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Will Rwanda come to Google Street View?

If confirmed then Rwanda may be the first added country with only gen 4 imagery!

This week the Twitter account Google for Africa published a tweet about Rwanda. Many projects are going to be held in this country and one of them is the creation of Street View coverage!

A PDF document was made available where the various projects are listed. We can read the following for the Street View part:

Bring Rwanda to the world through Google Street View by enhancing digital maps of key urban centres

Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda

As expected urban centres will be the main focus as this is where most businesses are. Kigali, the capital and largest city, will obviously be the center of attention but other cities such as Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Butare (also known as Huye) or Muhanga could be covered as well. Main roads could also be added in the process.

If the coverage is actually done by Google, for example with the Trekker, then Rwanda will become the first country to be added with only gen 4 coverage.

Another aspect related to Street View is the following:

Digitise Rwanda’s cultural assets and provide access to heritage through digital storytelling in collaboration with the National Museums of Rwanda

Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda

This is likely to be part of the Google Arts & Culture project, which offers many views of museums and other points of interest all over the world. This can include some Street View coverage, usually made with the Trekker or a camera on tripod.

When will Rwanda be covered and where?

It is unknown when and where Google will drive its car(s). No information was given yet so we can only speculate about the possible coverage that will be done.

The map above shows in red the largest towns, in orange the main roads and in blue some secondary roads. Most of the towns are likely to be covered, along with main roads between them. The sections between main towns and the country borders are less likely, it will depend if Google does a coverage similar to Kenya where some border posts were covered. As for secondary roads, maybe a few of them could be covered as long as some minor roads, again this depends of the areas and how much coverage Google will do.

As for when it will be done, nobody knows. Likely to be in 2022.

Which camera will be used?

Ideally the gen 4 Trekker would be the best choice however, considering how Google handled Street View poorly in the past years, we are never sure any new coverage will be official. It is possible that Google simply lets local people doing the coverage themselves with their own cameras which would be a disaster as unofficial coverage is always inferior a lot in many aspects such as image quality or navigation capabilities.

There is also a possibility for Google to officially cover the country but using a cheaper camera like they did in Alaska in 2019, or in Dhaka this summer… But since gen 4 Trekkers are currently being used in Kenya we can hope Google will also use them in Rwanda.

Be assured that we will watch for any news and information to share. Until then, follow us here and on our social networks for more Google Street View news!