What is it?
OpenStreetMap (OSM) sources data from a global community of mappers on roads, railways and related spatial information and makes this data available for everyone to use.
- Mainly road, rail and point of interest information
- Administrative boundaries for municipalities and provinces
- Updated data extracts are published daily
- Licensed under CC-BY-SA
Why is it Important?
OpenStreetMap provides good quality road and rail information through one portal which is available as open data and can therefore be accessed by everyone, relatively easily. This complements official road and rail information that can be obtained through national, provincial and local government websites, and via private GIS companies.
How can it be accessed and used?
Maps can be viewed directly through the OpenStreetMap website. More advanced users can access the underlying data used to generate the map for South Africa by downloading the fairly large (200MB+) PBF or SHP files from the resource URL.
You can view the SHP file directly in QGIS or use QGIS or various online tools such as mapshaper to convert the file to another format. You can then upload it to an online mapping tool such as Kepler.
The OpenStreetMap road and rail data can be used to analyse or visualise transport related information, such as the proximity of houses to different travel options.
In OpenStreet Map you may also want to:
- Browse community-created layers or build your own layer using uMap. See this example roadtrip.
- Contribute edits directly on OpenStreetMap using an editor like iD. Or connect with this South Africa wiki group.
- Use OpenStreetMap in your own app by following this guide.
For other transport-related data sources try:
- Exporting another region or specific dataset from Open Street Map using HOTOSM export.
- Extracting transport-related data from the NGI Topographical Vector Data hosted on SASDI e.g. Northern Cape
- Accessing roads, airport and ports related data from government websites such as the provincial departments of transport, e.g. KwaZulu-Natal
Transport infrastructure in the Northern Cape Province
Metrorail Gauteng - Johannesburg–Pretoria