Tanzania friction surface

  • Jodie Brumhead (Creator)
  • Gary Watmough (Creator)
  • Magnus Hagdorn (Creator)



The friction (cost allocation/effort) surface was assembled using three primary input datasets on land surface characteristics that help or hinder travel speeds: land cover, roads and topography. Landcover data were from the ESA CCI Landcover map for Africa 2016, roads data were merged from Open-Street Map (OSM) and the MapwithAi project and topography was taken from the SRTM Digital Elevation Model. The costs for travel consider walking/pedestrian travel in this data, but the software is supplied with an easy to change set of travel speeds so they can be adapted easily to consider travel speeds reflecting motorised transportation use. We have reduced the walking speeds to reflect the fact that adults walking with children move approximately 22% slower. There are two friction surfaces provided, the first defines open water as a barrier to travel and so the speed allocated to this landcover is NA. The second defines open water with an associated speed (1 km/hr). To create a walking speed array, first the road walking speeds were used and then missing values were filled with landcover walking speed values. This walking speed array was multiplied by the slope impact grid. The speed for each cell was converted from kilometers per hour to meters per second. Finally, the time (in seconds) to walk across each cell was calculated. The outputs are 20-m spatial resolution geotiffs indicating the time to walk across each cell. They are subsequently used in the least cost path analysis to estimate travel time to the nearest health facilities. However,these friction surfaces can be used by others to estimate travel speed to other destinations in a GIS.

Data Citation

Watmough, Gary; Hagdorn, Magnus; Brumhead, Jodie. (2021). Tanzania friction surface, 2016-2020 [dataset]. Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF and University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences. https://doi.org/10.7488/ds/3089.
Date made available9 Jul 2021
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Temporal coverage2016 - 2020
Geographical coverageTanzania

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