Drones To Map Africa’s Unmapped Rural Areas

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Ivan Gayton with Doctors Without Borders in London has created a low-cost drone which he says says will help map parts of Africa where infrastructure is poor — one of many new ways drone technology is being used in Africa.

It will allow aid charities working in Africa to respond easier to natural and health emergencies such as Ebola, according to a CCTVAfrica video.

Gayton says there are 200 million people missing from the world map.

“We can’t do the kind of public health that we take for granted here (in the U.K.) because we lack that fundamental map infrastructure,” Gayton said. Doctors Without Borders is working with Red Cross, Humanitarian Open Street Map and volunteers in Africa.  OpenStreetMap applies the principles of open source and open data sharing for humanitarian response and economic development.

Using aerial imagery captured by drones, maps are created that can provide crucial information to fight ebola and natural disasters, Gayton said.  “The citizens of Africa – they should be a full participant in this endeavor to map the world.”

The drone is expected to sell for less than $200. With drones like this able to fly over tough terrain in a fraction of the time it takes land vehicles, more and more charities are starting to use this airborne technology, CCTVAfrica reports.