In my previous blog (May I Have Your Attention Please; The Ghana post GPS Data Is Outdated), I expressed concerns about the Ghana Post GPS being outdated and incapable of being used for effective planning or socioeconomic development. I do not want to be the type who only highlights problems without proposing solutions. In this blog, I’d like to propose a low-cost solution for restoring our Ghana Post GPS data.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, the Ghana post GPS system was designed with the goal of assigning an address to every property in the country. Over time, the emphasis has shifted from assigning addresses to properties to assigning addresses to people creating an inverse relationship of many-to-one mapping instead of one-to-many mapping. I anticipate redundancy in the existing organizational database because, in our country, where compound houses house more than one household, each member of the families living in that house would use a similar but different digital address to reference the same property for all of their transactions. From discussions with some users of the App, a distance of about 5 meters can give you different address but it points to the same house.
A list of properties with their names, type of property, ownership, the material the property is made of, the purpose of the property, if residential, the number of households who live there, and so on should have existed in the database. Thank God, this is the type of data that the recent census listing gathered.
No one was more excited than I was to learn that the current census is geospatial in nature. They have the coordinates of every house listed along with its characteristics. This data can be used to replace the data currently stored in the Ghana Post GPS Database, after which the gaps can be strategically filled. In that sense, the coordinates in there are a representation of properties with identification qualities that include socioeconomic elements.
If this is done, the recent census data can be linked to the digital address, allowing for more effective planning for the benefit of the people of the country. This may sound too simple but can give potency to the Ghana Post GPS database.
Author: Francis Andorful
GeoInformation Scientist & Action Researcher