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 »

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 182012

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.

Continue reading »

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 102012

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. Continue reading »

Jan 302012

is happening this week in Dar:

The Google team is thrilled to announce our first g|Tanzania, happening February 2-3 in Dar es Salaam. We’re looking forward to engaging with this community of developers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who are as passionate about technology as we are! 

They’ll be holding a MapUp after the main event:

A Google MapUp is an event in which a group of people get together to map their world… often a specific area such as a town or city. Avid cartographers (like you!) use Google Map Maker to add and edit roads, streams, schools, and more. Following a review for accuracy, new additions and edits are incorporated in Google Maps for millions of people around the world to see and use!

Here’s the link/invite to the MapUp, to be held at COSTECH on the 4th of Feb.


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!

[wpfilebase tag=file id=1 /]

Dec 122011

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
  • Google maps
  • Google Earth
  • Garmin
  • OpenStreetmap Tanzania
  • GIS User Group
  • Tanzania Conservation Resource Centre
Jan 172011
Dear Colleague and GIS User,Esri Eastern Africa invites you to participate in the 6th Esri Eastern Africa User Conference (EAUC) which will be held from 5 – 7 October at the Zanzibar Beach Resort on Unguja, the main island of Zanzibar, under the theme “Experience GIS in the cloud and on the beach”.

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 and register online now at We look forward to your active participation. Continue reading »

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