Aug 202012

For those of you who do not know what Wikipedia is, the short version is that Wikipedia is “[..] a multilingualweb-basedfree-content encyclopedia project based on an openly editable model.” (Source: Wikipedia). This article is about relevant GIS/geography articles in Wikipedia related to Tanzania.

A version of this article was posted back in August 2007. Since then the body of literature on Tanzania in Wikipediahas continuously been growing. Both the English and the Swahili articles. The number of Swahili articles as of today number 24.126. The articles cover a wide number of themes, many of the not directly related to Tanzania.

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Aug 012012

In 2009 Brian Kuns with Stocholm University wrote a memo titled “Towards an Inventory of Historical Aerial Photos of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda”. The memo represents a preliminary overview of archival resources containing historical aerial photographs of East Africa.

I have taken a look at the memo and in this article I will try to focus on any Tanzanian sources of data in most part using Kuns memo. I will also throw in some reflections of my own on historical aerial photographs and what lies ahead of us. Continue reading »

Jun 182012

The Tanzania GIS User group mailing list has been a rather quiet place the last year or so. Much of this is due to the fact that many GIS practitioners find answers to their questions in forums and mailing lists elsewhere. After some discussion and a lot of thought, time has come to make some changes for TZGISUG. Without being totally revolutionary, we hope that you will all follow us on this journey towards more structure and more communication in our community.

We are now offering an addition to the mailing list on the TZGISUG website a set of forums with the themes “Announcements”, “FAQ” and “General”. The mailing list will not be discontinued, but we encourage people to use the forum on the TZGISUG website for announcements and comments to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Our rationale is to focus our community somewhat. Basically we see the need to build a centralized knowledge base – strengthening the web site as a communication platform is one way forward. We also need to start thinking about how we can refine a meta-database on spatial data as well – while there isn’t much call for hosting data ourselves, maintaining a directory of ‘how-to-find spatial data’ IS probably worthwhile, and the forums will allow discussion about the various merits of the datasets.

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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.

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May 132012

Ragnvald Larsen has written an article on his blog about development cooperation GIS. In his article he says:

Looking at the term development cooperation GIS I will point to related work on a policy level and exemplify the development cooperation GIS by highlighting current projects where it could find its use and more. I will also briefly present parts of my own work and discuss challenges in development cooperation GIS. (twitter: #devcogis)

Read on here:

Apr 112012

Dear members, we wish to inform you that, Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (SEAMIC), Surveys and Mapping Division of Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, and School of Geospatial Sciences and Technology of Ardhi University, jointly submitted Expression of Interest to host the Africa GIS 2013 Conference and Exhibition in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. Continue reading »

Feb 082012

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.

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