EPIC FAIL from Joburg

Interesting article here:

The City of Johannesburg is closing off its GIS data in a ‘cost recovery’ move that other South African municipalities are set to follow. This, say some industry players, is not in keeping with Joburg’s plans to become ‘a world-class African city’.

Go to the City of Johannesburg’s ‘e-services’ online mapping site on a Mac or on a Firefox browser and you’ll be disappointed. In bold red letters, a notice reads: ‘PLEASE NOTE: The online map viewer is only compatible with Internet Explorer 6 or higher…’

The problems don’t end here. Further along in the process, you’ll see a ‘disclaimer’ that reads: ‘The contents may not be copied, reproduced, redistributed to third parties in any form for any purpose whatsoever, or applied to commercial use without the written consent of the Council.’

3 thoughts on “EPIC FAIL from Joburg

  1. nroets

    Cape Town may well follow Johannesburg’s lead because they “not going to maintain their data moving forward” (Brendan Barret).

    My suspicion is that the data is not that the data owned by the municipalities is not too good to begin with. Most property boundaries will be correct, but many new roads and road closures are not reflected. So the data is useless for routing.

    I heard there is a municipality in South Africa where the salaries exceed the income i.e. no money to buy even a single light bulb.

  2. brendanbarrett

    I have to agree with both of you. Cape Town GIS did give us their data… and they did tell me (in conversation… I wasn’t asking for official comment) that they were going to start using a commercial provider. I don’t see this as a train smash as we already have their data, and it’s helped us jump ahead.

    Now Nic also has a point here, I don’t think it’s going to continue being maintained as a high quality dataset. My feelings are that if they can’t keep up themselves, why not outsource if it means that the City will continue having access to high quality data? Service delivery has to take priority over ideals. At least OSM got a copy before it becomes restricted.

    I think we can do a better job of it ourselves. And if we do… what’s stopping them from getting their data from us? 😛

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