Category: Open Data

StreetNames

Something that I have idly been pondering for a few weeks now has to do with the renaming of streets. Durban, the most populous city in KwaZulu-Natal has renamed a lot of them in the last decade or so. Since I mentioned it obliquely on Twitter (1, 2) earlier, I thought I would write it up here. Durban has probably gone further than most large South African cities with regards to renaming roads and streets. (Certainly I have heard more about it there, but that might be proximity). Many of these are uncontroversial, where a road described what it did and now commemorates someone. * “Ruth First Highway” is a better name than “Northern Freeway”. * Old Fort Road ran in front of the Old Fort and is now KE Masinga Road. Others have changed who was commemorated, which can raise hackles: * Jan Smuts Highway was renamed to King Cetswayo Highway. * Stanley Copley Drive is now RD Naidu Drive Still others have links to other places, usually the places the people who built the area are from: * Blair Atholl Road is now Rodger Sishi Road * Kensingston Drive has become Adelaide Tambo Drive (The full list is available on […]

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AfricaArray Field School – Day 19 – Final Presentations and Celebrations

To finish off the field school, everyone gave a presentation. The geophysics groups gave one on a particular scientific question, while the geochem people talked about what they had been up to. These were generally pretty cool, especially the geochem. This was mostly because I had no real idea what they had been up to, and it was good to hear. They have done some fairly original (preliminary) studies which sound well worthwhile, and certainly add something to the knowledge of the Molopo Farms Complex (which seems to be related to the Bushveld Complex). For the rest, because I was involved in gathering at least some of the data, there were no big surprises. The magnetic data was pretty interesting though, and might lead to some revision being required for the geological map of the area, which is always nice to know. After the presentations, we headed over to the geosciences building and had a late lunch/farewell celebration. We all got certificates of attendance, which was nice. They did get “Bentley” wrong though, which makes me wonder if “Bently” a common name? We also got some t-shirts, sponsored by MeerCat and Red Dog: After that, we headed to Musa’s (Dr […]

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OpenCon 2014

So, I got to go to my first international conference. And what a conference. I suspect it may have spoiled me for future ones…. Apart from the fact that I could say that I literally flew to Washington DC for the weekend (OK, and the Friday and Monday) which was such a short time, it was fantastic. There are already a couple of good review posts out there (cf: Karin Purshouse, Ross Mounce, Hilda Bastien at Scientific American, Emilie Champagne) so I am not going to try and replicate them, but talk more about my own experience. First off, Washington is a pretty cool place, especially the bits we were in. Lots of lovely old buildings, stone-clad buildings, parks, statues and memorials and so on. The Metro is also pretty cool, and driving my car to campus today was a bit weird after how easy it would be not to have one there. Also, I got to go to MUSEUMS. I managed to find the time to visit the National Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Library of Congress. All totally awesome, and who can argue with an entry price of “free”. I will probably put […]

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Open South African Geological Data

In the last couple of years, I have had a growing interest in the open data and open access movement. I have not really done too much yet, being located on the periphery of what might be done, and with a lack of a specific project/problem to tackle. That said, I think that I have found one: Open geological data in South Africa. I have a vested interest in being able to use geological data freely, most regularly useful for me would be a digital map of the boundaries between different rock units as found on geological maps. Since a large portion of South Africa’s economy is reliant directly on mineral resources, it makes sense to have information pertaining to it to be available. While lithological data is available, much of it is at too high a scale to be very useful for looking at specific sites. 1:1 000 000 scale data is available, provided that you have a log-in at ESRI and can run ArcReader. That information can be found from this page. The link to the more detailed 1:250 000 scale maps is broken. The people responsible for collecting this data in South Africa are the Council for […]

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