Scene One: Mapping the Pathway at 44 Wale Street

Maps are vital to our project and they will be used for multiple phases in the pathway vision. Our sponsors have access to two mapping programmes in their office building: ArcView, a GIS software that enables us to export aerial maps that are labeled for our project, and an Integrated Spatial Information System (ISIS) mapping software that allowed us to look at aerial views as well but also obtain information about the property boundaries and owners. Maps will be used for multiple facets of developing our pathway vision: determining how to connect potential pathway routes by viewing desire lines from aerial mapping, determining property boundaries and owners that own and use land that desire lines fall on, and displaying our pathway vision to others.

Map of the desire lines (purple) behind MGV and Oude Molen

Cast of Characters:
Shahbaz and Tara contacted our sponsor, Crispin, to ask about going to his office at 44 Wale Street to use the mapping software city officials have available to them. Crispin only had access to ISIS mapping so he asked Damien to lend us his version of ArcView, help us label the map, and print it out for us.

We arrived at the City of Cape Town’s 44 Wale Street location and went to the 5th floor to meet Crispin at his desk. Crispin set Shahbaz and Tara up at Damien’s desk because he was out of the office momentarily. Crispin logged into his own account on Damien’s computer so we could begin using the ISIS software that all employees had access to. He explained that ArcView licenses were only given to certain employees because the software is very expensive. Crispin quickly showed us how to perform the basic functions we would need and then returned to his desk. We whispered as we worked in hopes of not disrupting the other 5-6 people in the office. Damien returned just as we finished using the ISIS software and allowed us to use his ArcView programme. Instead of showing us how to use the programme, he stayed seated and asked us what features we wanted to see and then put them on the map for us. We stood around the computer explaining to him how to make the picture how we wanted. After Damien sent the picture to Crispin to print, he had some trouble getting the quality to be enough so that the image was clear. He told us we could leave and he would bring the print and digital copy to our meeting in MGV at 2:00 PM that afternoon.

After our first trip to map at 44 Wale Street, we agreed to make a second trip Thursday with a clearer understanding of what exact maps we wanted to create. Crispin stressed if we did not have a clear idea of the maps we wanted, it would take a long time.

What we planned to accomplish during our first meeting was:

  • Familiarise ourselves with both ArcView and ISIS programmes
  • Determine where desire lines led to
  • Map best routes of connection
  • Evaluate landowners, rent payers, and use of land
  • Get a printed map with visible desire lines so we could map them onto the ArcView software for our next visit

We learned a lot in our first visit to 44 Wale Street. By using the first programme, the ISIS software, we were able to see the property lines on the map. These properties had specific ERF numbers. Searching these ERF numbers in the programme shows many features of the property, including its usage, its owner, its ratepayer (who the land is rented to) and its boundaries. This will allow us to see when creating possible connections of the desire lines who we would need to contact about using their land. We will also be able to map alternative routes based on the property boundaries of owners who will let us use their land and those who won’t. We were able to see some of the more defined desire lines, such as those around Oude Molen, on the ISIS maps in comparison to what we could see on the ArcView map. However, the ArcView system was the software that was easier to make digital maps which we could export and print. We were also able to highlight and/or label roads, rivers, train stops, etc., which were helpful tools for orienting someone who is looking at the map. We will also be able to make more labels to further orient a map-viewer of what they are looking at. We will label other things such as the communities themselves and the boundaries of TRUP. Since we were not the ones to manipulate this software, it was a little difficult to get our first map to look precisely how we wanted it. We hope for the second time we go in to map, we will be able to use the software ourselves to generate images exactly how we like them.

Map of the proposed pathway (orange)

Reflection and Learning:
After our meeting at 44 Wale Street, we were able to show our preliminary version of the map to our advisors and our sponsors. We received many useful suggestions we plan to implement. One suggestion we received from Scott was to use the maps as a table of contents; have a zoomed out map that one can look at particular locations zoomed in where we could somehow visualise what changes we intend to make at locations along the pathway. Megan suggested we outline TRUP and label the communities to orient map-viewers that would not recognise community boundaries from the building orientation. Bob suggested we also make maps with varying levels of detail including some with an aerial view and some without and with varying levels of labeling. Crispin made it clear that for our next mapping meeting, we would need to have a better idea of the features we wished to include in our maps and the scope of each map we wanted to make. Our whole team was receptive to the advice we received because all of these ideas seemed helpful for future planning.

Future Planning:
Plans for Thursday’s mapping meeting:

  • Look at maps of TRUP and see which of their map features we want to incorporate in our maps
  • Trace desire lines on printed map so that we can put them in the ArcView software Thursday
  • Determine scope of our mapping; how many we want, how zoomed in and out we will like our maps to be, what details we want to include in each, etc.
  • Evaluate how we can best integrate maps into our proposal