Those of you who know me probably know that I have always been fascinated with maps. In high school I had my room nearly wallpapered with maps. Quite a few months back I was looking for better map resources for Nairobi. There is a company that sells Garmin maps of Kenya from South Africa, but they are really expensive, and I did not know what kind of quality they were.
However, in my search I came across OpenStreepMap. It is a really nice “open” map website. They have the whole world and you can modify the map however you want. So can everyone else. It is like a Wikipedia for maps. And, wonderfully, a lot of Nairobi has been mapped, some in very great detail. You can export the maps from the website and put them right into different brand GPS units and off you go, driving along, even with turn by turn directions. (I had ordered a unit to put in the car but it was also waterproof for use on my motorcycle. My brother-in-law, Bob, brought it out, then gave me this awesome one for in the car.) Even a bunch of points of interest have already been added, and we used that to go to the Karen Blixen museum with my parents.
I have been using the one on my motorcycle to map missing roads when I get a chance. Nothing too far out of the way yet. The other day, I thought I would map another part of the unpaved bypass road Nairobi desperately needs. Trucks heading from Mombasa all the way to DRC go right through the middle of down town Nairobi. I wrote a diary entry over at OpenStreetMap.