Tag Archive | Africa

Full Extent of Africa’s Groundwater Resources Visualized for the First Time

by Stuart Kent, New Security Beat, Woodrow Wilson Center, May 28, 2012

“In Africa, groundwater is the major source of drinking water and its use for irrigation is forecast to increase substantially to combat growing food insecurity,” yet, a lack of quantitative data has meant that “groundwater storage is consequently omitted from assessments of freshwater availability,” according to new research in Environmental Research Letters. The authors of “Quantitative Maps of Groundwater Resources in Africa,” Alan Macdonald, Helen Bonsor, and Brighid Dochartaigh of the British Geological Survey, and Richard Taylor of University College London, used estimates compiled from geologic data and 283 aquifer summaries from 152 different publications to quantitatively visualize, for the first time, the extent of Africa’s groundwater resources. …

For full of text, please visit New Security Beat: Eye On: Full Extent of Africa’s Groundwater Resources Visualized for the First Time.

Project Report for GISCorps: Geocoding Locations of NGOs in Sierra Leone


GISCorps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summary:Non-government organization NGO activity in developing countries is difficult to track due to limited infrastructure. URISA’s GISCorps, which coordinates short-term, volunteer-based GIS services to underprivileged communities, was asked to assist the Craig Bellamy Foundation in creating an interactive map showing the locations of international and national NGO offices and their programs in Sierra Leon, a developing country in Western Africa. Michael Knapp, a GIS specialist from Anchorage, Alaska, describes how a combination of Esri and Google technology accomplished the task.

For full text of the article, visit Project Report for GISCorps: Geocoding Locations of NGOs in Sierra Leone – Directions Magazine.

How Tech Can Help Prevent Violence

by Francie Diep, Innovative News Daily on Discovery News, April 30, 2012

Just as researchers are able to predict tornadoes and tsunamis, they can sometimes predict war and violence, too. Researchers developed the world’s first early-warning systems to protect civilians after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Now the Obama administration has put out a call for the next generation of technologies made to prevent mass torture, killings and more. … At the same time, USAID — a government agency responsible for providing humanitarian aid — issued a challenge seeking technology to prevent atrocities. …

For full text of the article, visit How Tech Can Help Prevent Violence : Discovery News.

U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American

By Lisa Friedman, Scientific American, March 19, 2012

University of Texas researchers have developed a sophisticated new mapping tool showing where vulnerability to climate change and violent conflicts intersects throughout the African continent. More than a year in the making and part of a $7.6 million, five-year Department of Defense grant, the Climate Change and African Political Stability project culls data on riots, civil unrest and other violent outbursts dating back to 1996. It overlaps with information about climate-change-induced vulnerabilities like drought, as well as the type of aid that is being delivered to various parts of Africa.

For full text of the article in Scientific American, visit U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American.

Political Repression 2.0 – NYTimes.com

by Evgeny Morozov, NYT, September 1, 2011

AGENTS of the East German Stasi could only have dreamed of the sophisticated electronic equipment that powered Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s extensive spying apparatus, which the Libyan transitional government uncovered earlier this week. The monitoring of text messages, e-mails and online chats — no communications seemed beyond the reach of the eccentric colonel. What is even more surprising is where Colonel Qaddafi got his spying gear: software and technology companies from France, South Africa and other countries. … Amid the cheerleading over recent events in the Middle East, it’s easy to forget the more repressive uses of technology. …

For full text of the op-ed, visit Political Repression 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Crowdsourcing Democracy in Egypt

John F Moore, Government in the Lab, July 23, 2011

Throwing out President Hosni Mubarak was the easy part. Building a democracy is the hard one. Egypt will have its first post-revolution parliamentary election in September, and political activists are finding new methods to engage voters. These include social media and crowdsourcing tools utilized to raise discussions about the new constitution. Egyptians hope that technology will help them build a better nation.

For full text of the article, via Government In The Lab | Blog | Crowdsourcing Democracy in Egypt.

LIBYA: How online mapping helped crisis response

by IRIN news, a service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, May 12, 2011

NAIROBI, 12 May 2011 (IRIN) – Soon after the Libyan crisis broke, decision-makers and humanitarian workers faced a critical challenge: lack of information about events inside the country. Within hours, Andrej Verity, information management officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, called a meeting with volunteer-based and/or technically focused groups. OCHA activated the Standby task force, comprising more than 150 volunteers skilled in online crisis mapping. The idea was to map out social and traditional media reports from within Libya. That led to the creation of LibyaCrisisMap.net. …

For full text of the article, visit IRIN Middle East | LIBYA: How online mapping helped crisis response | Libya | Conflict | Economy | Governance | Refugees/IDPs | Security | Urban Risk.

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