WikiProject Burkina Faso

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Burkina Faso, Africa

latitude: 12.5, longitude: -1.8
Browse map of Burkina Faso 12°30′00.00″ N, 1°48′00.00″ W
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Burkina Faso is a Country in Africa at latitude 12°30′00.00″ North, longitude 1°48′00.00″ West.

Map of Burkina Faso

Mapping Burkina Faso is still in very early stages. So enjoy all the mapping opportunities!

Goals - you can help!

If you have a goal that you are working towards or one that you would like to see get done (and are maybe willing to get the ball rolling) then add it to the list here, create a section where it can be coordinated and tracked, and a way of measuring progress. And then get on with it :-)

Here are some current goals that you can help with!

  • Place names. This item is especially important if you are located in Burkina Faso : remote armchair mappers can do a lot, but finding local names is best done on the ground.
  • Ouagadougou - The street layout of the capital city is mostly complete, but there are many missing residential roads around the outskirts. You can add them using Bing imagery.
    • The whole city needs more POI. Even more than finding names, this requires local presence.
  • Getting rid of the horrible imported VMAP roads - improve or for the worst cases of ludicrous phantasy, delete.
  • Completion of the network of major roads, including roads to neighboring countries - routing engines need a fully connected network.

Administrative subdivisions

See WikiProject Burkina Faso/subdivisions for this subproject.

Beware of frequent homonyms for villages and hamlets (including in surrounding countries). The administrative subdivisions will be helpful to disambiguate them in searches:

  • National borders and regions are complete; provinces are now delimited by their borders (but adjustments are still needed on both as these boundaries have low precision and may forget to include some bordering villages).
  • Some departments are delimited but most of them still don't have borders but most of them have their administrative capital geolocated (in some cases their exact position may need to be adjusted but when they are defined they are more precise than the rest of borders between provinces and/or regions where departments are not fully delimited). However, even with these borders, not all villages included have been geolocalized.
  • Most departements now have geolocalized at least their capital city, town or village.
  • There are still lot of errors in other geolocalized nodes for villages that have made confusions with unrelated homonyms (sometimes even in the wrong region) even if there are exhaustive lists of villages for each department.
  • In urban departments, the capital city or town is still not subdivided in their urban sectors, even if other villages of the department are geolocated. So a single node represents the capital city or town: this is not enough to help geolocalizing lots of addresses in those cities (including in the two special cities of Bobo Dioulasso and Ouagadougou, in their respective department, that are first subdivided into arrondissements grouping several sectors).
  • Not all provinces have urban departments: rural departments have only a village designated as capital, which is not subdivided into sectors, and their representation as a node is generally enough to unmabiguously locate most addresses with a precision not exceeding several hundred meters, provided that streets/roads are identified. But in urban departments, we need the precision of sectors in their capital to locate streets and then locate addresses.


  • The quality of imported VMAP roads ranges from bad (useful of hinting at the presence of a road) to horrendous (absolutely unrelated to any road, even with the wildest imagination). They may have helped when nothing else existed, but now they need to go : improve them, or delete them when nothing can be salvaged at all.

Imagery & sources

Ouagadougou has great imagery, but Bing coverage for Burkina Faso is spotty - some areas have high resolution coverage, but their location seems random. See the Bing imagery analyzer for a map of where imagery is available.

Historical maps from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection provide plenty of place names - make sure you cross-check them : transliteration from local languages may be fuzzy and the usual name of the place may have changed entirely since then.

Official toponymy and alternate names

Many small villages have various alternate names or orthographies; normally one of them is normally official, but frequently there is some confusion, even from Burkinabe institutions which may freely change these names, even when they have published their own nomenclature. One reason for this is that the governement is often helped by various foreign agencies that have used their own databases and softwares, and the Burkinabe insitutions are still lacking some normalization.

The other reason is that Burkina is a multilingual country and even if French is official, it is not spoken by a majority of people and there are strong traditions to preserve these names in alternate languages. Finally the rapide changes in the structure of population and internal migrations have considerably changed the landscape of old villages with an heavy concentration in urban areas, and there has been in the past few years some major changes in the official structure of administrative subdivisions.

For these reasons, alternate names should be used with caution in the OSM database as they may not designate exactly the same area as the most recent administrative subdivision. However, alternate orthographies that are customarily found (notably when they are used in documents produced by official institutions) should be specified in the OSM database.

Community Resources


Users in Burkina Faso

See also Category:Users in Burkina Faso

Users in other countries

See also

Quality control