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.
CRC works tirelessly to help researchers and students to achieve their goals for research and studies. To promote their work I have dedicated a map over Tanzanian protected areas to them. I am hoping this will contribute to giving CRC their well deserved focus in the year to come. Download the map for free and enjoy.
This posting has been slightly updated since it was first published January the 5th this year. Since then both the content management system and server has changed. This led to the links to the maps being broken for some time. It is therefore posted again to allow new users to download the map.
As of the 15th of April the TZGISUG website was transferred from a server placed in my attic. It had been running there for almost four years. The server also hosted the TZCRC website. The setup gave easy access to hardware changes and upfates.
Moving the server to the “cloud” was an easy choice. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) basically let you set up a virtual computer which is set up according to the requirements for your applications. Running a couple of websites consumes few resources and I have therefore opted in for the smallest virtual machine available.
This posting is about OpenStreetMap and how Microsoft thorugh Bing Maps contributes to establishing a good open data basemap all over the world. But it is also a modest request for more of the good stuff. The Tanzania coverage from Bing Maps is poor. I am hoping it can become better.
It’s been almost 20 years since I worked as a localizer for Microsoft Worldwide Product Group in Dublin, Ireland translating software and documentation from English to Norwegian. Way back then I took part in translating Windows for Workgroups (Windows 3.11) and Word. Bringing software to the people is hard work. Microsoft and it’s owners have prospered throughout these years making profits and contributing to technological breakthroughs. Supporting OpenStreetMap is one of many ways Microsoft is contributing back to society.
In this posting I will try to give some advice about how to choose the right spatial data sources. I will focus on legal issues. As you will see the conclusion will have to be one based on more than one factor.
As far as I know very few people, if at all anyone, have been imprisoned for breach of copyrights pertaining to spatial data. We have often heard about how sharing digital movies may lead to high fines and imprisonment. Even linking to copyrighted material might lead you into such problems.
On the former webpages of TZGISUG we availed a host of data from different sources. Among others were data on protected areas, infrastructure, demography, biological diversity, digital elevation models, Quarter Degree Grid Cells and more. Is this something we should continue doing, or is this a job better done by the actual owners of the data?
Professionally I would say that the owners of any data sets, spatial or not, should provide their data with the associated meta data, be it ISO/TC211, ISO 19139 or other. Only by being provided by their rightfull owners will we know that the data has not been tampered with or otherwise doctored in any unfashionable manner.
The 3rd of December a workshop on GIS was held in Arusha at the Institute of accounting. The following article will contain information from the workshop. We will fill in more throughout the weekend. Resources:
- QGIS www.qgis.org
- Google maps maps.google.com
- Google Earth earth.google.com maps.google.com
- GPSBABEL www.gpsbabel.org
- Garmin www.garmin.org
- OpenStreetmap www.openstreetmap.org Tanzania
- GIS User Group www.tzgisug.org
- Tanzania Conservation Resource Centre www.tzcrc.org
The EAUC is an annual event that brings together GIS professionals from across Eastern Africa to share their experiences and learn more about Esri’s technology and this is the first time it is being held in Tanzania.
Find more information at http://www.esriea.co.ke/index.php/6th-esri-ea-user-conference and register online now at http://conferenceregistration.cloudapp.net/. We look forward to your active participation.
The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global spatial dataset on marine and terrestrial protected areas available. The 2010 version of the data were published earlier this year.
Since 1981 UNEP-WCMC has ever since 1981 been compiling this information and making it available to the global community. This has been done through their Protected Areas Programme. The WDPA is a joint project of UNEP and IUCN, produced by UNEP-WCMC and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas working with governments and collaborating NGOs.
They describe their databases this way:
“The World Database on Protected Areas is a foundation dataset for conservation decision making. It contains crucial information from national governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, international biodiversity convention secretariats and many others. It is used for ecological gap analysis, environmental impact analysis and is increasingly used for private sector decision-making.”
For their 2010 publication they specifically note the following:
We are aware that some of the protected areas for Tanzania in this data set are not always 100% accurate. It is however the only data set providing updated continental level information on a regular basis. As such it is a good starting point for research. For management we would advice the user to contact the ministry (MNRT) for the most updated information.
The undersigned and colleagues are planing to publish a PDF map for free distribution based on this map quite soon. Stay tuned – and in the meantime visit WDPA: