South African Geodata

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For the FOSS4G2008 conference in Cape Town, South Africa (September 29 - Oct 3, 2008) the OSGeo Public Geospatial Data Committee would like to pull together a catalog of local data from the area around Cape Town so that there would be a readily available pool of services and local datasets for Exhibitors and Presenters to use during the conference. The hope is that this will bring attention to the efforts being made by the Public Geospatial Data Committee committee. Benefits to the conference would be fast access to services (if we were to host them somewhere locally during the conference), an increased local feel, and a resource so that we could see different applications all working with the same data.

Data Custodians



Chief Directorate: Surveys and Mapping.

Lots of free GIS data, not many if any web services?

* Comment:  Where is the free data on this site?  I can't find any
Ecoregions of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
Rivers (1:500 000) of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
Monitoring sites of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Manual downloads, no web services.


Western Cape Provincial Government. Any GIS?


City of Cape Town Corporate GIS

Meraka Institute

Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) WMS

near-realtime and time series fire points for southern Africa:



Various companies and organizations, whether they are South African or not, may have data that they would be willing to provide for free.


Maplibrary South African data


Courtesy of Maurizio at Madmappers

Here is a link to 4 sample CDSM 50k maps for the Cape Town area: 16.4 MB 51.0 MB 37.7 MB 13.8 MB

Worldwind or Madmappers services

(Maurizio please add the missing links below)


1)Russian topographic maps scale 1:500 000 - full African coverage
Northern Africa (334 maps)
Southern Africa (181 maps)

2)South African topographic maps (courtesy of CDSM - Chief Directorate of Surveys & Mapping)
South Africa - scale 1:250 000 (70 maps)
South Africa - scale 1:50 000
Eastern Cape(299 maps)
Free State(226 maps)
Gauteng(40 maps)
Kwazulu Natal(167 maps)
Limpopo(217 maps)
Mpumalanga(152 maps)
North West(209 maps)
Northern Cape(618 maps)
Western Cape(247 maps)


1) MadMap viewer The viewer lists a number of layers which are accessible also by WorlWind and other clients (e.g.

OpenLayers). Aerial photography is available for Johannesburg.

2) Somalia Water and Land Information Management viewer

Somap was originally aimed as quick reference tool for planning of relief efforts in times of floods. On the

aftermaths of the Somali conflict it became widely used by NGO's and international organizations for planning

relief efforts of displaced population.

The but incidentally became . floodings t set up by MadMappers to monitor for SWALIM

WORLDWIND AFRICA LAYERS FROM MadMappers and WorldWindCentral Tileservice:

1) South African Space Organization WorlWind South Africa portal The South Africa add-on is a set of topographical maps covering Southern Africa, in addition a few areas also

have othophotos.

2) Add-on:ZoomIt! This add-on provided by World Wind Central gives access to up to date high resolution imagery for various

parts of the world. In particular: South Africa - 10 meter natural-color SPOT 5 mosaic (2005) Copyright Madmappers and SpotImage Robben Island - 0.5 meter natural-color mosaic Copyright Madmappers Johanesburg - 2.5 meter natural-color mosaic Copyright Madmappers

2) Add-on:Somalia-SWALIM The Somalia add-on is a set of topographical maps covering Somalia in 100k and 200k resolution, vector data of

Mogadishu streets and general data, and displays areas affected by flooding.

3) Add-on:Mogadishu Refugee Migration Add-On This add-on is based on data gathered from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). An equivalent add-on for Google

earth is also available.


Requested Datasets

If there is a particular South African dataset that you would like to see be available at FOSS4G2008, add your request to this section. Please include the following information:

  • Dataset information:
    • dataset name
    • link to dataset information (e.g. metadata)
    • link to dataset location (if publicly available)
  • Your information:
    • your name (and optionally organization), and a way to contact you
    • your role in the FOSS4G2008 conference (e.g. attendee, workshop/lab instructor, sponsor, etc.)
    • why you are requesting the dataset

Request by jlivni (Josh Livni, a workshop presenter) for the following datasets for use in FOSS4G workshops. Datasets should cover, as applicable, the Western Cape at least, but preferably all of SA. In order of my personal preference/importance

* Province Boundaries
* Municipalities 
* Capetown suburbs, subcouncils, and wards
* 2006 Census shapes and attributes (preferably all, but as above, Wards at the least)
* Streets / Other transportation (bus lines?)
* Any aerial imagery
* Informal Settlements 
* Any spatial data related to urban renewal programme

Dataset Sources

While the authoritative source for a dataset is the dataset's custodian, for FOSS4G2008 the goal is to have copies of datasets, or partial datasets, on local servers at the conference. To accomplish that, local people will have to do the work of obtaining those copies and loading them onto the local servers.

If you can help with this by providing the conference organizers with a copy of all or part of one or more of the Requested Datasets, add your information to the section below.