Innovative Tool to Facilitate Accessibility On Alternative Student Accommodation
In Kenya, enrollment into tertiary institutions has been on the rise over the years. However, this increase in student numbers has not been matched with development of enough students’ halls of residence within the institutions. Students who fail to secure accommodation within the university halls of residence are forced to look for alternative accommodation, mostly in private hostels.
However, there isn’t enough digital information on private hostels available online. In order to get a suitable private hostel, the students have to physically visit these facilities. There is need to provide an interactive inventory of the existing private accommodation facilities. Web mapping, the process of creating, implementing, generating, and disseminating maps on the World Wide Web, provides the means of creating such an inventory in the form of a web map. A web map is an interactive display of geographic information, in the form of a web page.
This project was undertaken to demonstrate how information about private hostels can be collected and availed to the students and the general public. A user needs assessment survey was conducted to identify the information needed and the suitable information delivery mode. Data about the hostels was gathered using ArcGIS Field Maps mobile application. Using ArcGIS Online, the data was visualized in a web map which was then packaged into web and mobile applications. Having achieved the overall and specific objectives of the project, it was recommended that a crowd sourcing tool be developed for faster collection of volunteered geographic information on private hostels. This information would aid in the extension of the private hostels web map to other regions.