Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nigerian Mapping Agency Unveils N170,000 Mapping & Geospatial Blogging Competition For Nigerian Students

The Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF) -Nigeria's mapping agency in collaboration with Spatial Technologies Ltd (STL)-Nigeria's foremost mapping and GIS solution provider is inviting students in Nigerian tertiary institutions studying Surveying, and Geographic Information (GI) related courses to enter into a blogging competition codenamed Project Zuma.

Project Zuma -an online competition named after the popular and legendary Zuma rock in Niger State is a strategic online campaign designed to improve and strengthen the online information and brand awareness of Nigerian GIS, map based solutions, Location Based Services, etc.

Professor Peter Nwilo -the newly appointed Surveyor General Of the Federation said, "Project Zuma is expected to provide the platform to improve the online search profile of Nigerian mapping industry regarding news, information, who is doing what within the industry. The project is also expected to improve the creativeness and innovations of our students. This we believe would transform Nigerian GI industry from being a sluggish, uninspired industry to a vibrant, innovative and technology savvy mapping industry providing a wealth of information about the emerging industry to the internet community in a consistent and efficient "

According to Ireti Ajala -the CEO of STL, "In 2011, there were over 40million internet users in Nigeria. That figure is certainly more than the entire population of some countries across the world! A large percentage of Nigerian internet population is made up of students. The implication of this is that Nigerian students contribute immensely and consistently to the global internet traffic. The idea behind project Zuma is to engage Nigerians studying Surveying and other geospatial related courses across Nigerian tertiary institutions constructively and assist them to channel their intellectual capacity, creativity and vibrancy towards an agenda of national development and other  worthy projects instead of wasting precious time and money on social network gossips via Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, etc"

Why Blogs?
The Internet represents an unlimited opportunity for an industry brand, and blogs are just one of many platforms that can benefit the Nigerian GI Industry by providing a wealth of information to investors, researchers, academics, corporate companies in Nigeria, students, Government and others interested in Nigerian GI Industry . Blogs could also assist Nigerian students studying geospatial related courses to keep abreast of what is happening around them and learn to articulate their thoughts and perceptions in their chosen industry to reach a wider community.

Objectives of Poject Zuma
  1. To connect with Nigerian geospatial professionals and students of Surveying, GIS, Geography, etc across the country.
  2. To improve the brand profile of Nigerian geospatial industry and make it more attractive to a wider audience in Nigeria.

Competition Qualifications
To enter the Zuma competition, you must be a Nigerian student either at undergraduate or post graduate level studying any of the following Geospatial courses:
  • Surveying
  • Geography
  • GIS
  • Computer Science
  • Geology
  • Architecture
  • Estate Management
  • Other geography related course

Other Requirements
  • The blog must focus ONLY on the Nigerian Geospatial Industry
  • It must be maintained for at least 2months.
  • You must keep it fresh and updated regularly by posting news, articles, innovations, etc about what is happening in the Nigerian GI Industry, atleast once in 2weeks.
  • You must link each post to your Facebook page and encourage your friends to create links to your posts from their Facebook pages

Possible Topics for Blogging
  1. News about how Nigerian companies are using GIS, maps data, etc in their operations and the outcomes. (this is the who is doing what in the Nigerian GI Industry)
  2. Information about how government ministries and agencies (either at Federal, State or Local Govt level) are currently using or promoting the use of Geospatial solutions for specific operations as effective tools for  improving the standard of living in Nigeria
  3. What are the flaws in the current curriculum of tertiary institutions teaching Surveying, GIS, Geography and other geospatial related courses in this era of Information Technology and how can these be improved?
  4. What online Map based applications can be built using Google map API and what possible opportunities are there to monetise these within the context of Nigeria?
  5. What Mobile mapping applications could be developed and monetise within Nigeria
  6. Others

Criteria for Judging the best Blog
  1. Dept of content
  2. Style of writing
  3. Accuracy of information provided
  4. Relevance to Nigerian GI industry
  5. Number of relevant or useful posts found on the blog
  6. Number of followers on your blog
  7. Number of blog posts linked to your Facebook page. This means that you must get your Facebook friends to embed links to your posts on their Facebook pages

Panel of Judges
The best blog would be selected by an independent panel of judges comprising GIS experts, Geographers and Surveyors based on the criteria listed above. The winners of Project Zuma competition would be invited to a press briefing venue in Lagos to develop and pitch the idea behind their winning blogs before a selected audience of stakeholders in Nigerian GI industry.

Celebrating the winning Blogs and Authors
OSGOF and Spatial Technologies Ltd would use a high profile online social advertising campaign, utilising innovative digital technologies alongside mechanics such as Facebook, Blogs, online press releases, etc to create awareness for Project Zuma both during and after the competition. The campaign will also improve the online search profile of the winning authors and could greatly improve their chances of getting good jobs after their graduation.

How to Enter the Competition
1. Send an email to to register for the competition (remember to put Project Zuma in the subject title)

2. Your email must include the following details:
  • Your full name
  • The name of your school
  • Your level
  • Your course of study
  • The topic for your blog
  • The URL for the blog

3. You will need to scan and send as an email attachment a copy of your student ID card. This will provide conclusive evidence that you are truly a Nigerian student.
Please note that this competition is opened to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in either Polytechnics or Universities across Nigeria)

Important Dates
• Competition Start Date: March 05, 2012
• Competition End Date: May 01, 2012
• Award ceremony: May 12, 2012

1. First prize will get N100,000 cash
2. Second prize is N50,000 cash
3. Third Prize is N20,000 cash

Tools to assist.
1. How to start your own blog
2. Creating a FREE blog using Google Blog
3. Creating a FREE blog using WordPress

Examples of  Blogs dedicated to Geospatial matters (Nigerian Geographic Intelligence Awareness) (Anything Geospatial) (ESRI GIS Education Community)
• (GIS Pathway Blog) (Surveying, Mapping and GIS)

Direct all your queries or questions to Ireti Ajala

About Office of Surveyor General of the Federation
The office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF) is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of providing and coordinating surveying and mapping activities within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As the central depository for Survey, mapping and Geo-information activities in the country, state survey departments, oil companies, private practitioners and institutions are required by law (cap 194) to inform the (OSGOF) of their surveying and mapping projects

About Spatial Technologies Ltd
Spatial Technologies Ltd (STL) is Nigeria’s foremost GIS solution provider and supplier of accurate digital maps and GIS data. We specialize in developing geospatial databases about Nigeria for the Nigerian market. Today, with offices in Lagos and UK, we stand on the threshold of solid expansion and opportunity in the industries we serve. And we are investing the resources that will help enable that growth

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A New Era For OSGOF

The role of the Office of the Surveyor General Of the Federation (OSGOF) in Nigeria as a national mapping agency is changing. We live in an era where the computer and the internet had revolunitionalised how people live and conduct business. Companies and Government Agencies within Nigeria are realising that a large percentage of their operations are underpinned by geography. With great advancement in mainstream Information Technologies, hardware, software, Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System (GPS), etc demand for map data is fast evolving from analogue format (paper) to digital.

With the appointment of Professor Peter Nwilo as the new Surveyor General of the Federation, OSGOF is entering into a new consultative forum with stake holders in Nigerian Geographic Information industry with a view to identifying business opportunities to strengthen the use of more digital mapping products to power more business operations of companies and government agencies across Nigeria. OSGOF is currently evaluating its product portfolio with more focus on developing new digital map products that our Nigerian customers would love to use.

OSGOF is also taking seriously all avenues to engage more in an effective manner with Nigerian professionals in the mapping industry, students studying geography or map related courses and the general public with interest in map data and its uses. We are confident that this is within our remit as an innovative national mapping agency. 

OSGOF will therefore be making regular posts on this blog provding behind-the-scene details of our operations, our existing products, insights into our new map products, tips on how to get the best of our products and case studies on how private companies and government agencies across Nigeria are using our map products.
We therefore welcome your feedback. You are free to link to our blog or make reference to our posts; however we require that you acknowledge us as the source of any material you make use of on our blog.