GIS in Tanzania and any country is about establishing information infrastructures. But it is foremost a political decision. Someone has to decide that a national spatial data infrastructure should be established. The next thing is that an institution or office is given the mandate to supervise and/or implement these processes. This is a top-down process.
In real life we will usually see that the demand for a spatial data infrastructure starts with the practitioners and at some point gains both interest and focus. We might see several initiatives which to bigger or lesser extent will succeed. On a global scale an initiative like OpenStreetMap represents one initiative to shortcut the political level – a good structure for spatial data has been established bottom up. The World Database of Protected Areas is an other initiative established on the side of regular political processes.
Tanzania GIS User Group started out as a mailing list in 2002. Numerous messages have been shared and answered. In 2006 a website was established to provide a platform for sharing information often requested by the mailing list participants.
On these pages you will find information about various resources for GIS in Tanzania. One of our goals is establish a data catalog for spatial data in Tanzania. We are also looking at options to establish a WMS service testing out internet based delivery of spatial data.
The intention for TZGISUG is to support individuals with questions on GIS in Tanzania. It’s intention is also to loyaly support and contribute to government led initiatives.