Curating and visualizing conservation data for the Mombasa’s Old Town
This blog post is a guest post done by the Open Data Day Conservation Team and SwahiliBox Research. The post was authored by Harris Mwashalo and Aly Salim.
During the 2015 global open data day, SwahiliBox members gathered in Mombasa to mark this day. We looked at how open data could help solve thorny issues such as improving education, insecurity, wildlife and heritage conservation. Groups were formed to discuss the topics and looked at various datasets available to the public in the local open data repository.
The wildlife and conservation team
The team that was gravitated towards our mentor who was championing wildlife and marine issues here at the coast at that time. Thus we comprised of 7 members plus our mentor made nine. This was a team hell bent on finding ways to help conserve the wildlife, heritage and marine life in Mombasa.
Why is this data important?
The concerns we had were that there was no data available for any researchers to actually use and gain information from. This was the case in all three areas old town heritage, Mombasa’s wildlife and marine. Thus we had to find a way to collect data that is available and add to it and enable researchers to add to it in order to enable usage for different research projects. Thus we looked at the Old Town data that was available and tried to build a visual representation of it and open it to the masses.
How the team approached the task
For the Wildlife and Conservation Team, they set out to source this data from local organizations. Working with the SwahiliBox Research Team, they looked at how we could make a useful tool using the dataset on Old Town buildings using Odssey.js for interactivity and Cartodb for mapping. Here’s a data visualization showcasing the work: