Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Borders No More

I generally avoid simple geo-news regurgitating on this blog.  I want this to be a component of the interweb that explores things and their impact on people and place rather than something you can find in a thousand different places.  On occasion, the poignant issues to me and the things you can find in a thousand places cross, and today's post is an example of that.  Having said that, if you haven't heard about the attack at a bar in Bujumbura, google it. So few of us ever hear about stuff like this and that's a travesty.  I feel it's incumbent upon me to encourage people to learn more on their own. It makes me wish I was back in seventh grade discussing current events.       

It's official, South Sudan has come to Google Earth.  Gone are the days of a red line border.  In the eyes of Google Earth it's a bona fide yellow border country.  I was quite pleased by this news.  We've all been following the quest for independence and as trivial as gaining full recognition on Google Earth may seem, to me it's an awfully big deal. 

Here is a picture as it appears today

And here is the article as posted on the Google lat long Blog.

Google continues to excel in Africa, both in bringing information in and working to educate people on Google's products.  How cool would it be to be invited to one of these?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Finding Pommern in Rural Tanzania

It took a while, but I finally discovered Pommern in the Kiloli District of Iringa in Tanzania. Even though I had developed a specific search area, I didn't have a very good way of methodically eliminating areas. I came across a building that appeared to be the secondary school I worked in, but the lay of the paths and roads and other buildings didn't match up. The building, however, provided me a point of reference so I could zoom out a little further and still be able to find a building of similar size. When I finally did stumble upon the Village, I couldn't believe it.

After years of looking...boom, there it is. Unfortunately, it falls outside of the area with the really nice new imagery, but it is clear enough that I was able to mark a couple key sites on my trip. It goes without saying (but not without mentioning) that this will be great for geotagging pictures. I'll be able to add many within 50 feet or so, which is amazing for extremely rural Africa. I also hope that someone who has or is planning to go to Pommern with Global Volunteers will be able to use this as a resource.  I know I would have appreciated this.

So here it is. It doesn't look like much, but for me it's endless stories and memories. Certainly worth all the effort to find it.
In case you'd like to look around and see exactly where it is, you can use this map.

View Larger Map

Yea....I need to get back.