Friday, December 21, 2007

Google visits to boost Kenya’s technology projects

Kenya’s potential to develop world-class technology solutions is attracting the attention of big foreign firms hoping to tap into the expertise. A team of experts Google are in the country to examine locally built solutions for a possible commercialisation or financing of their development.

Nelson Mattos, Google’s Vice President for Engineering in Eastern Africa and Kannan Pashupathy, the company’s international operations director, sampled 15 projects designed by Kenyan engineering students for a variety of applications.

One project included a Wireless Map Service (WMS) developed by Jessica Francisca Colaco, from Strathmore Research and Consultancy Centre. The application gives mobile phone owners seamless access to a continuously updated mapping system. Its designers says it should help users navigate Nairobi city as well as locating points of interest.

Since it established its regional office in Kenya, Google has set the development of its Maps application as one of the strategic pillars. The application provides up-to-date geographical information to users around the world.

Mr Joseph Mucheru, Google’s Office Leader, said the company was keen to make its Maps product relevant to local users.

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