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GPS cameras to remotely monitor development projects

The World Bank ICT unit is using GPS cameras to remotely monitor the development of irrigation infrastructure in Afghanistan. Data from the pictures can be used to track project milestones and let project teams be more efficient and targeted in site visits.

Intellecap writes,

"Cheap and relatively low‐tech global positioning system (GPS) cameras are being used to record the date, time, longitude, latitude, and to some extent altitude, of irrigation systems under construction. The technology allows for “remote supervision” of a large project with minimal site visits. The approach has already been used to monitor irrigation projects in Afghanistan."

The World Bank emphasized the importance of a system that didn't require technical expertise - workers can simply take photographs of project progress and the data gets extracted, aggregated, and analyzed by project experts.

Implications

IFTF writes that figuring out the right recipe for ICT and development - what technologies, where in the process, at what price - is literally a million-dollar question for development, and those strategies that use cheap and familiar technologies are likely to be replicated. This also opens up more places in the labor force for unskilled workers. In addition, inexpensive remote sensing networks, like the one described above, can be leveraged for many different purposes.

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