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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.

In February this year, data nerds across Australia were waiting with bated breath for the greatly anticipated release of the PSMA’s G-NAF dataset. At last: the multi-sourced, multifaceted, Australia wide collection of geocoded addresses was going to be free and open for everyone.

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.

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