Getting around the cities of Ghana can sometimes be frustrating and this is due to our poor addressing system. We don’t have a well structured addressing system in place to help navigate through the cities. One of the known methods used in moving around town especially if you’re a stranger or not entirely familiar with where you’re going is to ask someone. Though you might meet a good samaritan to assist you, it’s not always the case especially when you find yourself somewhere at circle. Some people could lead you to the wrong direction for no reason or worse, you can be robbed!
For those who have smartphones, Google Maps is their best choice of direction. But lets face the fact, Google doesn’t really know our addressing system better than we do. Google can’t give you a precise direction to the Waakye seller across the road at Chorkor, Tea Garden. In 2014, the World Bank supported the government with an amount of $3.6 Million to help name some streets and houses in Accra. The initiative to name all places in Ghana is on hold now as government is still raising funds to complete the naming of streets in Accra and the spread to other regions. (Really?)
How Can We Create A Location Solutions To Address This?
Technology has become a pivotal tool for solving many social challenges in Africa ranging from the Goldkeys technology developed by mPedigree which helps identify fake drugs when bought from the pharmacy shop to reduce death from fake drugs.
Ses Flyd, a young Ghanaian in his late 20s has developed a mobile application that helps solves the lack of addresses in Ghana by generating unique codes for each street and buildings in any location in Ghana.
SnooCode was developed in 2011 and requires no internet to use. The user needs to download the app for free on Google play store, install and stand in front of his house, business, favourite restaurant and generate the unique code for that location. SnooCode also suggests routes to the place and gives suggestions for taxi fare. The generated code can be sent to another person who has this app and the code can be plotted on a map to direct someone to that particular place without even calling for directions. SnooCode allows you to save the address (the code) of locations and places, share the address with the general public or send privately to friends and family.
Though one of the downsides of SnooCode is that, you need to have a smartphone (an Android phone to be precise) in order to use it. The app can also be relevant to businesses as they can use the codes of clients to offer delivery service to them directly to their houses without any difficulty in locating them. “All you need to do is generate the code for your house and stick it on your fridge and when someone asks for direction to your house, text him the code and your visitor will be at your house with no difficulty” says Ses Flyd.
“Snoocode is over 230 times more precise than the post code system in England. It works without the internet. The code can be used to provide address information when registering for a bank account, filling university forms or hospital forms”, he said.
SNOOCODE AIDS IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND DURING DISASTERS.
During emergencies or natural disasters, victims can simply send their codes to emergency response team to enable them locate where they are. Finding victims during disasters will become easier as you don’t need internet to be able to use the Snoocode mobile application, you can access it anywhere in Ghana. The application could have been used during the Ebola epidemic in the affected West African countries to monitor infected people and get to the epicentre of the Ebola pandemic if they had a better addressing system (Snoocode).
How Snoocode is different from Google maps
“Google maps is about maps and snooCode is about solving the addressing system. There is a map and there are addresses and places on the maps. How do you tell someone where you live on the map if you go to Google maps and it says, the street is unnamed. Which part of the street at your living and that is where Snoocode solves the problem” says Ses.
He said, “Snoocode allows people to get within 7meters of the location on average, you will never be 12 meters away from your address.” This will help government to be able to collect TV license levy from users who are difficult to locate. Ses, who holds a Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom is the founder of tinyDavid Limited, a software company that develops mobile application to solve social and business challenges. Ses’s business is located right inside his house and currently has about four paid employees working for him.
Ses’s mobile application snoocode has been internationally recognised by the African Union, United Nations and World Health Organisation. The free mobile application has been requested by some developing countries like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Madagascar and Malawi for the possibility of it implementation of solving the addressing system.
Download it now bit.ly/1zvxIy2here .
Author: Albert Ninyeh
Source : Tech Afrikico