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Last week I attended the HIC Conference in Brisbane. This conference was run by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and highlighted innovation and the digital transformation of the healthcare sector. There was a focus on the central role that information and health informatics brings in connecting the health care system, being smart with data, and enhancing practitioner and consumer experience in healthcare interactions.

When we come to depict any spatial data in GIS, from physical assets and locations to real-world events and trends, there are two differing systems to display data; Raster and Vector representations.  Both of these methods present data in their own format, with their own advantages and disadvantages.

What a time to be a user or developer of GIS! To re-use an overused, but no less true turn of phrase, we’re seeing the ‘democratisation’ of spatial data (does it help I imagined saying that through gritted teeth?). Data is being made freely and widely available, but also key to the success of this is how we access, consume and exploit it.

In May this year I had the opportunity to visit the offices of RMSI Limited in Noida India. Spatial Vision has worked on a number of projects with RMSI where RMSI has provided the data collection effort and SV has played a QA role.

The first data from the 2016 Census has just been released so it's important to take time to understand the different geographies used by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and what data is being released for each of them.

Spatial Vision recently completed a project for the Electoral Commission of Queensland preparing a series of maps for new electoral district boundaries.  As well as the maps, there was a legislative requirement that ‘metes and bounds’ boundary descriptions be prepared for the new boundaries for publication in the Queensland Government Gazette .

Over the last 20+ years much has been done to reduce deaths on Victorian roads.  From 1996 to 2016 number of deaths dropped from 418 to 291. This year the death toll stands at 103, approximately 14% down on the same period last year.

The 2026Agenda and Road Map was released at the very successful joint ISDE International Symposium/Locate 17 Conference in Sydney last month. As co-chair of the 2026Agenda Working Group, I was pleased to note the near universal support the Strategy has achieved.

Work on the 2026Agenda started in July 2016, and has since engaged more than 400 individuals through a combination of Leadership Forums across Australia and one-on-one interviews with representatives of priority sectors including agriculture, health, transport and energy amongst others.

Late 2016 the Commonwealth Government advised it was releasing more funding under the Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Program which aims to contribute to the broader goals of science engagement in Australia.  These goals are to inspire, motivate and cultivate a scientifically engaged community, optimistic about its future with Australian governments at all levels recognising the importance of effective science communication, and public engagement with the sciences. The program provides funding for grants and prizes, through both open and closed application processes. One such grant was for Citizen Science which provided competitive grants for nationally significant citizen science projects.

Recently Spatial Vision’s VicMap Book team, toured the books printing, binding and distribution sites to see the latest Victorian made VicMap books being produced first hand. The entire production process is completed in Victoria making it a truly locally made product for regional communities.

First published in 2006, Spatial Visions VicMap Book is a detailed state-wide “rural street directory” for Victoria. Developed in partnership with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) it is used extensively by Emergency Services Organisations (ESO), Local Governments and other agencies. Currently in its 5th edition, there are five Map books published covering all of regional Victoria.

Late September, I attended the Prevalent and Preventable conference supported by AWAVA and OurWATch in Adelaide. The conference is the first of its kind, providing key insights into the prevention of Violence Against Women and their Children. The reason for attending the conference was to gain a better understanding of the national issue regarding Violence Against Women and their Children and to identify possible actions Spatial Vision can take to help reduce the prevalence and identify innovative ideas to help organisations in early prevention through an understanding of data. 

A recent article in the Sunday Age titled “What lurks beneath? Victoria’s toxic challenge” highlighted a number of issues regarding the difficulties associated with identifying contaminated sites in Victoria. The same issues are associated with other Australian states.

Over the recent Queens Birthday long weekend the annual list of Queens Birthday awards were announced by the Governor General. Based on 2016 list of award recipients, Spatial Vision has mapped these across the country so you can find your nearest award recipient.

The best solutions are often dead simple. Here at Spatial Vision, we started using GIS Cloud, an online mapping platform, just a few years ago, but we knew a winner when we saw it. Easy to get going without compromising on features. 

Turns out, Victoria’s arborists knew a great platform when they saw it too. Within months firms all across the state were using GIS Cloud to build maps of the trees on the properties they manage. At your desk or on your phone, a robust database of every tree that falls under your purview, complete with any information you care to catalog about the plant, including photos of the branch situation. Let GIS Cloud colour code the trees based on their current condition, by how long it’s been since you’ve checked up on them or simply by species. 

You can provide a physical world contextual experience to your customers, create a more safer work place, provide an innovative and effective accessibility options for visually impaired – some of the benefits for making your mobile apps location aware.

Proximity and Location Aware Technologies enable a mobile app to detect current location and then use this information to control events and information. As the technology matures and becomes more accessible, Mobile Apps utilise the location aware technologies. This new technology is increasingly being used by various organisations to engage their customers in delivering location-aware or location-specific services, collect valuable data in the field via citizen science/crowd sourcing and enable them to help explore facilities and services in large venues. 

Safeguarding humpbacks whales against migratory interference. Shutting down illegal trash dumping through the identification of problem areas. Interactive biodiversity education tools for Victoria’s classrooms.

These diverse problems are all being addressed through mobile applications developed by Spatial Vision and key stakeholders that rely on one of the greatest untapped resources of the modern day: crowdsourced data. With nearly every Australian owning a mobile phone, the possibilities for cooperation between citizens and stakeholders are enormous, as demonstrated in a presentation by Katie Dick, one of our senior analysts at the Locate16 conference.

Katie Dick presented at Locate16 on a somewhat bleak, yet current topic.

Today, violence against women is the biggest contributor to ill health and premature death in women aged 15–44*. A subsequent result of violence can be the onset of mental illness, such as anxiety and depression.

You would think that there are no excuse for people getting lost these days with smart phones, GPS and map apps, but they do.
Doug Incoll, the Alpine Cluster Commander, stationed at Bright Police can tell many stories of people getting lost and needing assistance too often because they weren’t prepared. The high country around Bright is very beautiful but can turn deadly very quickly at any time of year.

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