Good news, Google launches walking direction-enabled Maps for about 44 African Countries: Now, the question is ”how current are these maps?”


Google Lat Long blog says ”Google Maps for Africa gets better”, how better is this better?. Oh!, walking directions launched!. That sounds like a good news, but the question is, how current are these maps?

I have discussed this with folks, that Google map for my city Abuja-Nigeria hasn’t been helpful in getting driving directions and now we are talking about walking directions. The issue is that, the maps Google has in most of these countries in Africa are not current.

Since 2010 when Google announced the availability of driving directions in most African countries, lots of things have changed in the maps. Many new roads and streets have been constructed, street names have changed, infrastructures changed and added etc.  So how confident can one be of getting reliable directions with these  out-of-date Google maps in these countries.

At least I can say for sure, that Google map of Abuja city where I currently live is as outdated as 2009. I can’t even recall when Google-Nigeria ever embarked on any  mapping  project as done by their colleagues in some other countries.

I suggest that Google could make this development, a welcome and useful one by getting these maps current. Embarking on massive crowd-sourced mapping projects in many of these cities could be a way out. On the other hand acquiring current data from other geospatial data providers, even from Open Street Map could also be the way.

If these maps are made current, then these developments in driving and walking directions, frankly would be awesome developements for the African people. At least the instructions on the map below look cool 🙂

I am just a GeoGeek deeply engulfed in everything Geo. A Geospatial Technology consultant that gets pretty awesome when it concerns geospatial techs. A great ambassador of Spatial Thinking in Africa. “Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works.” - Carl Sagan