Association of American Geographers
About AAG Membership Annual Meeting Projects & Programs Education Publications Calendar Of Events Jobs & Careers

GDEST 2008 Conference Sessions


Theme 2 - Analysis of Regional Challenges
Advances in Mapping in Botswana: Scenario of a Developing African Nation
Rabindra Kumar Das, Department of Surveys and Mapping, Botswana
The core of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) is the geographic data the foundation of which is the geodetic, cadastral and topographic data. Department of Surveys and Mapping (DSM), the national surveying and mapping organization in Botswana is mandated to produce these data. The topographic data is most crucial in any sustainable development. The status of topographic data/maps in Botswana is impressive in comparison to most of the African nations due to adoption of appropriate strategy after independence. This paper provides a synoptic view of induction of relevant technologies, production of topographic data, constraints faced and future trends.
After independence priority was given to aerial photography and production of topographic maps. Medium scale photography for the whole country and large scale photography for major settlements was carried out during 1988-2007. Digital Orthophoto maps (OPMs), Digital Elevation models (DEMs) and 5 m contours for the whole country were produced. These OPMs form the backbone of the medium scale mapping. Planimetric line maps are now being extracted. OPMs/line maps for a sizeable number of settlements at large scales have been produced.
The DSM developed the much needed mapping infrastructure by procuring a number of advanced surveying and photogrammetric instruments especially between 1990 and 2007. A Remote Sensing Infrastructure is being established in order to facilitate the acquisition, processing and dissemination of satellite images and thus promoting use of these images in mapmaking.
The OPMs of whole country will go a long way in serving the medium scale mapping needs. Selective revision will be carried out using satellite images with 2-5 m resolution. Large scale mapping/revision of settlements will be continued using digital aerial photographs and satellite images of < 1 m resolution. The Remote Sensing Infrastructure will need to be continually enhanced to meet the future needs in accordance with technological changes. It is necessary to continue with capability building.