Photography by:
  • Amanda van der Walt & Raeesa Mohamed

Esri Urban Observatory

Inspired by the launch of Esri’s Urban Observatory website ( in 2013, GCRO is working with Esri South Africa and the Ekurhuleni and Tshwane metropolitan municipalities (Johannesburg is already represented on the website), to contribute to the Urban Observatory website. The Urban Observatory website enables the comparison of three cities selected from a list of international cities currently available on the website such as Delhi, Johannesburg, London, New York and Rio de Janeiro, in three side by side panels. Spatial indicator data comparisons across the three selected cities are possible in five themes, namely work, movement, people, public and live systems. According to Esri, “The vision of the Urban Observatory is to foster conversations by visualizing physical, demographic, and cultural patterns of cities.” Cities are encouraged to participate in the freely available service and Esri South Africa has offered to assist with the project. The main aim of this project is to therefore provide an international comparison between different cities internationally and within the GCR. Data will be collected from the respective cities and, with the help of Esri South Africa, uploaded to the international Urban Observatory website using the specified template. The addition of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane to the Urban Observatory website, will place the Gauteng City-Region and its cities on an international indicator stage, and expand access to Gauteng City-Regional data, at no cost to GCRO or its stakeholders.


The relevant data have been obtained from Ekurhuleni and Tshwane and are currently being formatted and uploaded.


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