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20 February, at 10 : 59 AM Print
Back in the days, visiting a new place in Kigali would be hectic especially coping with the dusty, unmarked streets not to mention the unnumbered residential houses. Thanks to both the Rwandan government and Google for paving all roads and mapping all streets respectively.
Kigali residents who are technology inclined have begun directing each other using mobile phone’s Google maps.Of course, smartphones are the only suitable phones capable of providing such services.
Here is how it is done;
In case the Google mobile maps appis by default not in your phone, log onto your phone’s store and download it. Once the functionality is enabled, you can save routes from reference points like Rubangura building or Kigali Airport to your residence. Thereafter, you can send the saved routes to your visitor, who will then be guided by an icon that moves across the saved route as shown above (Rubangura,A to Biryogo,B), each time the visitor enters a wrong direction, h/she receives a notification of the right direction.
However as Steve Woziniac recent comment that android seems better; phones running Android operating system have more enhanced mapping systems to the extent that you can download maps of your entire neighborhood. This is because,Android uses a vector-based system of displaying map tiles, instead of image-based system (used in iPhone OS). The vector-based tiles use much less data (around 1/100th), making them fast at downloading and requiring less storage.
You do not have to wonder which magic Google uses to name and map all those suburbs. Early last year 2011, a team of students from National University of Rwanda travelled across the whole nation of Rwanda recording names of places with their coordinates.
On waiting list here in Kigali, is Google’s other cool features like Street view (an application that lets you have an onscreen view similar to the image you would see if physically walking on the streets.)