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Digital Bangladesh Impact: How people in remote areas are benefiting from digital mapping

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said A2I, Grameenphone, Bangladesh Scouts, and Prenior Lab have taken initiative for digital mapping 'Bangladesh Challenge'

Dhaka — The common people at the rural level now reaping the benefits of digital mapping for digital services in Bangladesh. In Comilla district, small but popular e-commerce entrepreneur Arif and his company delivers a wide range of products to the doorsteps of shoppers through a shop invented by A2i, the country’s largest e-commerce connector.

But, in this case, identify the location of the impediment for the buyer. Therefore, to ensure the position of buyers in the supply of products, A2I undertook digital mapping activities with the help of A2I, Preneur Lab, and Grameenphone through the youth of the country in case of corona crisis across the country.

During the conversation, Arif said, ‘Many shoppers order different products online from my one shop centre. In that case, the product suppliers of my store confirm the location of the buyer through Google map and deliver the product to their doorstep.

He said the suppliers delivered the products using a Satellite-based Radio Navigation System-Global Positioning System (GPS). But there is no mention of information of many places in remote areas. So, in the beginning, they often had to work hard to ensure the position of the buyers and also wasted a lot of time in delivering the goods. As a result, many online orders began to decline.

Arif has already invested a lot of money in his online business. So, the problem of the supply of goods makes him anxious. Meanwhile, the global epidemic Coronavirus is also booming online business across the country.

Arif said, ‘When I was worried about my online business. My product suppliers were largely failing to deliver products when using Google Maps; That’s when I received an offer via e-mail to do a short course on product delivery in remote areas using ‘digital maps”

Through this course, Arif will know that through the government’s A2I program ‘Bangladesh Challenge’ campaign, important establishments like hospitals, pharmacies, big shops and super shops across the country have been added to Google Maps.

Arif shares the lessons of this course with his product supplier manpower. With the campaign adding a number of important places to Google Maps, product providers can easily confirm the location of buyers. They are currently able to deliver products in a short period of time. Now Arif’s online business is also frozen.

The growth of Arif’s online business has prompted him to launch another online-based courier service called ‘Digital Express’.

Arif said, ‘When I saw that I could easily deliver products using the new Google Maps. Then I decided not to launch this courier service. With this new map, we are now able to deliver parcels to remote rural areas as well, ”he said, adding that many in Comilla district are working as e-commerce entrepreneurs inspired by Arif’s success.

In general, city dwellers get much more benefit from using Google Maps and Open Street Maps. However, most places in remote areas were not included in Google Maps prior to this campaign.

According to A2i, the ‘Bangladesh Challenge’ campaign has already included 130,000 locations across the country on Google Maps and Open Street Maps. Of these, 5,000 are hospitals, 16,000 are pharmacies, 20,000 are grocery stores and 870 are roads. Very soon all places across the country will be included in Google Maps and Open Street Maps.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, it is a timely initiative to include information from every corner of the country up to the countryside on Google Maps with the aim of turning every village into a city. The ‘Bangladesh Challenge’ campaign is designed in such a way that anyone can participate in this campaign from home and enrich the Google Map database. In this case, the map experts are cooperating with the volunteers.

Adnan Faisal, A2Iis communications and media outreach consultant, told: “Digital mapping has brought smiles to the faces of millions of people across the country. Through the ‘Bangladesh Challenge’ campaign, the youth have added about 130,000 places to Google Maps. Through this, the youth have got the opportunity to insert the places in remote areas of the country in Google Map and Open Street Map from the comfort of their home.

According to ICT experts, this mapping challenge in the field of e-commerce and distribution services are significantly helping the common man across the country. Updating the geographical map is crucial for a nation, as the current government has done.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has been helping the citizens of the country to quickly locate hospitals, markets, recharge points, cash / bKash points and many more important places. Digital mapping will also help various organizations to deliver emergency services across the country, especially outside Dhaka.

State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said A2I, Grameenphone, Bangladesh Scouts, and Prenior Lab have taken initiative for digital mapping ‘Bangladesh Challenge’. Through this, the youth are showing the way to the nation from their homes. We are happy that this challenge has touched everyone.

“Google Maps have revolutionized mapping,” he said. ‘The use of GPS, including smartphones, has brought the world under our control. However, it is true that technology does not discriminate between us. Especially in times of crisis, when it becomes urgent to provide emergency services at home.

The state minister said one of the government’s strategies was to involve all non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs, and various voluntary organizations in government activities. Also, the Bangla language has already been added to Google Maps. After the young people of the country connected all the installations in small and big cities to Google Map, now various installations and roads in rural areas are being inserted in Google Map.

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