Category Archives: About us

How we make maps

Map growth over the last couple of years
Map growth over the last couple of years

This October we are celebrating 10 years of selling GPS maps in the retail market.  We actually started with our first commercial maps back in 2005 but it was only until 2006 that we launched the first maps on a CD and then later migrated to SD card.

While designing the new cover I thought about the last decade and how things have changed.  At the heart of T4A maps is  community mapping but the technology made it possible to do so much more than what we used to ten years ago.

The basic idea

Tracks4Africa started out by sharing tracks and waypoints and from this data we later started building a map which grows organically as people travel and contribute data or comment on aspects of the maps which needs to be updated. Continue reading How we make maps

Finding the roots of Tracks4Africa

By Johann Groenewald (co-owner of Tracks4Africa)

People often wonder how Tracks4Africa started out.   Today’s company with twenty-odd employees and product representation all over the world started out as a simple quest for information.  I asked founder, Wouter Brand, to take me on a trip to see where it all began.  The mode of transport would be Wouter’s only manner of travel these days – motorbikes and the destination would be nowhere specific, other than the remote Namibian landscape.

The bikes with Brandberg in the distance.
Our destination was remote Namibia.

Around the year 2000, GPS equipment became available for the recreational user and a few technically minded travellers quickly seized the opportunity to better orientate themselves to their surroundings.  Wouter recalls a trip to Namibia around that time with friends in  Kaokoland, which is a very remote part of Namibia and where getting lost is easy.  Knowing where you are is only part of the navigation story; knowing where to go is also vitally important. Continue reading Finding the roots of Tracks4Africa

Cycling from Cape Town to Livingstone for trees

For most people cycling 300 kilometres would be a huge challenge. Can you imagine cycling 3 000km from Cape Town to Zambia in 56 days?! A young adventurer from Cape Town, Jason Ruger, embarked on an epic cycling journey on 15th May to help save the forests of Zambia.

Some of the magnificent forest and Miombo woodland that is left in western Zambia.
Some of the magnificent forest and Miombo woodland that is left in western Zambia.

Jason hopes to cycle an average of 55km per day, but to account for injuries, rest days, repairs, etc. he aims to do 70km per day. He started off up the West Coast of South Africa, mostly along the N7, and will cross into Namibia at Vioolsdrift. He plans on cycling through south, central and east Namibia before entering Botswana at Buitepos and will plan his route to Zambia from there. Continue reading Cycling from Cape Town to Livingstone for trees