More than ninety five years ago National Geo-spatial Information (NGI), a component of Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) commenced with the establishment of an integrated survey system and provision of extensive mapping and aerial imagery coverage of the country. NGI is also known as South Africa’s national mapping organisation.
The integrated survey system expedites and facilitates orderly development while the mapping and associated products facilitate sustainable development. In more recent years, NGI established an active control survey network of continuously operating GNSS base stations covering South Africa, all managed and controlled by a single control centre situated in the offices of NGI.
The National Spatial Information Framework (NSIF) is a national initiative to coordinate the development of infrastructure needed to support the utilization of spatial information in decision making. This building of a “Spatial Data Infrastructure” (abbreviated as SDI) as it is termed in similar endeavors all over the world, includes policies, institutional arrangements, developing human resources and standards for geographic information. NGI is a key contributor to this initiative as well as being the largest custodian of spatial information.
Furthermore, NGI has an archive of aerial photography dating back to the 1930’s and photographic coverage of the entire country is updated continuously with our Digital Mapping Camera.
NGI not only distributes all this information but also conducts practical training programs in spatial information.
Together these products and services are contributing to the achievement of the country’s full potential and to the fulfillment of rural development and land reform in South Africa.
The functions of NGI are mandated by section 3 A of the Land Survey Act 8 of 1997, where:
“The Chief Director shall be in charge of such geodetic and topographic surveying and geo-spatial information services in the Republic as the Minister may direct and, subject to this Act, shall –
- promote and control all matters connected with those surveys and services;
- conduct such geodetic, topographical and other survey operations as may be required;
- acquire such aerial photography or other remotely sensed imagery as may be required;
- establish and maintain a national control survey system;
- prepare, compile and amend such maps and other cartographic representations of geo-spatial information as may be required; and
- take charge of and preserve the records of all geodetic and topographic surveys, maps and aerial photography or other remotely sensed imagery.”
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