Digital Addressing System

About

One of the enabling goals of the National Development Plan (2018-2021) is to make the Gambia a digital nation and creating a modern information society, through the development of an enhanced ICT infrastructure and services for increased access to quality data services and solutions to support inclusive e-government and sustainable development goals. In responding to the goals of the NDP, MoICI, in 2017 after understanding the digital addressing challenges of the country, established the need for having a robust and holistic digital addressing solution to be rollout throughout the country that would eliminate inconsistence, inaccurate and unreliable already existing digital addressing systems and/or provide one where none existed. In adopting a viable solution to fix the existing Digital Addressing challenges of the country, MoICI in collaboration with Banjul City Council (BCC) and support from Google LLC, decided to rollout a pilot project in Banjul and ultimately throughout the country, based on the Google Plus Codes solution, which is an open-source solution provided by Google to the Gambia for free. The Plus Codes work on Google Maps as well as on any 3rd party app that wants to use Plus Codes as part of their product. The Google Plus Codes solution is a Digital Addressing System that establishes a digital infrastructure that connect people with its surrounding or environment through the use of GPS or other positioning system and/or geographical information systems (GIS) to compute precise and accurate location of places, properties or moving objects so as to make navigation, localization and tracking more easier, effective and efficient. The Google Plus Codes (Digital Addressing system) like other digital addressing solutions, is an invaluable tool that enables Smart-City application and services for better city management, improved emergency response, increased access to utilities services, postal services and the purchase & delivery of goods through e-commerce services etc.

Objective

The objective of this project is to enhance the digital addressing system of the country or ensures the availability of a robust digital addressing system in areas where no addresses exist in the country, to lay the foundation for Geographic Information System (GIS) services, Location-based services (LBS) and other Smart City application and services to strive.

Target

To assign digital addresses to all properties (residence, businesses, schools, hospitals and other landmarks) in Banjul, KM and West Coast region before end of 2022 and rest of the country by end of 2024.

Coverage

The pilot project or proof of concept project covers only Banjul, the Capital City, while the project scales up cover Kanifing Municipality (completed) and all municipalities or local government areas (LGAs) in all regions of the country.

MOICI and KMC Implements Google Plus Codes Project in KM

The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has commenced a mapping and property identification exercise of homes and businesses in collaboration with the ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ I๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป and ๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ. The exercise will create a comprehensive system to locate properties and navigate within the municipality.

KMC has established a ๐—š๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐˜†๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—บ (GIS) unit, which is leading this mapping exercise. KMC has a functional Geographic Information System (GIS) that utilises spatial and geographic data to enhance service delivery in the municipality. The GIS unit uses this spatial data to create maps of the municipality.

In order to located properties within the municipality, KMCโ€™s GIS unit started collecting data on 1st of June 2021. The unit has commenced tagging properties in the municipality with a unique identifier referred to as a GOOGLE PLUS CODE. An example of a Google Plus Code is F89C+HR5, Bakau, which refers to Independence Stadium (Bakau). Residents are encouraged to type these codes into Google Maps, in order to see their location on a phone or computer.

The data collection exercise is expected to be concluded by the end of October 2021, at which point every residence and business in Kanifing municipality shall have a unique code for identification purposes.

The enhanced GIS system and introduction of Google Plus Codes will improve access to information for planning purposes, enhance communication with fire services and medical ambulances regarding oneโ€™s location in times of emergency, and improved business operations, especially for financial institutions, logistics companies, and delivery operators.

MOICI Implements Google Plus Codes Pilot Project

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (project initiator and owner) in collaboration with Banjul City Council (project host) and support from Google (technology provider and enabler), piloted the Plus Codes Digital Addresses solution in the city of Banjul.

Beyond this pilot project in Banjul, MoICI is currently engaging the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) for the replication of this initiative in the Kanifing Municipality and ultimately scaling it up throughout the country.

The objective of this initiative is to assign unified digital addresses to properties such as residents, business, education facilities, health facilities and other landmarks amongst other in places where there are no addresses or well-functioning addresses. The following are the associated benefits of the Plus Codes:

For Individuals:

  1. Use Plus Codes to share any locationโ€”your home, a store, a meeting place – even if there are no street names or even streets. Friends, family, and service providers will find your home without relying on landmarks or asking for directions along the way.
  2. When you travel to unfamiliar places, Plus Codes save you time by guiding you directly to your exact destination.

Commercial Delivery:

Get goods to the right place, every time – whether it’s areas with traditional addressing, areas with no street names, rural areas or informal settlements. Use Plus Codes to get a precise pickup and drop-off locations so your logistics operations run smoothly and efficiently and Tax services can use Plus Codes for easy and effective navigation within a city or locality

Emergency Services

Help responders get assistance to citizens as fast as possible, with Plus Codes that pinpoint locations accurately. Coordinate rescue efforts with partner agencies for rapid service using an easy-to-use shared location code.

Government

Deliver services to all citizens, including mail and social assistance, no matter where they live. Ensure that citizens receive official communications and can register to vote.

NGO

Plus Codes can facilitate the delivery of humanitarian and disaster relief to regions where mapping data is incomplete or nonexistent. It helps in conducting better record-keeping and tracking of services by detailing locations served.