Uganda maps just got better

Over 30,000 places in Uganda mapped including businesses, market centres, shops and churches


In Uganda we have one of the most active map maker communities that has added  a great deal of points, places of interest and roads.  Ugandan students were also part of  more than 1800 student super mappers trained from across Africa on Google Map Maker and thanks to them Makerere University, Uganda Christian University, Metropolitan University Business School, International Health Sciences University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Sikkim Municipality are now on Google maps.  Over 30,000 places in Uganda including businesses, market centres, shops and churches have also been mapped.  Google has provided local domain and driving directions.   During the last elections a map your polling station competition was organised and produced great results.  Max Adoko, Ugandan Map Maker Advocate since March, 2011, says, “ Lack of comprehensive maps is Uganda is what propels to do the mapping.”

See Uganda maps

Evans Arabu, Program Manager, Google

This is a replicated story in many African countries.  From basic maps of major roads to detailed maps in many African countries, cities and towns, these maps have since evolved to include local domains, driving and walking directions, traffic information, Street View imagery in South Africa and Botswana, and turn by turn GPS navigation in South Africa. The transformation of the maps we use everyday is driven by a growing industry that creates jobs and economic growth globally.


Twenty years ago, we used paper maps and printed guides to help us navigate the world. Today, the most advanced digital mapping technologies—satellite imagery, GPS devices, location data and of course Google Maps—are much more accessible. In Africa, the quest to create comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use Google Maps started about 4 years ago. By sourcing information from local businesses, governments, partner providers and of course, our volunteer Map Maker community, our road coverage in Africa has increased from 20% in 2008 to 75% in 2012, and the the number of towns and villages mapped has grown by 1000 percent. This change in mapping technology is improving our lives and helping businesses realize untold efficiencies. Stanbic Bank Uganda have mapped over 160 ATM locations onto Google Maps.


The transformation of the maps we use everyday is driven by a growing industry that creates jobs and economic growth globally. To present a clearer picture of the importance of the geo services industry, Google commissioned studies from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Oxera. The studies revealed that maps make a big economic splash around the world. For example, the global geo services industry is valued at up to $270 billion per year and pays out $90 billion in wages. The infographic below illustrates some examples of the many benefits of maps, whether it’s improving agriculture irrigation systems or helping emergency response teams save lives.


Over 1.1 billion hours of travel time are saved each year according to the report.  This is because maps are such an integral part of how we live and do business. That’s why it’s important to understand the need to invest in the geo services industry so it continues to grow and drive not only the Ugandan economy but the global economy as a whole. Investments can come from the public and private sectors in many forms—product innovation, support of open data policies, more geography education programs in schools and more.


Google is proud of the contributions that Google Maps and Earth, the Google Maps APIs and our Enterprise solutions have made to the geo services industry and to making maps more widely available, but is looking forward to get more data to map the whole of Uganda.



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