In the second of our posts from "the road" (NW Namibia to precise) we at Langebaan Sunset wanted to put out a general call to action to the overland community about how you can help improve a very valuable resource.
Tracks 4 Africa has been building a complete GPS database / map for Africa for the last 10 years. It contains many thousands of way points, tracks and routes. For anyone traveling across Africa its a valuable aid to your trip and a very useful means for finding places that don't exist in guides or simply helping you navigate the path less traveled.
The key thing to note is that T4A is built from the raw data acquired by the overland community. Its submitted to T4A, processed and checked and then included in the next release. Updates can either by purchased online or by buying the map set on an SD Card. T4A also have a Live Map on their website.
The maps are constantly evolving and you can assist by contributing your travel experience, be it for business or pleasure. The following are common types of contributions;
- GPS track logs and waypoints
- Place markers - if you mark a place in Google Earth
- Photos - upload direct to the T4A website against a known point of interest
- Comments - make a comment about a place on the T4A website
- Descriptions - submit a description or contact details for a place on the maps
- General corrections - find a mistake, just let them know
T4A prefer GPX or GDB data formats for submissions but can work with most formats. Simply compress your files using something like WinZip and e-mail it to T4A at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once submitted, your data will be entered into the T4A register and you will be notified when it has been processed. They may come back to you with some questions if they need clarification on anything. Once your data is processed and included in a new version of the maps, you will be asked to download this Garmin compatible map and check that your data has been processed to your liking.
Because T4A is based in South Africa, the Southern African overland / 4x4 community have really built up a lot of data for the likes of SA, Namibia, Bots, Moz etc..... and they would love to get more data on North, West and Central Africa. So, over to you folks!
Please help T4A to continually improve this valuable resource for the benefit of those that follow you.
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11