2020 Shortlist


Category: Open data

Country/area: Nigeria

Organisation: Agency France Press, Aljazeera, Yahoo News, The Pulitzer Centre, DW

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 29/11/2019

Credit: Celia Lebur, Jacopo Ottaviani, James Mark, Denis Irorere, Code for Africa, The Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting, The Humanitarian Open Street Map, AFP media, Makoko Dream, Uhurulabs, African Drone

Project description:

MapMakoko is an opendata-driven innovative project that empowers citizens in Makoko and its n The resulting open geodata will for the first time give community leaders, residents, planners, and development agencies exact intel on everything from schools and clinics, to waters sources, sewers, roads, markets and homes in Makoko. CfAfrica will make the data available in community gathering points to help residents use it for better planning or campaigns. CfAfrica will also proactively share the maps and data with emergency response and public health and service agencies in Lagos state to ensure they have the best available geo-data for planning

Impact reached:

  • Capacity building of 15 female drone pilots.
  • An interactive Map of Makoko Community on the OpenStreetMap (before now, Makoko has been a blank spot on any official Map) now exist.
  • Makoko now have a baseline data revealing a lot of missing social amenities and absence of government presence in the community for example the non existence of a secondary school in the community.
  • Visitors and citizens have access to the map/data for easy navigation within the community.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises have been captured in the map and this is hoping to cause a business growth and better the economy.


Techniques/technologies used:

Drones – Trained mostly female drone pilots on data collection for Mapping. Drones was used to collect geo-spatial data and Aerial footage of Makoko

Open Data Kit – An Open source tool which was tailored to collect ground data and geo-spatial data of Points of Interests (POI) while navigating the waterways of Makoko on wooden canoe. I trained the team of volunteers from the community main consisting of the Makoko dream girls. the complete ODK suite was used:

The ODK Collect – This is an andriod mobile front-end interface for the data collecting volunteers to engage with while gathering data, itwas designed to collect geo-spatial data, multi-media, text and numerical data types.

The ODK Build – This web based tool was used in designing and structuring the front-end user interface. Simply put, it was used to build the data template/forms/ instrument that runs on the mobile devices.

The ODK Aggregate Server– The app engine that resides on a Virtual Private Server to host an instance of forms and data base to store data collected from the field remotely.  

Java OpenStreetMap – A tool I used in uploading the Points of Interest to the Live Map on the Open Street Map (OSM) Platform, highlighting waterways, streets, roads, SMEs etc.

Spreadsheet – I used it in cleaning the data collected, making it ready for upload.

Map.me – I also used it to upload some POIs directly to the OSM platform.

Open Aerial Map – This is an open source web platform used to host the stitched drone Imagery, in preparation for upload to the OSM platform.

Slack- I created Private team channels to coordinate the team work on task and other project management in general.


What was the hardest part of this project?

Due to the unique location of Makoko (a floating slum on the Lagoon) drones was used in Mapping the community to get a high resolution imagery for mapping, also I spent days working remotely from thin balanced canoes made of wood, mapping the nook and crannies of this community, this is the first time a mapper would go physically to collect Points of interest from a canoe – Maintaining my balance while collecting data and geo-coordinates was a skill i learnt and perfected on the field simply to provide an open data.

Bringing teams from different geo-locations/ time zone together to work on the project and collaborate on task, adopting tools for work and achieve result remotely.


What can others learn from this project?

  • That getting the community buy-in is key in projects such as this. and this is achievable by organizing town halls.
  • Availability of Baseline opendata is important and in collecting these, building a relationship with the community helps them connect with the project. 
  • Communities should be made to take ownership of projects in their community for sustainability and lasting impact. 
  • There are resources in slum communities, supporting these communities is a sure way of refining them for a greater impact.


Project links: