RippleNami: An African App Changing How We Look at the World

Published:  February 28, 2018 by Staff Contributor of  The Douglas Review
Of all the major developments of the Information Age, data visualization has been one of the most significant. Edward Tufte, a prominent American scholar who has been studying examples of data visualization since they first appeared on cave paintings of the Paleolithic period, has said that science and art have something in common: they both seek to develop strategies of visualization, to show information in smart manners that everyone can understand.

RippleNami, a tech firm that seeks to develop smart blockchain solutions that do not necessarily involve cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is a firm believer in the empowering effect of data visualization and how it can be leveraged to improve quality of life in developing nations. RippleNami was named as a 2017 finalist of the Annual Innovation Awards for its clever mix of digital mapping, Big Data and blockchain platforms.

With RippleNami, data visualization starts with a map that users can display on their workstations, portable computers or mobile devices. The digital map is a graphical metaphor that just about everyone can understand; from here on, RippleNami users can access real-time information about regions of the world that they are interested in. For users of apps such as Waze and Google Maps, the RippleNami interface will feel very familiar: selecting a point in the map will bring up relevant information, and in the case of Google Maps that information may include commercial districts, traffic, areas under construction, and traffic. With RippleNami, however, the information that can be obtained and visualized is a lot more in-depth.

To a great extent, RippleNami is like the mapping applications in science fiction films where deep space explorers query supercomputers that can inform them about everything they need to learn about an alien planet: atmospheric conditions, geology, civilizations, chemistry, commerce, threats, and other data presented in real-time. An example of how RippleNami works was announced in August 2017, when the Kenya Central Bank Foundation and the Kenya Veterinary Association retained the company to launch a program that will identify and trace livestock conditionsaround the country; the goal is to visualize real-time data to control and prevent livestock disease, and this can be accomplished by means of telemetry sensors as well as animal health reports compiled by veterinarians.

The magic of RippleNami’s data visualization is based on being able to handle Big Data sets within a blockchain, which further enables collaboration between users who can also provide information and improve the overall experience. Although this is an American company, its focus is on Africa because developing nations stand to benefit the most from being able to access actionable insights from mobile devices. Aside from being recognized by, the company has been racking up awards from prestigious business magazines such as Entrepreneur and CEO.