Visitors to the soccer World Cup need not worry about getting lost in South Africa’s busy streets, as Business Connexion’s (BCX) Geographical Information Systems (GIS) division plans to provide stable, custom-built products for the event. These will include 2010-specific navigation datasets, which will identify stadiums, accommodation, retail and banking facilities, and popular attractions and routes.
The 2010 version of Business Connexion’s navigation product will not only pinpoint locations of interest to tourists, but will also cover considerably more of South Africa, and Africa’s, roads.
Currently, the dataset shows a total of 530 000 kilometres of navigable road mileage, including Lesotho and Swaziland. The 2010 version, however, will cover 560 000 kilometres in South Africa alone. Updates will also be available to the product’s coverage of Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The six neighbouring countries will have interconnecting road networks between towns, as well as street level data in all capitals and major cities. The implication of this is that a user could navigate from Simonstown, in the Cape, to Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe, without losing connectivity or having to change or re-load datasets. Currently, the product shows all country boundaries in Africa, as well as major cities and towns.
According to Dirk Nel, managing executive of GIS, Microsoft Competency, Business Connexion has commissioned an aerial photography project to cover rural municipalities.
“The imagery provided by this project will allow GIS to capture, update and verify rural areas not covered under our data exchange agreements with major metropolitan councils,” he says, adding that future plans include using a combination of aerial photography and vector data to compile 3D views and simulations of underlying route data.
In 1999, Navteq selected Business Connexion’s GIS division as its primary provider of geographic data for integration in its satellite navigation product range. At the time, Navteq and GIS worked together to verify and format the data so as to conform to the technical specifications and formats used by the Navteq System. Subsequently, Navteq entered into an ongoing supply and maintenance agreement with Business Connexion to continue the validation and capturing of new data.