Mapping Botswana - About
Mapping Botswana
Place in Botswana:

About Mapping Botswana

Mapping Botswana is a project that aims to map Botswana so its citizens, organizations and companies can easily see maps, routes, amenities and more in Botswana. This of course extends to the rest of the world, for example tourists visiting Botswana.

It is the official goal of the Mapping Botswana project that upon the 50th anniversary of independence of Botswana on 30th September 2016, in accordance with the Vision 2016 goals of entering the information age on equal footing, that the map of Botswana will be exemplary and usable by all, with every settlement mapped.

This lofty goal requires not only the helping hands of both the citizens of Botswana and of other countries who take part in it - but also co-operation from official sources. Many government agencies have compiled geographic data for their stated purposes but they do not share it amongst each other and not with the public either. These are the exact conditions that led to the foundation of OpenStreetMap in Britain in 2004.

The project uses OpenStreetMap as the data source tool, and enjoys all the benefits that come with it. For example the numerous apps available for smartphones and tablets, usually usable offline to save data charges or where Internet connections are slow (a problem in many places in Botswana).

OpenStreetMap is open data: you are free to use it for any purpose as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors.

Our hope is that enough Batswana take part for a local chapter to be formed in Botswana which makes sure the project stays on tracks and takes ownership of the domain.

Examples of mapped towns:

  1. Khawa in Kgalagadi
  2. Bokspits in Kgalagadi
  3. Makunda in Ghanzi
  4. Parts of Francistown in North East
  5. Etsha 13 in North West
  6. Parts of Maun in North West

You can find us on Facebook and we post the latest map improvements on Twitter. We post our to-do lists on Trello.

About OpenStreetMap

OpenStreetMap powers map data on hundreds of web sites, mobile apps, and hardware devices. By adding something on OpenStreetMap it becomes available on all the websites, apps (iOs, Android and more) and more that use this single vast map database! Read more about it on its own website.

This webpage shows you where people are editing right now!

Is it hard to use the map?

No it isn't. Many tools have been made that use OpenStreetMap:

  1. Create a map of a city to print out right away!
  2. Find driving directions from one place to another for example Maun to Bokspits.
  3. Using OpenCycleMap you can see cycle paths in many countries around the world - for example this is the map for Amsterdam in the Netherlands (blue lines are cycle paths).
  4. With OpenFireMap you can see fire stations and fire hydrants - for example in Sochi in Russia - host of the 2014 Winter Olympics (red dots are fire hydrants).
  5. You can try making your own little map with uMap!
  6. During emergencies, such as earthquakes, tsunamis or plagues, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team springs into action and helps creating maps of disaster areas to make it easier for the crews on the grounds.
  7. Finally, many of your questions are probably answered on LearnOSM.

This map looks bland, I prefer some other map

Want to change the way the maps look? You can with OpenStreetMap, some examples of what people do with OpenStreetMap data and their own coding for visual styles:

  1. see these examples from Stamen
  2. this hand-drawn map of Toulouse
  3. Space Station style from MapBox
  4. Crinkled Watercolor from Oregon State University