Table of Contents

1. Overview

It is essential to have accurate maps in any farming enterprise, particularly if you are planning to do precision farming.

Other times when you will be grateful to have maps are when you are:

  • planning aerial crop-spraying
  • determining the potential of land
  • applying pesticides
  • ordering seed and fertiliser
  • wishing to insure your crops hiring or renting land
  • when planning time periods for grazing
  • having overhead installations done e.g. power cables
  • estimating crop yields
  • determining crop suitability
  • searching for breeding stock

Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a system of synthesising information, uses maps and ortho rectified photography as inputs to generate data (ordinary photographs can lead to inaccuracies and GIS is about measurement). Other systems of mapping include the use of satellites and Topo-cadastral mapping.


2. Role players


Your nearest agribusiness (e.g. VKB or OVK) will be involved in mapping and Geographical Information System, helping you to access farm and regional maps. Find contact details in the “Agribusiness” chapter.

  • AgriSig™ c/o 018 633 1000
  • Cape EAPrac Tel: 044 874 0365
  • See the Drones chapter. One function of drones is mapping the layout of lands and property.
  • EWheels
  • ESRI South Africa Tel: 011 238 6300 
  • Farm-IT Tel: 083 653 6244
  • Geographic Information Management Systems (GIMS) – see ESRI South Africa
  • GeoSpace International Tel: 012 348 4586
  • GISCOE (Pty) Ltd Tel: 010 410 0100
  • GeoTerraImage Tel: 012 807 9480
  • Hotsure Tel: 0861 468 873
  • JEC Environmental Services Tel: 033 940 0450 Included in their offerings is GIS Services (layouts, land use maps, Visual Impact Assessments etc)
  • Land Resources International (Pty) Ltd Tel: 033 392 8360 Derived from leading edge airborne remote sensing technology, LRI’s Outline Imagery™ provides growers with vital crop performance information. Recurrent crop problems can be tracked over time, allowing for cost-effective containment and solution-planning.
  • MAPCO Plaaskaarte Tel: 017 712 1075
  • Precision Mapping Tel: 033 330 5755 / 082 445 1561 precisionmapping at
  • PROMEET Michiel Theron – 082 802 2442 promeet at 
  • SiQ Tel: 012 807 9460
  • Terragis Tel: 076 371 1151
  • TNH Wildlife Tel: 082 890 9993 / 074 114 8651 tnhfence at Maps created using “the latest GIS technology”

Parastatal and government

ARC-Soil, Climate and Water (ARC-SCW)

Tel: 012 310 2500

iscw [at]

  • GIS: data processing (data capturing and projections); applications (crop modelling, spatial modelling / interpolation, multi-layer modelling); spatial database development (Informix, MS Access) and data integration
  • Satellite & Airborne Remote Sensing: low-level imaging (digital multispectral video camera, precision farming information); digital image processing (geo-referencing, image classification); image interpretation (vegetation mapping & monitoring - population dynamics, degradation mapping, rangeland ecology, savanna ecosystems, crop inventories, drought monitoring, land cover, soil mapping and conservation planning); sample frame statistics (area / point); disasters (flood mapping; drought monitoring; fire mapping).

The Council for Geosciences (CGS)

Tel: 012 841 1911 

A modern Drawing Office produces a wide variety of geoscientific maps using both conventional and electronic cartographic technologies. The production procedures are increasingly automated, linked to the ARC/INFO-based GIS, which facilitates rapid map production and updating. The CGS actively participates in a variety of SADC projects aimed at promoting the economic development of the African sub-continent.

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Tel: 012 841 3697

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Earth observation technologies and geographic information systems, spatial modelling and scenario planning are all listed as “Key Strategic Areas and thrusts” in DAFF’s National Agricultural Research and Development Strategy. Find the document on

Agricultural Geo-referenced Information System (AGIS)

AGIS aims to be a comprehensive information system covering all aspects of agriculture. Different types of information are available: basic data (e.g. crop, climate and soil information) interpreted information (e.g. grazing capacity, erosion potential of soils) models and application programmes (e.g. crop suitability and adaptability) Find the “Dynamic Maps” menu option on the website.

Department of Rural Development and Land Reform

National Geo-spatial Information (NGI)

Tel: 021 658 4300

sales [at]

The NGI provides extensive mapping coverage of the country. A look at “Products & services” on the NGI website will show what is available. Maps can be purchased over the Internet or by contacting them directly.

Chief Surveyor General

Tel: 012 326 8050

Spatial Planning and Land Use Management

Tel: 012 312 9834

Provincial contact details can be found on the website

Department of Water Affairs

Ground water maps. A list of contacts can be found on the website

Accurate records based on the soil type, rainfall, typography and climate on individual farms are kept by Provincial Departments of Agriculture.

South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

Tel: 021 799 8738

SANBI has established the B-GIS Unit to provide biodiversity maps to the public via the internet. This project is done with Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE)

Western Cape Department of Agriculture

Decision Support Services

Tel: 021 808 5088

Read about the Web Mapping Application, CapeFarmMapper, on the website.