Nov 142012
GIS day

Celebrating GIS in Arusha

Open day on map making and GIS at the Conservation Resource Centre, 14 November

The Conservation Resource Centre (CRC) is a small (but helpful!) non-profit educational organisation based in Arusha that works with students and researchers in science and conservation.

If you’re interested in learning about using maps, using a GPS, or making your own maps, the CRC is hosting an informal ‘open day’ for World GIS Day on the 14th of November, which will be an opportunity for hands-on use of GPS units, a chance to talk to people who use GPS and computerised mapping professionally, and to learn about free and open-source applications for making your own maps. Continue reading »

Jun 182012

The recent changes in alternatives for communicating with other participants in the TZGISUG community involves option for commenting on postings on this website. It also involves an option to post messages in dedicated forums.

This posting is a walk-through of the different options for interacting through the TZGISUG website. Continue reading »

May 302012

Hillshades are made by processing georeferenced digital elevation models. The process places a virtual light source above an elevation model and calculates which areas are lightened up and which fall in the shadow. Light characteristics, vertical/geographical source will be determinant for the hillshade.

Some years ago I prepared a hillshade model for Tanzania. It was fun and before I knew it I had prepared elevation models for seven more countries.

This article points to a file gallery where the files are available for download. Continue reading »

May 252012

Several times the last months we have suggested GIS-users start using OpenStreetMap data. But we have failed to say where you can find the actual files. They are of course available for download.

In this article we will give an overview of where you can download shapefiles based on OSM data and also how you can contribute to the project. Continue reading »

May 172012

Screenshot from QGIS - Arusha roadsIf you’re interested in QGIS, a good starting place is a complete QGIS sample project and its data. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not?! Very straightforward, easy to use and learn, and did we mention free?

  • TZGISUG has already published one of these projects as a downloadable .zip file, and to date over 130 people have downloaded it.
  • “Natural Earth” has  a great set of freely-downloadable data for the whole world at a number of scales, suitable for whole-earth views (1:110m) or individual countries (1:10m). The data are bundled with .QGS project files, with appropriate styles built in.

We’d love to hear back from you in the comments about the Tanzania QGIS data we published here – it’s time to update it and suggestions are welcome.

QGIS sample project Tanzania
Version: 1.0
10.2 MiB
Jan 062012

For anyone interested in trying out QGIS, I’ve put together a folder with a complete QGIS project and a selection of raster and vector data for you to explore.

The archive includes:

  • Some of the usual border and protected area data we’ve been sharing on this site for years (some of which seriously need updating) – lakes, regions, protected areas;
  • December 2011 OpenStreetMap road data for the whole country, with a rule-based rendering system that renders various road levels as you zoom in; it matches the OSM default web rendering as much as possible.
  • GTOPO low-resolution DEM for the country (as a JPEG) with elevation colours customised in the layer.

Download QGIS if you haven’t already (, open the tz_elevations.qgs file, and play!

QGIS sample project Tanzania
Version: 1.0
10.2 MiB
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