Launching SharePlusCode: An app for finding your geolocation in remote rural locations

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Some years ago, Open Development and Education supported Tanzania Development  Trust (TDT) in their mapping campaign to combat female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice affecting more than 50% of girls and yong women in some regions of rural Tanzania.  The mapping campaign was launched due to the difficulty of locating girls at risk of FGM as well as the location of safehouses. There are villages of over 10,000 people that don’t appear on maps. OpenDevEd’s work to address this issue sparked the development of a new open-source application: SharePlusCode.

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Higher accuracy GPS on mobile phones

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This post originally appeared here on 21st July 2018 under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

GPS accuracy of standard phone chips is limited to a few metres [1]. You cannot get better than that because of the technology employed. However, when travelling by plane, you’ll have noticed that often GPS position is lost once your plane reaches a certain speed, which (so I’ve heard) is due to the processing capabilities of phone chips. So, to make sure that you get the best possible signal, and as a bonus continue using GPS on flights, you could buy the “Dual XGPS150A Bluetooth GPS Receiver” [2]. Costing about $100, it doesn’t give you better accuracy, but might give you a better antenna position. Until recently, this was the only reasonably priced option to make the most of the standard technology.

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Maps and Meaning – Sierra Leone’s Digital School Census and what it means for school-level location and accessibility data collection

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In 2018, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) in Sierra Leone launched the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) programme, making free education compulsory for children up to the age of 18. Described by a spokesperson of the MBSSE as “the most realistic way of developing the human capital of our country and moving Sierra Leone forward” (Sheriff, 2019), the programme saw a surge in enrolment in schools. However, a side effect of this surge in enrolment was increased difficulty in accurately monitoring the education system. MBSSE moved forward from their paper-based Annual School Census to a new digital census to achieve this.

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