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GfK GeoMarketing releases digital maps for Africa

Germany: GfK GeoMarketing will release new postcode and administrative maps for all African countries in May 2011. The company claimed that the new maps reflect the latest boundaries and, in some cases, offer more recent information than officially available in the countries in question.

GfK GeoMarketing is releasing completely overhauled and expanded digital maps for 56 African countries. One of the key challenges in producing maps of Africa is the lack of up-to-date and reliable cartographic data. “Some African countries do not have official bureaus of statistics or comparable organisations that we normally consult for data,” explained Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography at GfK GeoMarketing.

The new Africa Map Edition provides coverage of at least the two-digit postcode boundaries for all countries that have postal systems. In the case of Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa and several others, even more detailed postcode boundaries are available. “In Africa, postcodes are not always used by the population,” explained Dittmann. “Also, even in countries with functioning postal systems, desert regions are often not integrated into the postal system and therefore have no defined postal boundaries.”

In the case of administrative boundaries such as states, provinces, districts and municipalities, the largest and second-largest administrative levels have been digitised for almost all countries included in the map edition.

Topographic details were added for all countries, with expanded coverage of airports, main streets and bodies of water. The maps provide very detailed rendering of coastlines and bodies of water. This is particularly important for application in the insurance and reinsurance industries.

The new map edition provides coverage of over 180,000 cities. All cities included in the new maps are classified according to GfK GeoMarketing’s worldwide city size categories. More than 600 layers are included in the new Africa Map Edition 2011, a substantial increase over the 252 layers in the previous edition. This increase is due to the more detailed rendering of the administrative and postcode boundaries as well as the expanded topographic maps and city points.

The GfK Africa Map Edition is available in all standard digital map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.mid/*.mif (MapInfo), *.gdb (GeoDatabase) and *.lay (GfK GeoMarketing). The maps are also available in the Oracle (Spatial) database format for use in Oracle Business Intelligence applications.

Source: Gfk GeoMarketing