Azile Mdleleni


  • Organisation:
  • Role:

Azile Mdleleni's Biography

She obtained her BSc and BScHons in Geoinformatics from the University of Pretoria and currently perusing her MSc Geoinformatics. For her honours degree, her research focused on investigating daily struggles in informal settlements and visualising them using various visualisation tools.

A web map (i.e. highlight areas that need upgrading) and a story map (i.e. narrative illustration of a typical day in the community) were produced as tools to communicate with the community and other stakeholders, such as local government. For this project, she was awarded the 2020 Esri Young Scholar Award and the project was presented at two international conferences. Currently, for her MSc, she is investigating the value of addresses for individuals in informal settlements compared to the general perception.

During her BScHons, she had the opportunity to participate in an international transdisciplinary module, called integrated Project Oriented Learning Environment (iPOLE). For this module, she worked with students from different disciplines at international universities (i.e. China, United Kingdom and Switzerland) to create a product that would promote the canton of Aargau in Switzerland for organisations that are losing employees due to the brain drain. This module allowed her to learn new technical skills for visualizations, but also taught me soft skills as working with individuals from different cultures and in different time zones was a new experience.

Throughout her studies, she has worked to gain work experience starting with vacation work in 2016 until 2018 at ARUP and Siyazi Consulting Services and a work integrated learning (WIL) internship at the University of Pretoria in 2019. During the internship, she registered as a candidate GISc Technologist with the South African Geomatics Council and will complete her examinations and final registration in 2021.

While completing her MSc, she is working as a research and teaching assistant in the department. As part of her work at the university, she has the opportunity to review and evaluate new technology that will be taught to the students and have presented some of the lectures, as a result, she has expanded her skill set. In this role, she also works closely with the students and hope to be a mentor for them.

The University of Pretoria YouthMappers chapter is the only chapter in South Africa. She has been involved in the chapter for just over three years and have served in various positions. Currently, she is the president of the chapter (the first female to hold this position) and work with more junior students to arrange a wide range of workshops and activities for the students. We also started a podcast, GeoPod, to expose the students to the various job opportunities available and the vibrant geospatial community in South Africa. Internationally, she has been assisting with the day-to-day administration of GeoforAll and the ISPRS WG IV/9 Geovisualization, Augmented and Virtual Reality. She served as a mentor for OSGeo during the 2019 edition of Google Code-in. In 2020/2021, she is serving as a tutor for the UN OpenGIS Initiative series of courses on PostGIS that aims to support UN Peace Operations through training 100+ individuals globally.


Favourite Quote

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Dear South African Geeks,


Thank you for the opportunity to show girls and young women the potential for the space that they can take up within tech in a field that is has so much potential.

- Azile Mdleleni


Azile Mdleleni's Work
  • Project Oriented Learning Environment (iPOLE)

    worked with students from different disciplines at international universities (i.e. China, United Kingdom and Switzerland) to create a product that would promote the canton of Aargau in Switzerland for organisations that are losing employees due to the brain drain