WikiProject Kenya

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Kenya, Africa
Wikidata

latitude: -0.35, longitude: 37.33
Browse map of Kenya 0°21′00.00″ S, 37°19′48.00″ E
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Kenya is a Country in Africa at latitude 0°21′00.00″ South, longitude 37°19′48.00″ East.

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Getting involved & interacting with others

What to map?

This is part of a remake of this wiki page, as the Kenyan OSM community is shaping.

We can divide what needs to be mapped by geographical area or by theme.

Geography

  • National level
  • County/constituency/ward levels
  • Town/village level
  • Neighbourhood level

Themes

  • Roads (incl. tracks & paths)
  • Landuse
  • Health & education
  • Water & sanitation
  • Shops
  • Food & drink
  • Social & government (incl. government offices, police stations, social facilities & community centers)


Using the OSM Tasking Manager (see below) we can create projects of importance, to map a chosen theme in a certain area square by square.

Administrative boundaries

At the start of OSM, Kenya had an administrative and electoral system based on:

  • Provinces;
  • Districts;
  • Divisions;
  • Locations;
  • Sublocations.

Separately a structure of Local authorities existed which included cities, municipalities, towns and counties. Most of the provinces and districts were mapped as administrative boundaries.

On August 27, 2010 Kenya switched to a system based on counties.

  • Counties;
  • Subcounties;
  • Wards;
  • Villages.

Source:Subdivisions of Kenya on Wikipedia

Adopting the administrative and electoral boundaries to this new system is an ongoing process. Some attempts for imports were made in the past, f.i. User:Mikel has created shape files for counties, constituencies and wards from the IEBC data.

Due to licensing issues (not fully compatible with ODbL) these data sources cannot be currently imported in OSM.

Other sources, like historical documents, official government authority websites and Humanitarian Data Exchange files exist, with various level of accuracy and detail. Wikipedia is also a good source for tagging purposes.

Due to the licensing issues with existing shape files, the current boundaries are (re-) constructed by manual tracing. This is feasible since most coincide with major geographical features and roads, which can be traced from satellite imagery. Tagging and data can be added when copied and confirmed from public available resources and local information, which might include CC licensed data and shape files as primary but not as single source.

Since 2021 this practice is used f.i. by User:Bert Araali.

The currently (proposed) tagging and administrative levels is an integration and migration between the old and new systems. The transition from the old into the new system didn't happen in one day in practice. The locals and local authorities still refer to old sub-divisions or even use a mix of old and new sub-divsions in official documents. The administrative levels as used for tagging try to preserve the old system as much as possible for historical and local reference purposes. Mostly this is possible since most of the old boundaries were adopted or simply merged into the new system. In order to do this odd numbers are assigned to the old sub-divisions and even numbers to the new sub-divisions.

Following is a table that shows this integration and tagging policy. This system is also listed on boundary=administrative.

Old system New system admin_level Description Resource(s)
Province N/A 3 No longer constituencies since the August 27, 2010 reform but retained for historical and local reference. Provinces of Kenya on Wikipedia
N/A County 4 Official highest level developed constituencies since the August 27, 2010 reform. Before the reform mostly (some merged) identical to districts. Single-member constituencies for the election of members of parliament to the Senate of Kenya. Have their own assemblies, governor and executive committees and county government and true local governments on most matters except significant taxes. Counties of Kenya on Wikipedia
Districts N/A 5 Part of the old administrative and electoral system from independence on December 12, 1963 up to the August 27, 2010 reform. After the reform mostly (some merged) identical to counties. For historical and local reference all districts (both identical and not identical to counties) are still mapped as separate relations in OSM. District names, single (in case of identical boundary to a county) or multiple (in case of merged districts) values are tagged on the new county boundaries. Districts of Kenya on Wikipedia
N/A Subcounties (Constituencies) 6 Also simply called constituencies since the August 27, 2010 reform. Boundaries based on population numbers. Each returns an MP. Mostly identical to the old Divisions (matarafa). Subcounties of Kenya on WIkipedia

Districts of Kenya on Wikipedia

Divisions & Local authorities Local authorities 7 This level is shared between Divisions (matarafa) (Part of the old administrative and electoral system from independence on December 12, 1963 up to the August 27, 2010 reform) and Local authorities which usually differ from divisional and constituency boundaries used by the state administration. Compared to many other countries, local authorities in Kenya were weak and are shadowed by state run administration.

Local authorities are cities, municipalities, towns and counties (not to be confused with national counties admin_level=4). Under Kenya's new devolved system of government, the elected councils from the old system were dissolved and are set to be replaced by boards, in the case of city councils, and administrators, in the case of municipal and town councils, appointed by the county governments.

Most Divisions are identical to the subcounties of the new system.
For historical and local reference all divisions (both identical and not identical to subcounties) are still mapped as separate relations in OSM. Division names, single (in case of identical boundary to a subcounty) or multiple (in case of merged divisions) values are tagged on the new subcounty boundaries.

Local authorities boundaries are identical in both the old and new system. In case of name differences they are tagged both on the same relation.

Local authorities of Kenya on Wikipedia

Subcounties of Kenya on WIkipedia

N/A Wards 8 Since the August 27, 2010 reform. Most of them identical to Locations of the old system. Their outer borders in most cases coincide with the County Assembly Wards of the County Government, although these are electoral or political wards. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), since the 2010 reform, overseas the delimitation of electoral units. It requires that each constituency or subcounty should have the same number of inhabitants, although it permits variations (up to 40 percent for cities and urban areas, and 30 percent for other areas) based on factors such as geography, urbanization, community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties, and means of communication. Thus, with the changes in the population and these other factors, the boundaries might change between elections. The administrative wards don't necessarily immediately follow these changes.

The electoral constituencies used to elect the members of the Local Authorities are also called Wards but were dissolved in the new system. The wards are now governed by boards or administrators, assigned by the county governments. The old wards can be mapped as separate electoral or political boundaries.

Subdivisions of Kenya on Wikipedia
Locations N/A 9 Part of the old administrative and electoral system from independence on December 12, 1963 up to the August 27, 2010 reform. Mostly identical to Wards where members for the county governments are elected.

For historical and local reference all locations (both identical and not identical to wards) are still mapped as separate relations in OSM. Location names, single (in case of identical boundary to a ward) or multiple (in case of merged locations) values are tagged on the new ward boundaries.

Subdivisions of Kenya on Wikipedia
Sublocations Villages 10 Called sublocations in the old administrative and electoral system from independence up to the August 27, 2010 reform. Since the reform called villages but in many occasions still referred to as sublocations. Mostly identical in old and new systems.

For historical and local reference all sub-locations (both identical and not identical to villages) are still mapped as separate relations in OSM when they no longer coincide with a village in the new system. Sub-location names, single (in case of identical boundary to a village) or multiple (in case of merged sub-locations) values are tagged on the village boundaries. If they are both in boundary and name identical no old_name tag is added.

Subdivisions of Kenya on Wikipedia

How to map

Follow the guidelines as described on boundary=administrative. The majority of boundaries are relations as boundaries are shared amongst adjacent areas. All the boundary ways get the role outer. If the area has an administrative centre, add it to the relation with the role admin_centre. Relations which contain sub-areas should be listed in the relation with the role sub_area.

Boundary ways can be shared by adjacent areas. Although optional (not deprecated, still required for some renderers), they should be tagged with boundary=administrative and admin_level=* where the level is the highest value of the adjacent areas or relations.

How to tag

Valid tagging for all administrative boundary relation relations in Kenya.

key value Usage Resource(s)
type=* type=boundary Obligatory
boundary=* boundary=administrative Obligatory
admin_level=* 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 for old system

4, 6, 7, 8, 10 for new system
(see table above)

Obligatory To be assigned according to the table above.
name=* Most common or locally used name of the area. Obligatory. Most common or locally used name of the area in English (as official Kenyan language). Translations should be tagged with alternative name fields f.i. name:sw=* for Swahili.
Determine according to these principles:
  • The most prominent name used in the sources used for verification;
  • The name of the feature on a sign a (historical or official) map (be aware of licensing issues);
  • Common or official usage.

Spelled out in full, don't use capitalised names even if it is abbreviated in the sources used for verification.
Sources used for verification of the name should be listed in source:name=*.

See source:name=*.
loc_name=* Most common or locally used name of the area. Optional. If an area is locally known by a nickname, it is better to put the nickname in loc_name=* and put the standard name into name=*, even if locals don't use the standard name as much. See source:name=* and source:loc_name=*.
official_name=* Most common or locally used name of the area. Optional. If an official name is unwieldy or obscure and few people use it in practice, even if it can be verified from trusted sources, it is better to put the official name in this key. If the official name is identical to See source:name=* and source:official_name=*.
alt_name=* Alternatives of name=*. Optional. If a name as tagged in name=* is spelled differently or often used in a local language, use this tag to treat it as viable primary name. Do not use it to tag names if they were consistently different between the old and new systems, use old_name=* instead. The tag can contain several semicolon (";") separated values. See source:name=* and source:alt_name=*.
old_name=* Historical or name in the old system. Optional. Historical or name in the old system of name=* which should contain the name in the new system.

Might also contain other historical names from before independence (on December 12, 1963).

See source:name=* and source:old_name=*.
ref=* (Official) reference code or id used by the Kenyan authorities. Do not list the electoral references or postal codes with the administrative boundaries as they can be different, especially for wards. Optional. See source:ref=*.
old_ref=* (Official) reference code or id used by the Kenyan authorities for old system areas. Optional. Because it refers to the old system, only to be used on new system administrative boundaries, being, 4, 6, 7, 8 or 10. Any references from before independence (on December 12, 1963), colonial or pre-colonial era, are not included in OSM. See source:old_ref=*.
land_area=* land_area=administrative Optional. Relations of type land_area=* are used to represent administrative boundary of the landmass. Is an alternative to type=boundary and included for maximum support of data consumers.
ISO3166-2=* KE-xx Optional, only applicable for counties (admin_level=4). Defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of the countries defined in ISO 3166-1. Be aware that the numbers do not coincide with the reference number used by the authorities in Kenya (see ref=*. ISO 3166-2 codes for Kenya.
is_in=*

is_in:province=*
is_in:county=*
is_in:district=*
is_in:subcounty=*
is_in:division=*
is_in:location=*
is_in:ward=*
is_in:sublocation=*
is_in:village=*

Values for subkeys to assist in verification and data processing. Optional. is_in=* and is_in:country=* are deprecated and should no longer be used or removed from existing map features. The subdivision variants are used and handy for verification of the extend of the boundaries and for convenience by data consumers, however be aware that they are not consistently added. ISO 3166-2 codes for Kenya.
border_type=* province; district; county; division; subcounty; ward; location; sublocation; village; local_authority; Optional. It specifies the type of border for the resource used to verify the boundaries administrative level or for imports. Since the verification resources or imports themselves are not consistent with one another in their use of the tag, it only provides guidance to mappers for creating appropriate boundary relations. Multiple values are possible as different resources are used or the boundary describes an area which was identical in both the old and new systems. See source=*.
start_date=* valid date in YYYY-MM-DD format. Optional. It specifies the date when the area was practically formed and administration or electoral procedures were started. Most prominent dates are 1963-12-12 (independence with 14 districts and 2007 with 70 districts), 2010-08-27 (reform of the national constituencies and administrative system) and 2013-03-01 (new system implemented). See source=*.
end_date=* valid date in YYYY-MM-DD format. Optional. It specifies the date when the area practically seised to operate administrative or electoral procedures. Most prominent date is 2013-03-01 (new system implemented). See source=*.
wikipedia=* Specific link. Optional. Link to a wikipedia page if it exists, describing the area. See source=*.
wikidata=* Wikidata identifier as Qxxxxxx. Optional. Identifier of the wikidata item about the area. See source=*.
source=*

source:name=*
source:alt_name=*
source:loc_name=*
source:old_name=*
source:official_name=*
source:alt_name=*
source:ref=*
source:old_ref=*

Link or description of the source used for tracing the boundary. List sources used for verification of names and references separately. Optional. Link or description of the source used for tracing the boundary. Do not import boundaries of licensed data sources not compatible with the ODbL. The data sources listed here for verification of the names and references mostly contain inaccurate or very course boundaries considered not usable or of enough quality to be used in OSM. Sources used for verification of names and references should be listed separately.

Political boundaries

The political boundaries in the new system (since the reform August 27, 2010) mostly coincide with the administrative boundaries. This is the case for counties, sub-counties. Wards can be different from administrative ward. The outer borders of electoral or political wards in most cases coincide with the County Assembly Wards of the County Government, although these are electoral or political wards. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), since the 2010 reform, overseas the delimitation of electoral units. It requires that each constituency or subcounty should have the same number of inhabitants, although it permits variations (up to 40 percent for cities and urban areas, and 30 percent for other areas) based on factors such as geography, urbanization, community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties, and means of communication. Thus, with the changes in the population and these other factors, the boundaries might change between elections. The administrative wards don't necessarily immediately follow these changes.
The electoral constituencies used to elect the members of the Local Authorities are also called Wards but were dissolved in the new system. The wards are now governed by boards or administrators, assigned by the county governments. The old wards can be mapped as separate electoral or political boundaries. This should be approached with great caution since it has led to large violence in the country. As a rule of thumb one should only map the boundaries in OSM after election results have been accepted and all disputes have been resolved.

How to map

Follow the guidelines as described on boundary=political. The majority of boundaries are relations as boundaries are shared amongst adjacent areas. All the boundary ways get the role outer. Administrative centres are not contained within these relations as they belong to the administrative boundaries. A label node node can be added if the centre of the area would have the name displayed outside the boundary. Add it to the relation with the role label. Relations which contain sub-areas should be listed in the relation with the role sub_area.

Boundary ways can be shared by adjacent areas or with administrative areas. Although optional (not deprecated, still required for some renderers), in case the political boundary is not shared with an administrative boundary, they should be tagged with boundary=political and political_division=* where the value is the highest order description of the adjacent areas or relations.


How to tag

Valid tagging for all political or electoral boundary relation relations in Kenya.

key value Usage Resource(s)
type=* type=boundary Obligatory
boundary=* boundary=political Obligatory
political_division=* county(is a parliamentary constituency),

constituency (=sub-county, is an assembly constituency) or
ward (as electoral wards).
See political_division=*.

Obligatory. Describes the specific type of a political boundary boundary=political. It is conceptually similar to admin_level=* for boundary=administrative, but uses keyword values instead of numeric values.
name=* Most common or locally used name of the area. Obligatory. Should be the officially gazetted name of the area in English (as official Kenyan language). Translations should be tagged with alternative name fields f.i. name:sw=* for Swahili.

Spelled out in full, don't use capitalised names even if it is abbreviated in the sources used for verification.
Sources used for verification of the name should be listed in source:name=*.

See source:name=*.
alt_name=* Alternatives of name=*. Optional. If a name as tagged in name=* is spelled differently or often used in a local language, use this tag to treat it as viable primary name. See source:name=* and source:alt_name=*.
ref=* (Official) reference code or id used by the Kenyan authorities (Electoral commission). Do not list the administrative references or postal codes with the political boundaries as they can be different, especially for wards. Optional. See source:ref=*.
is_in=*

is_in:county=*
is_in:constituency=*

Values for subkeys to assist in verification and data processing. Optional. is_in=* and is_in:country=* are deprecated and should no longer be used or removed from existing map features. The subdivision variants are used and handy for verification of the extend of the boundaries and for convenience by data consumers, however be aware that they are not consistently added.
start_date=* valid date in YYYY-MM-DD format. Optional. It specifies the date when the area was practically gazetted and electoral procedures were started. See source=*.
end_date=* valid date in YYYY-MM-DD format. Optional. It specifies the date when the area practically seised to operate electoral procedures. See source=*.
source=*

source:name=*
source:alt_name=*
source:ref=*

Link or description of the source used for tracing the boundary. List sources used for verification of names and references separately. Optional. Link or description of the source used for tracing the boundary. Do not import boundaries of licensed data sources not compatible with the ODbL. Sources used for verification of names and references should be listed separately.

Road Classification

(obviously for discussion) User:Bo robert pedersen has started using the official Kenya Ministry of Transport classification dividing roads into five types:

Class A - International Trunk Roads - linking centres of international importance and crossing international boundaries or terminating at international ports

represented in OSM by highway=trunk ways

Class B - National Trunk Roads - linking nationally important centres

represented in OSM by highway=primary roads

Class C - Primary Roads - linking provincially important centres to each other or higher class roads

represented in OSM by highway=secondary roads

Class D - Secondary Roads - linking locally important centres to each other or to a more important centre or to a higher class road

represented in OSM by highway=tertiary roads

Class E - Minor Roads - any link to a minor centre

represented in OSM as highway=unclassified road

Other -Any other non-residential or non-service

represented in OSM as highway=unclassified road

Have you seen Thika Road? Thika Road has two times four lanes plus two times two parallel lanes next to it. Thika Road should be represented by highway=motorway.

In the article East_Africa_Tagging_Guidelines there are good pictures for examples of road classification.

Important general comments are listed on Highway Tag Africa.

Rail Classification

Before 2013 all of the Kenyan rails were 1000mm narrow gauge. Since 1000mm was the standard in Kenya the railroad tracks were marked as railway=rail and gauge=1000. This was according to the tag definition in the wiki.

After 2013 work on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was started. The new SGR tracks will be mapped railway=rail and gauge=1435.

The old narrow gauge tracks are tagged railway=narrow_gauge

There are four rail spirals on the meter-gauge railway in Kenya:

  • Spiral next to Equator (map)
  • Spiral next to Makutano (map)
  • Spiral ??
  • Mazeras spiral (map)

Progress/Regions/Cities

Since 30-Nov-2010 more detailed aerial images from Bing are available. With these images you can add a lot of detail to the map even without a GPS device. The western areas of Nairobi were not covered by LandSat and Yahoo images. They are now covered by Bing images. Great detail also in Mombassa and Nakuru. Generally all of Kenya has more detail in the new Bing images.

Update April 2012: The coverage of Nairobi was increased slightly in the Bing images. E.g. Kikuyu and Limuru are now covered with high level of detail.

Update June 2012: Great! The coverage with high resolution satelite Bing images was extended to many places like Malindi, Nyeri, Kisumu, Eldoret and many more. A lot of detailed street mapping is now possible!

provinces
cities
  • Nairobi (map) - Kenya's capital - Good progress and local mapping projects + The "mapkibera" project. Update May 2012: Large bypasses are currently being built in Nairobi, which are not visible in the satelite images (see also Nairobi_Bypasses). As a result at the location of the bypasses the satelite images and "old" GPS tracks have to be ignored.
  • Mombasa (map) - Kenya's port - Some mapping done. There are missing residential areas south of the city, northwest of the airport and along the coast to the northeast.
  • Nakuru (map) - Kenya's agricultural city with lake and national park - Good mapping progress.
  • Kisumu (map) - Kenya's city at lake Victoria. There are missing residential areas southeast and northwest of the city.
  • Eldoret (map)
  • Ruiru (map)
  • Kikuyu (map)
  • Thika (map)
  • Machako (map)
  • Garissa (map)
  • Ngong (map)
  • Nyeri (map)
  • Kitale (map)
  • Kericho (map)
  • Malindi (map)
universities
  • University of Nairobi (map) - Largest public university in Kenya
  • Kenyatta University (map) - Second largest public university on Thika Road outside Nairobi
  • Mombasa Polytechnic University College (map) - Polytechnic university in Mombasa
  • Egerton University (map) - Premier Agricultural public University in Kenya.
  • Kabarak University (map) - Christian based institution located twenty kilometers from Nakuru
other

Other mapping progress? Describe it here

We'd love more coverage of Kenya. Please feel free to get involved!

Projects in Kenya

This is a list of projects in Kenya

EUROSHA in Kenya

HOT is conducting a mapping project in Kenya for humanitarian purposes since mid-October 2012 as part of the EUROSHA project together with France Volontaires. The initial focus is on baseline mapping of Molo area in the Rift Valley (Molo town, Njoro and Kuresoi districts - focus on ethnic violence-prone areas) and Marigat town (flood-prone areas). All these activities are meant to support the growth of a local OSM group in Kenya and the growth of the OSM project.

  • Current activities

- Mapping Marigat town and Molo river with the Tasking manager [2] : 1st mapping party in November 2012 with trainees from local communities, 2d one in January 2013 with World Vision Kenya staff.

- Mapping Njoro district with the Tasking Manager [3]: mapping party in December 2012 and January 2013

- Mapping Molo town: waiting for available satellite imagery

- Mapping Kuresoi district: waiting for available satellite imagery


  • Goal

Completion of the road network and buildings.


  • Eurosha GIS data

- HOT export - Marigat [4]


Data Import

  • The national border of Kenya is about to be corrected from the shapefiles available from the US Department of State.

Data Sources

  • Virtual Kenya Growing great collection of geographic data sources.
  • OpenData Kenya Government OpenData Site. Some geographic data, keep an eye on it.
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) A diverse collection of spatial data layers, many of which relate directly to livestock and agriculture. Other layers generated include roads, railways, administrative boundaries, aiports/railways, settlements, census data, poverty, climate, waterpoints and health. Licensing is restricted to non-commercial use only.
  • Data Exchange Platform for the Horn of Africa (DEPHA) Provides public GIS data for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Somalia. Data layers for Kenya include administrative boundaries, hypsography, roads/railways, settlements, health facilities and drainage. Some metadata is not provided.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Africover) A project aimed at generating a database of GIS layers for the purpose of promoting sustainable management of environmental resources at national, regional and global levels. Kenya data includes administrative boundaries, rivers, settlements, spatially/thematically aggregated landcover, and geomorphology/landforms. We've received permission from Africover to import road, river, and administrative boundary data layers into OSM.
  • World Resources Institute (WRI) An environmental think tank that provides a diversity of GIS data largely focused upon poverty and ecosystem analysis. Available resources for Kenya include base data, landcover/landform, elevation, rainfall, biodiversity/wildlife, tourism, agriculture, and population/poverty.


Aerial imagery

See Dadaab where we have a small area available during the refugee drought situation there.


External Links