The Free State and KwaZulu Natal cadastral maps are now available for download here: http://www.planetgis.co.za/browse.php?id=11
I am still getting email about blank maps, so let me explain a bit more. The cadastral maps each come with 3 files inside a .zip/.7z archive. All 3 files must be extracted to a location where Windows allows software to create more files. (C:\Program Files is not one of them, but if you run Planet “as Administrator” that will also work). The first time you open the .map file with Planet, Planet will create additional files for spatial indices, etc.
If you accidentally only extracted the .map file, Planet will recreate the database file and it will be mostly empty. You need to start over, delete everything in your map directory and extract all 3 files from the archive.
Just a reminder that Planet 4 is still in “beta” phase. If you have existing projects in Planet 3 you should at best “play” with a copy which you can upgrade with Tools->Maintenance->Upgrade. (And be prepared to tell me exactly what you did to lose all your data
Please also see a few more frequently asked questions below.
Lastly apologies to all who have ordered the data on DVD/HD. At this point it looks like the first orders will only go out at the end of next week.
Q: Is Planet also available on Linux or Mac?
A: No, I do want to port to Linux and Mac but that is still in the distant future. If you really know your way around in Linux, Planet should run OK with Wine (www.winehq.org).
Q: Can I get shapefiles instead?
A: I do not run a download service on behalf of the SG and NGI, but you can export shapefiles, DXF, GPX & KML files with PlanetGIS Explorer 4.0. Shapefiles are also less practical to download than the compact Planet4 format. StatsSA’s census shapefiles (zipped) is 337MB (which b.t.w. you can download here: http://africaopendata.org/dataset/cen) while the downloadable Planet map built from it (zipped) is 76MB.
Q: What is new in version 4?
A: Just a few highlights for now:
1. Built-in SQL server. All features are stored in a single table and each feature class and subclass has a dedicated “attribute table” created automatically. External database tables link to “keys” in the attribute table, where before detail tables linked to a feature’s key.
2. Built-in database manager. You can create your own tables and add columns whether it is in the build-in database or an attached Access/MySQL/Oracle database.
3. Tighter integration with shapefiles. The original location and settings are remembered for each shapefile that is imported, for easy re-import. Exporting feature classes to shapefiles is much, much faster.
4. Photo tab. You can attach JPEG images to any feature on your map, and as many images as you want to a particular feature. The images appear as thumbnails in the Photo tab. Panorama images will be viewed
by a built-in 3-D “bubble” viewer.
5. GPX, CSV & SQL import/export.
6. [Enterprise] Ability to build mobile maps & manage Windows Mobile handheld devices (more on this later!)