I recently learned that Google Maps loaded an updated set of aerial images for much of East Africa, Kamwenge included. So I went on and looked up my town of residence and much to my surprise the photos are in pretty high resolution but are still very dated. Now I can easily see the trees which once stood where my house sits now and I have a decent idea of what this town looked like some unknown many years ago. Makes me curious as to how Google and other free mapping services source their images. I tried to make some inquires in town to try to put a date on the current photos but didn’t have much luck, my guess is between 1980 and 1995. For instance, as of the date these photos were taken, two of the three petrol stations in town have not yet been built and neither has the expanded District government office, but the building I sometimes use as an office is standing and so is the elementary school where I play soccer in the evenings.
On the other hand, in western Kenya, specifically in Muhuru Bay, the site of the WISER School for Girls, their new images are clearly from 2009 because they captured the construction of the school (brick walls up, no blue roofs yet) making that series of “new” map images many years more recent than the series being used in western Uganda.
If you click on any of the blue bubbles below there’s a little blurb.