Google Maps Mashup NBO?

Mental‘s and Hash (recent) stay in Nairobi inspired me to check out Google’s Map API and how it could be implemented on a simple website in order to get a detailed overview of internet cafés / cybercafés in Nairobi.

The idea is to get an updated, accessible online resource that lists all internet cafés in Kenya and user-based input/rating of the offered services.
Unfortunately, there’s no real map available from Google for the City of Nairobi – only a cloudy satellite image. And of course, downloading images takes time – especially if you’re connected via a lame modem connection that keeps on hanging up. So, Google’s Map service doesn’t seem to be a good option for this at the moment…

Ok, to make it short, here are my questions:

  • Did anyone come across an updated list of something like “best internet cafés in town” for e.g. Nairobi?
  • If it doesn’t exist yet – wouldn’t it be nice to have something like that – maybe just a simple list / page that could also be accessed via mobile phones (WAP 1.x) and/or printed out for fast reference?

Whenever someone blogs or speaks about internet cafés in Nairobi, ppl start dropping in their 2cents on where they regularly surf the web and we end up getting lots of useful hints. I think it would be nice to compile all these (dynamic, of course, as quality & services change) informations on a single page.
Maybe on

(Pls don’t hit me if this already exists on places like Mashada or so :-)

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

6 thoughts on “Google Maps Mashup NBO?”

  1. Man, I would have LOVED to have a simple tool like this while out there. The link by Irena is closest I believe, but it needs a lot more information on it. This would be a great tool, easily advertising-supported too. I hope some young tech guy out there takes the initiative to do this.

  2. Yeah, Irene, you see this ?

    ==> Old list!

    I found those links as well, and thought they have this “backpacking-tourists-in-Nairobi-attitude”. It’s like the tourists perspective…

    Yeah Hash, that’s exactly what I had in mind. Such a handy list that just serves its purpose and informs of the nearest cybercafé and pricing. On the other hand, sure, this could be something for & location based services :-)

  3. Fantastic idea, Kiku! But probably all web possibilities may be problematic with lame modem connections.

  4. The idea behind using a map is that it has this visual character => ppl can see their location on the map and instantly (visually) check out where the next internet café is. Those good places are often hidden somewhere ~ cheap rates = low rent & overhead expenses = not the prime locations at the roadside. It should not just be a simple list, but instead a compilation of user ratings.

    Take – now, a lot of ppl might agree that their facilities are nice but also very expensive as they are charging 4 /= Kshs for simple browsing and imagine even 300/= for burning CDs! Compare that with the CD burning rates in Moi Avenue…
    Why? Because they are sitting at the prime shopping malls where the rent is high and also because they are fully equipped.

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