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Oct 1, 2007

Charting the Unknown: Mapping Bangladesh's Capital

In an age where digital maps are available on your cellphone, it's hard to imagine a place where digital maps simply don't exist. Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest countries, is such a place. However, University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Professor Akhlaque Haque, has set out to change that.

Dr. Haque has begun a four-month project to create the first comprehensive digital maps of Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka. A native of Bangladesh, Dr. Haque is teaching graduate students at BRAC University in Dhaka to map the capital city. He and the students will travel around the city by car and rickshaw collecting location-specific data on major roadways, railway stations, hospitals and other public service facilities using GPS units.

The team will then import the data into GIS software to create the digital map of the city. The maps will be made available online and presented to local government officials. The team intends to map alternative routes for entering and exiting the city during times of crises, including natural disasters such as the recent floods.

See also: GIS for the Third World

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