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As a graduate, new things fly across your desk daily, mostly met with a wary smile belying an inner voice yelling “what is that?!” At Spatial Vision being a graduate provides countless opportunities to invariably splash your imagination against the canvas of the burgeoning geospatial industry. None more so than the graduate cadetship project. An opportunity to take 120 hours and dive down the rabbit hole. Which is why when performing daily tasks your mind can afford to answer that little question with the intrigue it deserves.

The plugin contains a simple tool to add noise to spatial data for the purposes of maintaining “geo-indistinguishability”, i.e. an individual’s true location shouldn’t be able to be determined by the location of the point, but it should be accurate enough to make a useful study of the data. This is done by computing a random number from a 2d laplacian distribution and migrating the origin point by this much. It’s an implementation of the algorithm implemented in [1], and inspired / based on the implementation in the location-guard browser extension.

There are many definitions of Smart Cities and examples of what they can achieve. However, it would appear that there is no cogent model or framework to define them let alone measure their success. That being said, Marc Jadoul from Alcatel Lucent has laid out four steps to build Smarter Cities in a recent presentation: 

1. Networked infrastructure
2. Big data and open data
3. Smart public services
4. Citizen applications

Not surprisingly, a network communications platform is the foundation for the plan. Jadoul was very complimentary on Australia’s investment in the National broadband Network (NBN) that will assist to establish high speed connectivity across the country.

The second step is about data and governance. Data comes in many forms and sources. Jadoul reckons that ‘big data’ is the oil of the 21st century. With already more things connected to the internet than people on our planet, the Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a wealth of (big) data to be tapped. Our smart phones and cars are already generating legions of dynamic data from multiple sensors. Combined with sensors tied to all sorts of assets such street lights, CCTV cameras, shipping containers and even connected coffee pots our cup runneth over.


Spatial Vision is the exclusive reseller of the GIS Cloud SaaS applications. This recently held webinar walks you through some of the main features of GIS Cloud, including the Map Editor and Mobile Data Collection app for mobile devices.

For further information contact us directly on 03 9691 3000.


 Introducing GIS Cloud webinar

Federal and State elections bring into focus a broad range of issues, some or many of which are very important to us.   Ultimately, it is the balancing of these issues and judgements about the various visions, priorities and programs on offer that determines how we vote.

Many of the promises offered up by the different parties can be presented in map form.   Using interactive map tools, new spatial technology is allowing voters to engage and better understand issues than ever before.  Spatial Vision’s itsyourvote.com.au is a good example of such an approach.  This site shows how social and political issues that emerged in the lead up to last year’s Victorian State Election could be visualised in the form of interactive maps.

There are billions of things connected to the internet. Your phone, watch, running shoes, home and work computer may be all connected. More broadly, water, electrical and telco assets, delivery vehicles, council garbage trucks, red light cameras, weather stations now or in the future will be a node on the net. Collectively this combined network, the biggest humankind constructed network is called the Internet of Things.

A problem that arises often when utilising GIS data is the way labels are rendered on the map, particularly labels that contain more than one word. Take for instance a place name such as Koo wee rup (in Victoria). Some GIS applications allow you to stack labels (place words on top of each other) to condense multi-word labels so that they better indicate the location of the place. This is a useful feature, but place names made up of three or four words can look odd when stacked, particularly if they are made up of short words, say three characters or less.

 

Have you ever considered all the ways we use geography on a daily basis? I thought I would use a mind map to create a picture of my geographic relationships…

You can easily see that everything we do and everything around us is located somewhere and connected by geography. To take that one step further, how do you harness that information? Geospatial intelligence is derived from understanding the geographic relationships between things.

So here comes the company pitch, Spatial Vision helps customers create and utilise geospatial intelligence in their decisions. Hope you enjoy the video.

I attended the above event last night – it was my first time. I was worried. The forecast temperature was concerning. I was unsure what to expect. It did not start well – once your attendance had been marked off and you received a beanie and drink bottle, then you line up for a photo. Then you are issued with your cardboard (and not special heat insulating cardboard – just plain thin cardboard!) and advised to set up camp somewhere along the concourse of Etihad Stadium).

Call triple zero; you expect the ambulance to get there promptly. Move into a new house; you expect to be able to get connected to gas and electricity etc. Many vital life transactions depend on reliable geospatial data for property addresses. In Victoria, the custodian for provision of most address data is your local government.

Many local councils currently face challenges maintaining this and other geospatial data, often due to easily preventable organisational issues. A key flaw with many councils’ is the lack of appreciation of the importance of geospatial data among the organisation’s upper tiers.

Given up on strategic plans because no one pays them any attention?
Can’t get the decision makers to read them, let alone fund them?

Too often I see strategic plans that describe implementing lots of technology but fail to demonstrate successfully how they will benefit the organisation or customers.

Effective strategic plans lay out a vision and a common set of organisational goals (describing how to get there and measure progress along the way). If the plan is going to be successful, it needs to be accepted across an organisation: people need to understand what the plan will deliver and how it is to be achieved.

Previously I've posted about TileMill and how much I've enjoyed using it and how impressed I am with its cartographic results. Since then I've been delving deeper into creating topographic maps from locally sourced data, and trying to replicate map designs that have been created in Adobe Illustrator and porting them to TileMill. Now this hasn't been a simple process and has taken much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair to get the TileMill designs to as close as possible replicate the Illustrator design. 

Most people look at a map as merely a tool, an instrument of information which they can use to gain a better understanding about the world around them.

However, in reality maps are much more than that; maps are a unique combination of art and science, bringing together beauty and colour with fact and detail.

 

Anyone can sketch out a rough outline of a map, but it takes true talent and determination to create a map that is both factually accurate and beautiful to look at - this is where a custom cartographic service comes in.

TileMill is fast gaining traction in the web mapping community as the tool of choice, not just because it is a free and open-source alternative, but because it can create stunning multi-scale seamless maps and offers you an affordable hosting alternative to Google and Amazon.

Follow this link to discover more about the process of designing and producing web maps using TileMill.

Many years ago I had an idea to create a map without lines, polygons or symbols…just using purely text. I could never quite get it to work effectively; however with modern illustration software and GIS data, the workflow has became much simpler.

Typographic maps have become quite popular at present. There are some excellent examples by some well known cartographers and artists, such as Axis maps, Paula Scher maps, Ursula Hitz, Stephen Walter and Golden Section Graphics, to name but a few.

If you have ever seen Robert Hoddle's 1837 survey of the town of Melbourne, you instantly recognise the genius of Murray Walker’s tapestry, Melbourne. The huge tapestry hanging in the foyer of Bourke Place captures the grid plan for Melbourne as drawn up by the Surveyor Hoddle. The tapestry also includes the original topographic features of Batman Hill, the natural alignment of the Yarra River and the surrounding tea tree scrub as drawn by Hoddle on the map. The tapestry details include the ink spills that you can also see on the original. If you love maps, you will be delighted to see this work.

Every year around June, Apple holds a conference in San Francisco called the World Wide Developers Conference. I have wanted to go to this conference since starting to develop for Apple platforms back when I was at University

Getting to meet the engineers who make the platforms I work on and being one of the first learn about all the new technologies is something that I hoped to get the chance to do some day. This year I got that chance.

On the 8th of June I left Melbourne for sunny California. I hadn’t been on an overseas trip in a really long time so it was a great adventure for me.

The demand for smartphones continued to grow at an astounding 42% in the past year, according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, with 154 million units shipped worldwide in Q2 2012.   Not surprisingly, the corporate world is increasingly seeing the value of the mobile platform for delivery of their business systems and for communication with their clients. Recently we have seen an increasing number of tenders across Australia requiring mobile delivery as either the main platform or at least an important component.

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