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Creating a good map is essential when it comes to getting an important message across to an intended audience, but have you ever thought that the conclusions you draw from the information on the map could be unintentionally biased? Maps are not only key tools for spatially displaying trends in data and changes over time; they can also be quite influential in how you interpret the information, depending on what message the creator wants to portray.

Spatial Vision proudly publicly declared their support for marriage equality in Australia.  Spatial Vision is as an organisation that values diversity, human rights and a fair and respectful environment for all.  The mood for change in Australia is definitely evident and it is important that, whichever side of the debate you sit on, you participate in the postal survey. After all, the survey is costing tax payers $122 million.

Recently, a client commissioned us to map a web map of Australia to distribute in China. Specifically, the use case called for a web map of Australia with Chinese language labels, so that Chinese native-speakers could easily interact with the map of Australia in their own language. Both states and capital cities needed labels, and of course the more readable the cartography underneath – the better.

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. 

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