Home / Funny / Viral / How One Man Volunteered To Put Zimbabwe On Google Maps


You know how it goes... you're having a conversation in a foreign country, and you're trying to describe your hometown and the house that you grew up in, when you realise your country isn't on Google Maps. Ouch.

That's what happened to Tawanda Kanhema from Zimbabwe.

The photographer and filmmaker immediately contacted Google Maps, and got a camera on loan from them so that he could go back to his home country and put it on the map… literally.

At first, he just did a pilot shoot to show the gang back at Google Maps HQ what they can expect. The pilot shoot consisted of his brother driving in his car and Tawanda sitting next to him with the camera recording whatever he saw out the window.

The Google Maps guys liked and it got him to do some testing so that he could get his camera skills up to their level. He trained in San Francisco for six months before he went back to Zim to do the big tour.

During two weeks he covered over 3,200km of highways and attractions. He did it all by himself and, after a week, a crew from Google Maps joined him to record... well... him, while he was recording. Sounds a bit strange, to be honest.

They got great footage of Tawanda as he was flying over the Victoria Falls in a helicopter, using a speedboat on the Zambezi river and cycling across the Victoria Falls Bridge.

The gang at Google Maps loved his unconventional ways of recording the attractions and unusual attractions so much that they got him to do the map for Namibia as well. There, he covered the entire country and the desert before heading to Ontario in Canada, where he covered all the snowcapped areas.

And that's the story of how one man single-handedly put not one, but two African countries on Google Maps.

Watch the GMA video below to see how Tawanda managed to record all the footage for Google Maps.

Image credit: NPR

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