World Bank and Google
On January 16th, the World Bank and Google announced an agreement aimed at improving the ability of developing countries to access a web-based community mapping tool and data to help better monitor public services, and improve disaster and humanitarian response efforts.
The World Bank suggests that most developing countries lack basic local data about where schools, hospitals, or water points are located, or often the data they do have is out of date or incorrect. This limits their ability to respond when a disaster or humanitarian crisis happens.
Under this agreement, Google will provide the World Bank, governments and UN agencies with access to Google Map Maker which includes detailed maps of more than 150 countries. Through this tool, citizens are able to directly participate in the creation of maps by contributing their local knowledge, and those additions will then be reflected on Google Maps and Google Earth.
“A global community of Google users have been volunteering their time to improve maps, making them more comprehensive and ensuring that they remain accurate as the world around them changes. This is particularly important in vulnerable locations and for disaster preparedness and recovery as it helps citizens and governments to better prepare emergency response plans and act effectively when a crisis hits,” said Shona Brown, Senior Vice President, Google.org.