We travel in Africa and we enjoy what this continent has to offer. In the words of Jan Joubert we believe that conservation equals information. Our maps and web site provides travel information for self drive tourists in Africa and we believe that we can influence people to be more informed travellers, not making mistakes that could accidentally damage the environment.
In addition to a continuous focus on responsible travel, we have launched an ambitious project to map Africa’s protected areas. This is the MAPA Project which was founded by March Turnbull. During 2007 March approached us with the idea of creating a map of Africa that shows all protected areas together with basic information that would enable anyone who needed to know something about this protected area to be able to quickly access basic information about the protected area. We were keen to get involved and we shared our technical knowledge to make this work.
March approached Google for funding and we used our existing relationship with Google to pitch this project to them. We were delighted when they showed interest and funded phase 1 of our project.
Phase 1 of the project involved mapping Southern and Eastern Africa’s protected areas. Tracks4Africa donated all of its data within the protected areas to Mapa in order to kick start the project. Mapa used volunteers, many of which were Tracks4Africa Community members, to go out and map protected areas in Eastern Africa. This data came back to the Tracks4Africa offices for processing.
Today phase 2 has started work on Western and Northern Africa.
Read more about the project at www.mapaproject.org
Involvement with other projects
Tracks4Africa data is available for use by bona fide conservation and humanitarian relief projects. Should your organisation want to make use of our data, kindly contact Johann Groenewald to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Here are some projects and organisations we are supporting or have been supporting with our data:
Peace Parks Foundation - formation of Transfrontier Parks in Africa
Africa Wildlife Foundation
Conservation Ecology Research Unit, University of Pretoria - elephant research in Southern Africa
Kenya Wildlife Services - use of T4A GPS Maps for game rangers
The Earth Institute at Columbia University - remote sensing of roads data in Ethiopia
The Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) Program, Princeton University