east africa maps
HOW THE MAPS ARE MADE
The Uganda Maps series was created using base maps from various sources such as Google Maps, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Wildlife Conservation Society, National Forest Authority Biomass Project and the government Lands and Surveys office. Paper maps and computer scans are both required. Paper maps showing vegetation zones, are placed over a layer of carbon paper on top of a stretched sheet of watercolour paper. Vegetation, waterbodies, river valleys and areas of upland are traced to produce an outline on the watercolour paper. The landscape is painted in watercolour and scanned to create a JPG file. This is used to create the map on a computer using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. The background artwork is overlaid with information - roads, settlements, park boundaries, etc. using Adobe Illustrator from a JPG scan of a base map.
The Uganda Maps series are not simply copies of the base maps. To do so would be to duplicate inaccuracies and miss new developments. Since the Jinja town map was produced in the 1960s, for example, some roads have disappeared under housing plots while others have been constructed. Map information is verified on the ground and new roads, hotels and tourist facilities, etc. noted for each revision. Google Earth is a particularly useful tool for identifying and adding new information such as game tracks in the national parks. In the field I use an IPhone app, Motion X GPS, to track new routes, measure distances and plot locations. The map of Kidepo Valley National Park was created in this way by driving and recording all motorable routes.