JumpStart Georgia’s Data Now Live on Google Map Maker

14 April 2011

Author: dato.gogishvili

JumpStart Georgia’s Data Now Live on Google Map Maker


Over the last several years I have heard thousands of complaints and questions by disappointed Georgians and foreigners alike who, while researching Georgia online sooner or later stumble upon the question: Why is Georgia not on Google Maps? Where is Georgia on Google Maps? These questions became increasingly pointed at Google representatives themselves following the Georgian-Russian conflict in 2008. Google even went so far as to post a blog about it explaining why the map of Georgia on Google Maps is still blank.

Things have started to change, however, and several government agencies (especially NAPR) andJumpStart Georgia (formerly known as Open Maps Caucasus or OMC) began putting lots of effort to improving the state of the map of Georgia on Google Maps.

Beginning in October 2009, JumpStart Georgia began working to create an open-source digital map / geodatabase of Georgia. One of the goals of the project was to include as many volunteers as possible in the process to get Georgians excited about mapping! Ultimately, more than 40 community organizers and as many as 1000 volunteers participated in our project. These mapping enthusiasts spread out over the different regions of Georgia, walking with GPS machines and walking papers in-hand and the desire to mark their city, town or village on a map. They tracked paths from the largest highways to the smallest paths of small villages and points of interest including schools, pharmacies, kindergartens and playground. They had fun, learned and succeeded in mapping Georgia.

After nearly a year of cumbersome field work and meticulous office work JumpStart Georgia managed to collect this data into one large, open-source geodatabase. Several months ago, we submitted our geodatabase of roads and point to Google with the hope that, quality pending, they would begin to import it into Google’s Map Maker tool. The data, initially to be imported into Google Map Maker (a tool which allows communities and individuals to collaboratively map certain territories and thus improve Google Maps) would later, in its changed form, be incorporated in the the large body of data the comprises Google Maps.

Now, we can finally say that, yes, Jumpstart Georgia’s data is now LIVE on Google Map Maker! You can now see all the villages, highways, lakes and protected areas that until recently was something we could only dream of seeing on Google and there is still more to come!