenya, which is now the Map Kibera Trust. Kibera was not visible on any publicly available map and had little reputable local news and information, despite being the largest slum in Kenya and home to some 250,000 people. The residents had no simple way to engage in information-driven dialogue about their own local development, among themselves or with international organizations and government, or to share their views and aspirations for their community. The GroundTruth principals trained three groups of youth from Kibera in the use of technology to share information about the slum. The Map Kibera members continue to build collaborative digital maps using OpenStreetMap, use SMS and Ushahidi to report news on the Voice of Kibera website, and shoot and edit video news clips to post on Youtube as Kibera News Network. Map Kibera continues to grow to other areas, like Mathare and Mukuru slums in Nairobi, and provide critical news and data for development and democracy in the community. GroundTruth continues to support Map Kibera and help provide leadership through membership on the board of trustees.
Community Mapping in Dar es Salaam: Ramani Tandale
Starting in June 2011, GT has worked with the World Bank on a community mapping project in Tandale, an informal settlement in Dar es Salaam. We have worked with Map Kibera, local partner Center for Community Initiatives, and Ardhi University to map the settlement in OpenStreetMap, and launch a blog and the Ushahidi-based Ramani Tandale reporting site. We are currently looking at ways to support expansion into several other settlements.
Grassroots Jerusalem: Grassroots al-Quds
In July 2011, GT spent about one month in Jerusalem on assignment with a local organization called Grassroots Jerusalem (or al-Quds in Arabic). We trained their staff and interns on the use of OpenStreetMap, creating a map with community members in a Palestinian settlement called Al Walajeh. We also mentored their staff to support the community groups in a workshop on media and mapping local events. GT then began developing an interactive platform so Palestinian groups in diverse parts of East Jerusalem an the nearby settlements could highlight their work, local issues and events.
Mapping workshop in Kampala
In June 2012, GT worked with the local organization Fruits of Thought to put on a two day mapping and reporting training at Makerere University. In partnership with the World Bank, GT also advised on recommended strategy and logistics for a continued association between Makerere and a Ministry of Lands and Housing initiative set to take place in five Ugandan cities, using community mapping to inform city planning in informal areas.
Moabi Tech Review
In 2012, the World Wildlife Fund engaged GroundTruth to review and make recommendations on Moabi. Moabi is a geographic data sharing platform, in Drupal, to track deforestation and progress with REDD+. The first instance is in DRC, with more instances planned to cover other issues and places of interest to WWF’s conservation work.
Unicef MICS / Swaziland
In 2010, Unicef worked with GroundTruth to integrate GPS and OpenStreetMap techniques into country wide household survey, with a pilot project in Swaziland. We trained the Swaziland based survey teams, wrote manuals and procedures, and processed the results into experimental visualizations and applications; and with the contribution of the OpenStreetMap community, helped transform the GPS data into a starting country-wide basemap of Swaziland.