As part of the MICS4 pilot in Mombasa, Kenya, a GPS unit was left on at all times during field monitoring. This was done to test how feasible it would be to upload the collected tracks and then edit data into a road network in and around Mombasa. You may follow the progress here.
Please note that Mombasa was almost unmapped before this excercise.
You may be aware that Google offers pretty much the same service on online maps - however, these maps are copyrighted and are not flexible in use. For comparison here is Google's map of Mombasa and surroundings.
Google has an office in Nairobi, so their coverage is very good here, unlike in the rest of Africa.
The test was done for a number of reasons:
- Many survey coordinators have been asking for advice on how to utilise GPS units further. Handing units to field team supervisors to mark cluster locations has long been used to attach data to geographic locations, but why not keep the units on at all times (using the cigarette lighter)? This way you can track the location of vehicles at all times (checking mileage and fuel consumption) and create an almost full coverage map of the survey location.
- Another idea is to equip listing teams with units and have all households marked and numbered on maps, thus making location much easier for interviewers.
- Further, we could ask all interviewers to mark all households visited, making it very unattractive to take a day off filling questionnaires under a tree...
- Finally, it seems very unproductive to leave field team drivers without anything to do for entire days.
Should you be interested in participating in bigger pilots, in discussion on how to best employ GPS units, or in any related matter, feel free to contact Bo Pedersen, ESARO MICS Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org