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AidData Partner Develops Automated Geocoding System

The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), AidData's newest official partner, has developed a system for the World Bank that automates the geocoding of all Bank-financed projects and enables more efficient mapping of the projects for monitoring and evaluation.

The QCRI Geotagger augments the World Bank's Mapping for Results initiative, a partnership with AidData, which was launched in summer of 2010 when a team of 13 undergraduate research assistants successfully geocoded the World Bank and African Development Bank’s entire active project portfolio of 2,500 projects in 30,000 locations across 144 countries in six weeks.

Trained research assistants continue to geocode World Bank-financed projects, but the automation and efficiency provided by QCRI’s Geotagger system will facilitate the geocoding and mapping of historic projects, allowing researchers to look at the evolving Bank portfolio from new angles. 

Geotagger in Morocco"QCRI's Geotagger tool will be a huge help to AidData in geocoding other donors' project portfolios," said Stephen Davenport, Co-Executive Director of AidData and Senior Director for Innovation at the Development Gateway. Looking forward towards future projects with Qatar Computing Research Institute, he continued, "We hope to explore opportunities around automatically identifying the sector activities of development projects and crawling the web for project-specific sources of development finance information."

Brad Parks, AidData's Co-Executive Director, noted, "the Geotagger tool will support AidData's efforts -- through a new partnership with USAID and its Higher Education Solutions Network -- to generate geospatial aid information and decision support tools that help development finance institutions make smarter policy and programming decisions."


AidData—a joint initiative of Development Gateway, the College of William & Mary, and Brigham Young University—is a global leader in the provision of reliable, timely, and detailed information about foreign assistance projects. AidData tracks more than $5.5 trillion dollars from 90 donor agencies, undertakes cutting-edge research on aid distribution and impact, oversees efforts to geocode and crowdsource aid information, and develops web and mobile applications and custom data solutions for development finance institutions.