The full article is available at code.fb.com.
When planning connectivity deployments in emerging markets, it’s important to have a clear picture of where existing power lines are placed. This information helps us make better decisions about where to focus our efforts, how we design the network, and how we source the equipment we’ll need. When we look for this information in developing countries, however, it is often outdated, inaccurate, or too low resolution to be useful. To find a more accurate picture using existing resources, we partnered with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) at the World Bank, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Together, we developed a new predictive model for mapping medium-voltage (MV) infrastructure using publicly available data sets. Today, we are releasing the output of this model for six countries through the World Bank’s open energy data repository. We are also sharing detailed documentation for replicating the model, and a segment of code developed specifically for this application. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most accurate globally scalable product of its kind.