Have you checked out your childhood home on Google Maps Street View? While addresses in America and Europe are typically easy to find and view, large swaths of land in Africa and Asia remain unmapped. Zimbabwean digital strategist and photographer Tawanda Kanhema encountered this fact while hoping to show a friend his own childhood home in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Inspired, the Berkeley-based photographer returned to Zimbabwe to fill in the map. Partnering with Google and Insta360, Kanhema traveled about 2,000 miles by foot, boat, car, and air—all while recording his surroundings with a camera.
Kanhema told NPR, “I found it quite jarring that a lot of the countries in the region were not on the map…We should do more to make sure that those communities are represented.” Google Maps does use their own fleet of cameras to record street views in some areas, particularly metropolitan areas with lots of people and accessible roads. However, the world is an enormous place, and the need for accurate imaging and digital maps is increasing in importance no matter where one lives. Additionally, being represented on Google Maps can be a boon to an area’s tourism.[…]