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CGIS hosts mapathon to assist with monitoring coastal areas
1 May 2018

The Centre for Geoinformation Science hosted a two-day mapathon on 23 and 24 March 2018. The mapathon was part of the larger project, Monitoring Coastal Areas with Mapathons and Hackathons, funded by the Royal Academy of EngineeringFrontiers of Engineering - Seed Funding.The project is led by Dr Nishanth Ramakrishna Sastry from King’s College London in the UK, in collaboration with Prof Serena Coetzee and Dr Victoria Rautenbach from UP CGIS in South Africa, Dr Kiev Gama from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Brazil and Ms Nicolene Fourie from the CSIR in South Africa. The goal of the project is to create and refine a process for scalable collection of high-quality map data, and to investigate ways to improve the coastal economy by improving map data and geospatial applications.

The aim of the mapathon was to map features that provide access to the coast line between Agulhas and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape (South Africa), such as cul-de-sacs, parking areas, boat launch sites (slipway), coastal roads and walkways. The South African coastline has immense economical potential and vast opportunities for recreational activity. Management of the coastline is essential to ensure that its resources are utilised in an effective and sustainable manner, while at the same time ensuring that users get optimal value out of it. 

When determining the boundaries of coastal access land, a municipality must take into account: 1. what the access is required for, e.g. for pedestrians, vehicles, vessels, etc.; 2. whether providing access will cause any adverse effects to the environment, e.g. by associated infrastructure, vehicles, vessels or increased numbers of people; 3. the need for parking, recreational and ablution facilities; 4. any existing public servitudes, rights of way, or customary means of access; and 5. mindful not to restrict rights of land owners unreasonably. Mapping the different types of access to the South African coastline helps a municipality to demarcate and manage coastal access land.

The mapathon was attended by 20 students who mapped over 2300 new features in OpenStreetMap (OSM). The feedback from the students was very positive and they learnt about volunteer geographic information, OSM and iD editor. 



- Author Centre for Geoinformation Science
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Last edited by Victoria-Justine RautenbachEdit