Nairobi and Santiago de los Caballeros Data Update

Workshop with local stakeholders in Santiago de Los Caballeros.
10/08/19
The Digital Matatus and the DATUM teams are excited to announce that the transit data for Nairobi (Kenya) and Santiago de Los Caballeros (Dominican Republic) are now live and accessible on Google Maps! The completed datasets may be also downloaded through our websites www.digitalmatatus.com and https://datum.la/.

Digital Matatus


The Digital Matatus team has just released the 2019 transit feed for the city of Nairobi. We have collected data on semi-formal bus transit in Nairobi since 2014 when we published the first semi-formal transit system map of Nairobi. We have kept pace with the city’s growth and the rapid evolution of its road network by undertaking rigorous updates of our transit datasets every few years. With great support from students and faculty at the University of Nairobi and MIT, the Digital Matatus team has collected and verified more than 140 routes and 4,000 stops across the city.

In May 2019, team members reconvened in Nairobi to conduct a series of stakeholder workshops to procure feedback on our updated transit map. We were lucky to have a large group of Matatu conductors and drivers who operate in different areas of the city to share their local expertise with us and helped to improve the accuracy of our map and the associated data.

This is the third extensive data collection conducted by the team in the past six years, and while keeping our data up-to-date we are also beginning to accrue a historical database of Nairobi’s transit system. The data from 2015, 2017, and 2019 can be accessed on our website www.digitalmatatus.com.

The Digital Matatus Team meets in Nairobi in May 2019.
The Digital Matatus Team meets in Nairobi in May 2019.

Workshop with Matatu drivers and conductors at the University of Nairobi.
Workshop with Matatu drivers and conductors at the University of Nairobi.

Research Associate Carmelo Ignaccolo while recording matatus’ data.
Research Associate Carmelo Ignaccolo while recording matatus’ data.


Mapeando Santiago


Building on the Nairobi experience of the Digital Matatus team, the Datos Abiertos de Transporte Urbano y Movilidad (DATUM) aims at collecting and sharing transit data in Latin American and the Caribbean region. DATUM is a collaborative platform started by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, the World Resource Institute, the MIT Civic Data Design Lab and the Columbia University Earth Institute.

Mapeando Santiago is the first of DATUM’s participatory mapping project and it took place over the summer of 2019 in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. During the participatory data collection we mapped and verified 29 urban routes and 25 branches of these routes (conchos), 4 interurban routes, 6 state routes (guaguas). While training local students on transit data editing tools, we created the first GTFS feed for Santiago, which is now the first Caribbean city to have public transit data available on Google Maps.

After completing the data collection phase, the DATUM team organized a series of activities such as online surveys and walking groups with women organizations, an association for blind people and community leaders to receive feedback on their perception of public space and transit accessibility. In general, the project team has been generously supported by civic organizations in Santiago, by the city transportation planning department and by a group of local university students throughout the different phases of Mapeando Santiago. The GTFS feed, the transit map, the transit map design tutorials, and the reports about the transport mapping activities may be also downloaded through our website https://datum.la/.

CDDL Research Associate Natalia Couchman in Santiago de Los Caballeros.
CDDL Research Associate Natalia Couchman in Santiago de Los Caballeros.

Workshop with local stakeholders in Santiago de Los Caballeros.
Workshop with local stakeholders in Santiago de Los Caballeros.