WikiProject Tanzania

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Tanzania, Africa
latitude: -6.392, longitude: 35.002
boundary: 195270
Browse map of Tanzania 6°23′31.20″ S, 35°00′07.20″ E
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OpenStreetMap Tanzania logo
External links:
Use this template for your city

Tanzania is a country in Africa at latitude 6°23′31.20″ South, longitude 35°00′07.20″ East.

OpenStreetMap images (and underlying map data) are freely available under OpenStreetMap License.

This country on the Eastern coast of Africa includes the archipelago of Zanzibar.

Tanzanian community

High school students in Bagamoyo learning to map with Ramani Huria.


  • Tanzania has no official language de jure.
  • Swahili is the only recognized "national language". Locally, other languages may be used and recognized in some regions.
  • English is only used de facto in the administration, or as a vernacular communication language between communities.


User groups and community projects

People involved


Country borders and coastline

The coastline is defined by the mean high water spring.

In Tanzania this usually means that the coastline should be drawn in the upper part of the beaches.

Zones and regions

Regions in Tanzania : Central Zone: Dodoma · Singida · Tabora · Coastal Zone: Dar es Salaam · Lindi · Morogoro · Mtwara · Pwani · Lake Zone: Geita · Kagera · Mara · Mwanza · Shinyanga · Simiyu · Northern Zone: Arusha · Kilimanjaro · Manyara · Tanga · Southern Highlands Zone: Iringa · Mbeya · Njombe · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Songwe · Western Zone: Katavi · Kigoma · Zanzibar: Mjini Magharibi · Pemba North · Pemba South · Unguja North · Unguja South

Human settlements

If we stick to the recommended practice that a city is a place with over 100,000 inhabitants, we can use the 2002 census data ( to identify how we should classify cities, towns and villages in OSM:


They are are all present on map.

  • Dar es Salaam (2.4M)
    The largest city in eastern Africa (a more recent census actually puts the population at 4 million), and smallest region in Tanzania.
    This city has been the focus of a number of mapping initiatives past and present, and currently has a site ( coordinating the use of maps and further mapping in response to regular flooding.
  • Zanzibar (391k)
    Note the wiki page fow now is for Zanzibar City plus the whole Zanzibar archipelago and its five regions.
  • Other cities:

Towns and villages

We think we have included everything that should be classified as a 'town' in OSM (10k-100k).

For those places that might have been missed, it is suggested calling them a 'town' in OSM if the Tanzanian census shows them to be 'Urban' and > 10k, or to be 'Mixed' and > 20k. Any inhabited settlement below that and which have defined administrative boundaries should be a 'village', provided it has some local organization (for about 100 inhabitants or more).

Any other unorganized rural settlements that jsut fall within the administrative boundaries of organized cities, towns, or villages should be a 'hamlet'; they usually have very low local population (<100 inhabitants), with very few houses or just a farm and some dependant facilities. Any other named place which is not inhabited but only has some facilities or features should be considered a 'locality'.



Road types

In order to distingish between trunk, primary and secondary roads, it is suggested to used the classification provided by Tanroads: ( At least trunk roads are quite clearly outlined, primary and secondary may be derived from the maps provided on their website.

Important general comments are listed on Highway Tag Africa and East Africa Tagging Guidelines.

Road identifiers

It is suggested to use the road identifiers (ref=*) used by road signalisation. For the trunk roads Tanroads has published the identifiers (, they are compliant with road signalisation.


From the website of Tanzania Railways: ( We can try to pencil in all the stations insofar as we have coordinates for them or we can find them on the yahoo imagery.

The wikipedia article at has the same for the Tazara railway to Zambia, though I suspect there are more stations than listed there.

Data import

Accomplished Africover imports:

  • Road shapefile.
  • Towns shapefile: Layers "major towns" (-->place=village) and "other towns" (-->place=village) have been imported

Outstanding work includes:

  • Rivers - Africover
  • Admin Boundaries (need to determine current status of OSM dataset before doing anything here) - Africover

Quality control

External datasets

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Africover) - A project aimed at generating a database of GIS layers for the purpose of promoting sustainable management of environmental resources at national, regional and global levels. Tanzania data includes administrative and political boundaries, rivers, towns, and spatially/thematically aggregated landcover. We've received permission from Africover to import road, river, and administrative boundary data layers into OSM. We expect this will happen late April 2009.
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - A diverse collection of spatial data layers, many of which relate directly to livestock and agriculture. Layers available for Tanzania include soils, forests, roads (but poor resolution), administrative boundaries. The administrative boundaries provide data for regions, districts, and wards, and include population density. Licensing is restricted to non-commercial use only.
  • Map Library - A project of the Map Maker Trust. It has a simple base map, outline, and layers of administrative boundaries and areas, level one divisions, and satellite images.
  • Tanzania GIS User Group - A network of GIS practitioners and users who are based in Tanzania or work on issues related to the country. It is a place where knowledge and information can be shared. Available Layers include administrative boundaries, lakes and waterways, and parks.
  • GEOnet Names Server. I have produced a couple of gpx files for the PPL and PK entries for Tanzania. They can be loaded as a layer in JOSM and be used to give an idea as to where a place is. Download tzPK-05-09-2009.gpx and tzPPL-05-09-2009.gpx

Other datasets that might be useful: