[Talk-africa] Crowdsourcing purchase of Historical Namibian Topo Maps

Grant Slater openstreetmap at firefishy.com
Thu Dec 20 16:18:47 UTC 2018

Hi All,

I am running a GoFundMe campaign to purchase the historical 1:50k
topographic map series for Namibia.

Any support would be appreciated:

The map sheets were produced during the 1970s and 1980s by the
Surveyor-General of South West Africa, along with the South African
Chief Directorate Surveys & Mapping. They comprehensively mapped South
West Africa and produced 1218 1:50000 Topographic Map sheets covering
the whole country.

It is now very difficult to find a complete set of these sheets,
thankfully a commercial project in the mid 2000s were able to collect
and scan these invaluable sheets and they are willing to sell me a
digital copy of their scans.

Namibia gained its independence in 1990 from South Africa and some
time later the South African government mapping agency gifted all
their Namibian sheets to the new Namibian government mapping agency.
It is now unclear who own the rights for these sheets. Both
governments seem to claim the other owns the rights, with neither
assert them. The sheets have been freely used by humanitarian
organisations in the past.
It is my belief that we may freely use the sheets for deriving
information for OpenStreetMap mapping purposes.
We already have permission to use the South African topo series see
https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright &

I have some samples here:
and a scaled copy of a full sheet here:

Kind regards,


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