Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Navigating the Ghanaian Way

A friend has pointed out this post so I shall steal his thunder (well, the BBC's) and blog it. As usual, it's not only the article which is interesting but the comments underneath. One particularly ill-formed Timi suggests that in the 21st century just use a GPS. Simple eh? Um, not if the mapping doesn't exist.

Navigation is people finding their way. And in Ghana it appears that people can do that, including the taxi drivers. Sure, a mapping system and GPS would aid immensely but it's chicken and egg really. Who would use a sat nav if there was no base mapping? And who wants to pay for the mapping to be created if people can navigate satisfactorily? OK, the landscape is broader than that, and mapping is for more than navigation, but it's an interesting question and one which should be looked at through Ghanaian and not western eyes.

1 comment:

DCV said...

Ruth

I think you make an excellent observation: mapping is for people who CAN'T navigate in an area. How elemental is that? Probably more so than anyone would initially give a mind to (me included). The jungle peoples of the world navigate their domain incredibly well with their own navigation systems; tree and plant types and peculiarities, natural transits and flora/fauna indicators. Not a satellite in sight. Thanks for this observation. D