Ramani Geosystems pioneer capture of 360 street-level imagery in Kenya using XCAM G Mobile Mapping system

Ramani Geosystems pioneer capture of 360 street-level imagery in Kenya using XCAM G Mobile Mapping system

Ramani Geosystems, the leading aerial survey and map producer in East Africa have completed their first street mapping survey of Nairobi and Mombasa using the GeoXphere XCAM G1.

As a GeoXphere Market Partner they were able to take advantage of low cost monthly lease rates on the mobile mapping system. Their aim was to systematically capture hundreds of thousands of 360 spherical images and use them to improve their topographical mapping as well as extract detailed asset information such as street names, advertising boards and street lighting. The project was carried out in partnership with the Kenya Highways Authority (KENHA) and Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA).

Roadworks in Nairobi


The XCAM G1 was taken out to Nairobi as additional hold luggage in a normal size and weight suitcase. The system is designed to be transportable by one person so for the price of a flight it’s a very easy and convenient way of getting it deployed. The current XCAM G1 has export control on it so the paperwork for this was done before hand. All future XCAM G1’s will have no export control, making life a lot easier, and enabling a system to be deployed at very short notice.


The team at Ramani decided to have the roof frame manufactured in Nairobi, saving on transport costs. It was built up by an engineering company in the East of Nairobi in a few days based on a CAD drawing. They also manufactured some customised wheel nut adapters to fit the wheel encoder to the vehicle being used. The additional engineering works cost no more than a few hundred dollars. Along with some additional load stops for the boot (trunk) of the car and they were ready to survey, just 12 hours since landing.

XCAM G1 frame XCAM G1 in Mahindra Scorpio Laptop on frame

Wheel encoder for GNSS


Ramani established a Mobile Mapping team to oversee responsibility for the projects. The first two days were spent with Mohammed and Alex walking through the system and then going on survey for a few hours to get used to different aspects of the system, from storage, to GNSS quality, to driving methods and everything in-between. After these two days they were more than competent in doing longer surveys unaided. Their confidence even reached to inviting a potential client to ride along with them to showcase the data and how it could benefit them.

Driving through Nairobi's CBD Driving through Nairobi's residential areas


For the rest of the week Mohammed and Alex continued to survey unaided, only calling the GeoXphere team for clarification questions and to give progress updates. This gave plenty of time for GeoXphere to train the Production team in processing the imagery and GNSS data. This took just half a day as the team were extremely capable. Working in Kenya that spans 4 UTM zones and two hemispheres means they certainly know their stuff.

Ramani Production team and Mobile Mapping team


After the initial deployment week the XCAM G1 stayed for a further 3 weeks giving the Mobile Mapping team the opportunity to capture large areas of Nairobi, Mombasa and surrounding towns and villages. An important area was the CBD of Nairobi which was captured very early on a Sunday morning to avoid busy periods.

In all, Ramani captured 2900 line kilometres of road and over 580,000 panoramic images which will all be used for map validation and asset collection.

Survey vehicle out on the road


All this data capture is useless unless there’s an easy-to-use tool available for the Production team and end clients to view and analyse the data. Ramani are using a variety of viewers, including XMAP, tuned for simple map viewing all the way through to workflow-driven data extraction. The Online Services team have been fine-tuning these tools.


This project is part of a wider strategy for Ramani to implement modern survey methods to give their end customers the best data possible. In Kenya’s constantly changing urban environment this is critical in making sure informed decisions are made.

The XCAM G1 is available for other companies around the world to adopt for short or long term projects. Simply contact the GeoXphere team for more information.

GeoXphere would like to thank Daniel Haywood and the Ramani team for their hospitality during the visit and look forward to seeing an XCAM G1 on Kenyan soil again soon.