GIS time series mapping of the Ciskei homeland

Salih Ali, Siddique Motala


This study reports on the creation and evaluation of a spatio-temporal mapping of the Ciskei, one of the so-called ‘Bantustans’ or ‘Homelands’ located in South Africa.  The Ciskei was created as a result of race-based legislation during the colonial and apartheid periods. Its geographical extent changed over time, and the spatial changes coincided with the promulgation of different legislation.  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology was used to create a time series animation and a static map to display the spatial change of the Ciskei boundaries. Questionnaires and interviews were used to investigate two main aspects. The questionnaire’s purpose was to investigate and compare map-readers’ cognition at detecting change between static and animated maps.  Interviews allowed the researchers to qualitatively assess the value of such an exercise. Both the animated and static maps have advantages over each other but neither one of them has an overall clear advantage, confirming previous research. There is value of such mapping to decision-makers in government, as this exercise can help to produce a better understanding of legislative, cadastral, planning and historical effects.

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