What we do

We create household data maps by mapping all visible household/building locations in an area of your choice using high resolution satellite imagery.

Actual example of household mapping completed for an island in Eastern Indonesia -
Every yellow square is a household; ~10,000 in the highlighted region

We create detailed statistics from the household data maps and present them in useful forms to suit your needs.

1km resolution population density map created from Indonesian mapping data -
showing high densities near major roads, and large areas of zero population.

See your data in context of 300 other layers of data and over 500,000 other datapoints of useful global information, such as admin boundaries, roads, % electricity access at subnational levels, tens of thousands of school and village locations, microfinance/bank locations and other useful data. We call this our Global Energy Map.

Indonesian mapping data on our Global Energy Map -
Household locations are mapped against local solar home system penetration, grid extents and locations of field visits, giving precise understanding of local market saturation and localized optimizing of service delivery.

What you can do

Aimed at development projects in emerging markets, detailed household location data can be used for some of the following applications:

  • finalizing and optimizing the siting of service centres for various industries
  • health projects that require data on distance to water bodies (malaria nets) and distance to forest resources (fuelwood for natural resource management and improved cookstove programs
  • water, school and clinic infrastructure planning
  • master plans for rural electrification, both offgrid minigrid design and grid extensions
plus many more...
By mapping the Indonesian household data into 500m, 1km and 2km service areas, to calculate % served, the data can be used for rural electrification planning.

Why use us

We provide a more cost & time effective service compared to other forms of mapping and data analysis.

Cost-benefit of our mapping data: Rural Electrification

  • In Africa, Asia and the Americas, 1.3 billion people or approximately 250 million households lack electricity.
  • Rural electrification of these households costs $100-$500 per household, and the aim is to ensure all households have access to electricity by 2030, which will cost $20-$200 billion.
  • At a cost of $0.10-$0.20 per household, mapping all visible offgrid households using our method will cost $20-$50 million, or just 0.1% of the cost of the installed hardware, and reduce wasted field time.
  • Comparing our method with some alternatives:
Data collection methodCost/HouseholdDescription
Our data$0.10 - $0.20Generated from mapping visible house/building locations from satellite imagery
field-based georeferencing
$0.50 - $2.00Requires people in the field with handheld GPS units; time and resource heavy
Cadastral data$2.00 - $5.00Generated from creating polygon (not point) land boundaries; slower to create

Think Big & Share

Public funding for a public good

If multilateral, donor and foundation organizations fund a global public data set of household/building locations to assist in poverty-alleviating development, the data can be available for all to make the maximum use of, and will likely result in sharing of processed data (eg. distance from roads, distance to grid, distance to water sources, etc) as well as project locations.

A possible implementation plan to map 100 million households could be as follows:

Million households mappedCost per houseCost Budget
In association with:

Recognising the need for a cheap, effective, fast way to map houses and other features in remote markets, DevelopmentMaps started developing a last-mile mapping technology for its own internal use in planning energy infrastructure in developing regions.

We now offer our services in mapping for many other organisations. Some of our past clients range from institutions including The Asian Development Bank and World Bank as well as practitioners such as Hivos and MeraGao Power.

DevelopmentMaps is a part of Village Infrastructure, a not-for-profit organisation focused on providing financing solar lighting for rural communities in developing countries. All proceeds from Development Maps goes towards funding Village Infrastructure initiatives.