Surveying+Spatial Issue 113 September 2023

Page 1

September 2023 #113


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Focusing on AI in Surveying and Spatial


he evolution of artificial intelligence has rapidly increased in recent years.

Emerging technologies have

transformed and streamlined the way many industries operate as they learn new ways to innovate and increase their opportunities for development.

lawful – respecting all applicable laws and regulations ethical – respecting ethical principles and values robust – both from a technical perspective while taking into account its social environment.

While the impacts of these new

As we move forward into the era

technologies will have innumerable

of advanced AI applications, careful

benefits and will shape the way that

consideration will need to be given

many industries work in the near

to ensure AI developments continue

to make better-informed decisions,

future, developments in the use and

to meet ethical standards in New

solve problems and innovate, as

ethics of AI have also started to gather

Zealand and overseas while positively

many multinationals move towards

pace around the world.

contributing to the advancement of

building or customising domain-spe-

our industries.

cific generative AI models trained

There are many international guidelines and legal frameworks now

In this spring edition of Survey +

in place to ensure that human rights,

Spatial we’re focusing on the theme

privacy laws, sustainable develop-

of artificial intelligence and its

of the Artificial Intelligence Research

ment and many other aspects of AI

impacts on the surveying and spatial

Association examines large language

development are included in future

sectors, from new technologies to

models and, along with the aid

technologies. The OECD’s AI Principles

real-life applications, and we take a

of Chat GPT, suggests some areas

Overview focuses on these key

look at some of the intriguing new

of application in the survey and

principles: Inclusive growth; sustain-

developments in this rapidly expand-

spatial sectors, as well as advising

able development and wellbeing;

ing sector.

on the best techniques to effectively

human-centred values and fairness;

with their own data and purpose.

1SpatialUK’s Sebb Lessware

Jannat Maqbool, Executive Director

incorporate them.

transparency and explainability;

discusses the role of AI models and

And in our legal column this

robustness, security and safety and

harnessing the power of artificial

edition, Stephanie Harris outlines


intelligence for the spatial industry.

some of the benefits, challenges

The EU has published an Ethics

Andrew Maher and Dave Mackenzie

and considerations of current and

Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, which

of Aurecon Digital Group explore

potential AI applications in the legal

states that trustworthy AI should be:

the benefits of AI for organisations

sector in New Zealand.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 1

Contents September 2023


ISSUE 113 SEPTEMBER 2023 A publication of Survey and Spatial New Zealand, Tātai Whenua. ISSN 2382-1604

EDITOR Rachel Harris All rights reserved. Abstracts and brief quotations may be made, providing reference is credited to Surveying +Spatial. Complete papers or large extracts of text may not be printed or reproduced without the permission of the editor. Correspondence relating to literary items in Surveying+Spatial may be addressed to the editor. Papers, articles and letters to the editor, suitable for publication, are welcome. Papers published in Surveying+Spatial are not refereed. All correspondence relating to business aspects, including subscriptions, should be addressed to: The Chief Executive Survey and Spatial New Zealand PO Box 5304 Lambton Quay Wellington 6140 New Zealand Phone: 04 471 1774 Fax: 04 471 1907 Web address: Email:

Distributed free to members of S+SNZ. Published in March, June, September and December by S+SNZ.


TO ADVERTISE Email: or contact Tara Ranchhod +64 4 471 1774


Editorial Rachel Harris


New Version AI Andrew Maher, Dave Mackenzie


Unlocking the Power of AI in the Spatial industry Seb Lessware

10 Navigating the Landscape of Large Language Models Artificial Intelligence Researchers Association



13 Making your first AI project a success Matt Lythe 15 Celebrating Excellence – 2023 Awards Evening


18 Kairūri Community Trust Stirling Scholarship 2023 18 The Imapct of AI on the Industry Samuel Thompson 20 Representing S+SNZ Hydro at FIG Simon Ironside 24 Survey and Spatial New Zealand 135th Conference 28 Legal column 30 S+SNZ Members Honoured


32 Managing in the information age Edward O’Leary 34 News 38 University Happenings Richard Hemi 40 Effect of Order

38 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 3


NEW VERSION AI Andrew Maher, Group Managing Principal, Eminence, Digital & Innovation & Dave Mackenzie, Managing Principal, Digital Aurecon Group


Or is it? Advancements in generative artificial intelligence (AI) are showing signs that tacit knowledge is fast emerging as an opportunity. While the current version of ChatGPT already analyses explicit knowledge and structured (quantitative) data, the multimodal Chat GPT-4 (currently only available to subscribers) is also able to make sense of tacit knowledge, provided it's been digitised. Impressing early users, Chat GPT-4 can extract insights and patterns from large collections of unstructured data. This includes sources such as email, images, videos and instant messages. In addition to simplifying coding, it can rapidly create a website and even pass exams with flying colours.

ritish-Hungarian philosopher Michael Polanyi aptly

So, if generative AI can successfully translate tacit

summarised his theory on human knowledge and

knowledge to explicit, what impacts and opportunities

intelligence in seven words: "We know more than

will this create for knowledge workers?

we can tell." His theory, later called Polanyi's Paradox, suggests that

The brains of an organisation

humans possess a vast amount of knowledge on how to

Tacit knowledge is one of a company's most valuable

perform tasks that we cannot explicitly explain, like face

intangible assets, besides goodwill, brand recognition and

recognition or driving a car in traffic. You can't really put

intellectual property rights. Intangible assets account for

your finger on it or compose the right words to describe it,

90 per cent of the value of all S&P 500 companies.

but you just know that you know! Long before today's workforce started to worry about getting replaced by robots and machines, Polanyi was confident that human knowledge was “beyond our explicit understanding” and could not be codified.

Tacit knowledge is the intelligence, wisdom, intuition and insight that people gain through their personal and professional experience. It's not codified or written down and is difficult to put into words, rendering it a risk for every organisation. Why? SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 5

Because every time a person leaves an organisation, their

corporate knowledge' and break down knowledge silos.

tacit knowledge leaves with them.

Others, like PepsiCo, are using Starmind to make tacit

Google for example, has acquired more than 200

knowledge sharing and collaboration easier, fast-track

companies in the quest to expand its internet empire to

innovation and decision making, while enabling contribu-

different industries. Imagine how much tacit knowledge

tors to gain recognition by showcasing their expertise.

has been accumulated through multiple acquisitions and over two decades in the business.

And a growing list of companies, including IBM, are using generative AI to capture, analyse, and share data

The ability to capture who and what your business

from emails, chat logs, and customer feedback to extract

is – all the information, employee experiences, contexts,

insights and patterns that can be used to improve customer

and background stories of every decision made within

engagement and sales performance.

the organisation from the very beginning – is beyond powerful to both build insights and fast-track solutions.

Smart people to make smarter decisions

Imagine leading a team or an entire organisation with the

You can't outsource great ideas to AI, but it can definitely

help of an AI who knows the ins and outs of your business

help you develop them.

history more than you do. The ability to brainstorm with it, collaborate, debate, and make important decisions.

The ability of generative AI to not merely unlock but preserve tacit knowledge will, in the words of management consultants Arthur D Little, "allow smart, experienced

Cleaning up the mess

people to make even smarter decisions".

Engineering has often been described as messy work as

It will equip knowledge workers with greater cognitive

it draws on both explicit and tacit knowledge, together

capacity to do and engage more with the problem they

with both structured and unstructured (quantitative and

are trying to solve, providing the ability to make sense of

qualitative) data sources, which include spreadsheets and

mountains of info and data. Librarians could move from

databases, reports, drawings, plans, and emails.

schools to offices as the importance of tagging, storing

The 'messiness' of engineering has historically presented

and understanding how data should be collected and

organisational challenges since tacit knowledge is difficult to transfer, and the analysis of large volumes of unstructured data has been beyond the realm of possibility – until now. Technological advancements are driving many companies to build or customise proprietary, domain-specific generative AI models that are trained with their own data and for their own purpose. By turning the technology inwards, these companies

structured will increase.

If we see AI only as a threat, it will never be our ally.

are rapidly learning how to analyse their

Of course, as with any other technological advancements, the rise of generative AI is accompanied by cries of negativity side by side with the opportunity. According to Goldman Sachs' economists, 300 million jobs could be automated by AI platforms like ChatGPT and 18 per cent of work globally could be computerised, all of which could lead to job losses. This would probably only be a short-term impact since innovations

unstructured data and encode tacit knowledge to enable

such as this have historically created more jobs in the long

better insights and intelligence, ultimately gaining a

run – but only if we embrace it.

competitive advantage. Multinationals such as Bosch and Siemens are creating

The key for organisations is to get ahead and be a leader in this space, otherwise those who can't and won't

AI-based solutions to capture the tacit knowledge of

compete will eventually lose. If we see AI only as a threat,

their engineers and technicians. By analysing data from

it will never be our ally.

manuals and repair logs, they are extracting patterns and

Knowledge workers will always remain valuable in roles

insights that can be used to improve the efficiency and

that require critical thinking, creativity and human interac-

effectiveness of maintenance and repair processes.

tion. Skills such as decision-making, problem-solving and

NASA is using generative AI to capture and share the expertise of its space exploration workers. It's analysing data from images, videos, and mission logs to improve the design and performance of spacecraft. Haleon (previously GSK) as well as Saatchi & Saatchi are using the AI-powered search engine Lucy to 'liberate 6 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

stakeholder engagement require human judgment and experience, and are difficult to automate. The winners will be the organisations that use generative AI to augment, not replace, humans to more expeditiously make more informed decisions, solve problems and innovate.



irst of all, this piece was not written using an AI tool.

tage is that it has just learnt the patterns from the data

I did use a spelling and grammar checker though,

it has analysed so it can be a dangerous combination of

so what's the difference? Fundamentally, they both

eloquent, coherent and completely incorrect.

automate tasks to make humans more efficient, which has

For writing an article the input and output would be

been how technology has benefited (usually) us through-

language, which is what much of the recent AI hype is

out history.

focused on due to the impressive and uncanny ability of

The difference with AI approaches is that rather than

large language models (LLMs) made famous by ChatGPT.

being explicitly programmed by a person (for example:

For the spatial industry, the core data we manage is

“'For each sentence, check that there is a verb.”), the

mostly geometry rather than natural language, so these AI

patterns are inferred from analysing huge amounts of text

techniques are only tangentially useful.

and basing it on those previous examples. What emerges

Language models can still be useful in our industry

from this training though is not a recognisable set of rules

and for more than just report writing, for example, at

that a human could read, but a 'model' which is a digital

1Spatial, we have used language models for matching the

web of connections and connection strengths that, given

schema of one data model to another, which is needed

an input set of values, generates an output set of values.

when collecting and integrating data from many different

The advantage of an AI model is that it can generate

suppliers who each have their own variation on how that

hugely subtler and more complex outputs; the disadvan-

data is structured and named. SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 7

To make it as easy as possible for these data providers,

we have used AI to generate a 'risk of leaking' score for

we allow them to supply their data in their own schema,

water pipes, using data about past leakages and the

and 1Spatial teams work out the mapping which converts

surrounding topography. Predicting pipe leakage can

their naming and structure to the central data model.

direct preventative maintenance to those assets with the

Each time we do this we train an AI model with the mapping so that next time the AI model can suggest the

highest risk. To do this, we analysed information about the leaked

mapping for a new set of data. It's never 100% perfect and

pipes that was expected to have an influence on the

needs a human to review and complete it, but it is a great

change of leakage: This meant not only the pipes'

performance boost to a human task.

attributes (such as material and age) but also their spatial

However, it is the ability to apply AI techniques to spatial

relationships such as proximity to topography such as road

data that will have the most impact on our industry. It can

polygons or railway lines. The historical leakage informa-

be used at all parts of the spatial data lifecycle, from data

tion was used to train the model which could generate

capture through to analysis and usage.

a leakage risk score for all pipes in a network which can

For data capture one of the obvious opportunities is

then inform preventive maintenance priorities.

to generate structured vector data from unstructured

Like with any new technology, the automation provided

information such as images or point clouds. There have

by AI can streamline human tasks and free up staff to focus

been automated tools to help with this for a while but

on the really difficult and high-value processes. There are

it's a classic problem where the automation only goes so

opportunities for automation and streamlining using AI

far and generates messy data which requires cleaning up

anywhere in the data lifecycle.

via human interpretation based on knowledge of the real world.

Success, however, depends on using training data that is clean and well-structured – otherwise the results can

Up to now, this information is usually used for change

be biased or just plain wrong – and on having strong data

intelligence to identify where humans need to focus on

management tools and processes to take this auto-gen-

updating data, but machine learning could improve this to

erated data, validate it and integrate it into your existing

actually apply real changes to an existing vector dataset.

datasets and processes.

An example of AI and machine learning at the other

If this is successful then rather than threatening jobs,

end of the data lifecycle is using the vector data for

the outcome is likely to be higher throughput and more

decision support for operational purposes. At 1Spatial

frequently updated data.

8 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Navigating the Landscape of Large Language Models Artificial Intelligence Researchers Association: Website: Email:

Introduction In recent years, large language models (LLMs) have emerged as a potentially disruptive tool applicable to many professional domains. Here, we explore the different types of large language models and let ChatGPT itself suggest some areas of application in the survey and spatial sector. We also provide a few essential do's and don'ts for effectively incorporating them into your work.

Understanding Large Language Models LLMs are advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems built on deep learning algorithms. They have the remarkable ability to understand and generate human-like text based on

understand a little about how LLMs

models can be fine-tuned on

work. The vast datasets of text that

domain-specific data. This customis-

they are trained on enables them to

ation improves their performance in

learn the patterns and connections

particular tasks, aligning them with

between words and phrases. They

your needs.

then excel at making predictions next. This makes them very good at

Do's and Don'ts of Using Large Language Models

producing text that is natural and

There is great value in becoming

believable. However, most LLMs

familiar with LLMs, because they can

are not connected to databases

help make many tasks more efficient.

containing factual information, and

However, there are also many

thus the statements they produce

reasons for caution:

about which words are likely to come

are notorious for containing factual errors. Think of an LLM as an eloquent and persuasive friend, but not necessarily one who can be always relied on. There are two major phases to training an LLM: pre-training and fine-tuning.

Do's: ●  Do Stay Informed: Stay updated with the latest developments in the field of large language models to harness their new capabilities effectively. Try the tools for yourself: free versions of general-purpose LLMs can be found at chat.openai.

the input provided, thanks to their

Pre-training: In the initial phase,

com or

extensive training on vast datasets.

large language models are exposed

●  Do Ensure Data Quality: If you

These models are powered by neural

to massive amounts of text data from

plan to fine-tune models for your

network architectures comprising

the internet, without any specific task

profession, use high-quality,

hundreds of billions of parameters,

in mind. This phase helps them learn

relevant data to enhance their

allowing them to capture intricate

the statistical patterns of language

accuracy and applicability.

patterns in language.

(leading to grammar, syntax and

●  Do Maintain Ethical Standards: Ad-

general language understanding).

here to ethical guidelines, privacy

Fine-tuning: After pre-training,

regulations and professional codes

To better identify their strengths and weaknesses, it is helpful to

10 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Potential application in survey and spatial sector Here are some ChatGPT-generated suggestions (lightly edited) for how LLMs can be used in the survey and spatial sector. Remember: LLMs produce ostensibly reasonable text without fact-checking, so take these suggestions as just that, rather than fact. Are these suggestions reasonable? We’ll let you be the judge. Land Development and Urban Design:

● Automated Document Cre-

and sustainability practices. ● Policy Analysis: Analyse policy

ation: Generate cadastral survey

●  Automated Documentation:

documents to understand and

documents, deeds and land

Use language models to gen-

stay compliant with changing

titles based on standardised

erate reports, design proposals

regulations affecting resource

templates, ensuring consistency

and documentation for urban development projects. ●  Public Engagement: Create


and reducing paperwork. ●  Land Parcel Analysis: Analyse

Civil Engineering Surveying, Positioning, and Measurement:

textual data to identify land

easily understandable summa-

● Survey Data Interpretation: Use

parcel ownership patterns,

ries of urban design plans and

language models to interpret

historical land use and property

projects to engage the public

textual descriptions and notes

value trends.

and solicit feedback.

from field surveys, assisting

Spatial/GIS Sector:

●  Site Analysis: Analyse

in the extraction of valuable

●  Geospatial Data Queries: En-

textual data related to land

insights and patterns.

able natural language querying

parcels, zoning regulations, and

●  Quality Control: Automate the

of geospatial databases and GIS

historical context to inform site

identification of discrepancies

software, making spatial data

selection and design decisions.

or anomalies in survey data,

more accessible to non-experts.

Resource Management:

ensuring the accuracy and

●  Map Labeling and Annotation:

●  Environmental Impact Assess-

integrity of measurements.

ment: Use language models

Use language models to

●  Technical Support: Create

automate the labelling and

to automate the analysis of

natural language interfaces for

environmental impact reports,

surveying tools, allowing users to

identifying potential issues and

interact with equipment and data

●  Urban Planning: Analyse textual

using plain language commands.

data to identify trends in urban

suggesting mitigation strategies. ●  Natural Resource Management:

annotation of maps based on textual descriptions

Cadastral Surveying:

development, demographic

Analyse textual data related to

●  Boundary Dispute Resolution:

shifts and land use changes,

resource usage, conservation

Assist in the analysis of legal

helping city planners make

efforts, and regulations to

descriptions and land records to

informed decisions.

optimise resource allocation

resolve boundary disputes

Note: ChatGPT’s American spelling has been changed by a human editor. of conduct when handling sensitive data related to your field. ●  Do Provide Context: Clearly specify

●  Don't Overlook Human Expertise: While language models are power-

measures that align with your

ful tools, they should complement,

profession's standards.

the context and objectives when

not replace, your professional

seeking assistance from language


models to receive relevant and accurate responses. Don'ts: ● Don't Blindly Trust Outputs: Avoid unquestioningly accepting model-generated information. Always validate critical data and

implementing robust data security

Conclusion Large language models have the

●  Don't Ignore Bias: Be aware of

potential to revolutionise many

potential biases in language models and data, and make efforts to mitigate bias in your field-specific applications.

professions by automating a variety of tasks. Early adopters of this technology will be rewarded with improved efficiency, so time spent becoming

●  Don't Neglect Security: Protect

familiar with the tools and approach-

conclusions through traditional

sensitive data from unauthorised

es relevant to your profession will

methods in your profession.

access and security breaches by

likely pay off.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 11

Can GIS make AI smarter? Matt Lythe, Managing Director, Lynker Analytics


ome might say AI or more specifically machine learning is nothing new to Geographic Information

Systems (GIS). They are partly correct as algorithms like cluster analysis and regression have been used for decades by GIS professionals. However, machine learning can also take geospatial analysis to new heights. In this post I will explore the potential for GIS data to train and build better machine learning models. I will look at some practical examples of this and discuss what lies ahead in the field of artificial intelligence. A GIS contains a wealth of infor-

mation classified by location. These geographical “systems of record” make for high quality training inputs for machine learning models. In particular - structured geospatial data such as land parcels, roads, land use and asset locations are excellent resources to guide and inform

to detect and document geometries

Machines within a fully geospatial

of buildings, roads, crops, excavated


land… or to detect and classify assets and their condition. Going one step further, with targeted

Machine learning researchers and data scientists haven’t necessarily understood the inference already

training, deep learning can also detect

inherent within a GIS that could lead

and generate new attributes against

to powerful new inputs and feature

these geometries for example condi-

engineering for machine learning

tion of buildings or surface material.

models. The geographic relationships

The use of artificial intelligence in

between objects have often been

conjunction with GIS has already had a

ignored or handled poorly e.g. simply

big impact on location centric appli-

tagging with a latitude, longitude.

cations such as traffic monitoring and

Now we can turbo boost our machine

management, micro mobility services

learning models with geospatial

and ride sharing.


More recently, some of the less struc-

Rather than acting alone, an AI

tured data captured by organisations

system that uses the inter-connected

such as raster data, video, voice and

feature relationships held within a GIS

text are now being used by machine

will potentially perform better. An AI

learning models to generate insights

when applied within a spatial context

and predictions. At Lynker Analytics

may help us understand why assets

we have been applying and refining

or systems that work in one place fail

these techniques in the detection and

in another. It will work well when

classification of a wide range of target

processing large volumes of structured

classes across multiple industries

data such as observations from

including marine, conservation,

instruments in the field, or attributes

agriculture and transportation. Check

from a feature layer and understanding

out some of our recent blog posts to

their influence on a situation.

earn more about this work. So - in the sub-field of computer

Applications of this joined up approach include predicting the

vision it is true to say that AI systems

probability of congestion or accidents

Machine learning, at its core, is

are benefiting greatly from GIS data

in transport networks, water quality or

composed of approaches that learn

streams while in turn geographic

vegetation condition across differing

from data rather than being explicitly

information systems themselves are

land use classes through to forecasting

programmed. Deep learning—so

the direct beneficiaries of machine

sales in a retail setting. It can also

called because it uses “deep” artificial

learning by way of generating data

help us understand the locational

neural networks that are composed

with higher fidelity, frequency and at

aspects that influence more difficult

of hundreds of connected layers of

a lower cost.

to identify associations that may have

machine learning models.

algebra has enabled something of

What about in the field of predictive

future consequences. Programmes

a revolution in the processing of

analytics – where there is in all proba-

like Microsoft’s AI for Earth is a good

structured and unstructured data of

bility more business and operational

example of where these intersecting

all types – including geospatial. For

value for organisations?

technologies are now delivering new

those working in GIS, this means new

In this domain GIS users have been

insights and value.

solutions are now available to address

using AI for some time. Regression

The application of AI within a

problems previously considered too

analysis, kriging, hot spot analysis

spatial context is just getting started.

resource intensive or costly.

and clustering have been in use

It is not about producing human level

for decades. But we’re still in the

intelligence – that is some way off - but

for example to accurately detect objects

early days of applying more complex

it is fast becoming apparent that these

and categorise pixels from imagery at

machine learning models such as Deep

connected tools when used in unison

scale. Neural networks can be trained

Neural Networks and Gradient Boosted

can create better decision systems.

Deep learning has created the ability

12 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Making your first AI project a success Matt Lythe, Managing Director, Lynker Analytics


stage you should define what success looks like and how it might be measured. It might be your goal for example to generate more accurate and timely information about the condition of your assets. That’s great but you should also specify the parameters by which you will measure those outputs. It is equally crucial to profile the status quo process so you can clearly understand whether or not a machine learning based approach might be better.

2. Know your data

he opportunities to introduce Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning models drink in data – the more the bet-

(AI) into your business can sometimes seem limitless

ter. You need to be intimately familiar with your existing

and even daunting. Where do you start? From reduc-

data assets and how you can bring them together into a

ing repetitive work, making things more efficient, develop-

processing pipeline for machine learning. It’s important

ing new solutions or improving customer service the field

the data scientist in the team has a strong familiarity with

of AI, and in particular machine learning, holds promise for

the data including its validity, currency, any biases that may

every organisation.

exist and the relationships between all data elements.

However, getting a project up and running and achiev-

Once in place or at least documented, they should be able

ing success is not straight forward. Drawn from first-hand

to advise on the achievability of the goal given the veracity,

experience helping clients through this process we have

depth and diversity of the data available. Often, we find

condensed down what we consider to be some critical

there might be an essential missing piece of the puzzle

success factors that are important to making your first AI

that requires a new survey or data set to be acquired. If

project a success.

that’s the case, stop, take stock and consider a preceding

1. Define the project goals

project to build data readiness.

This is crucial, too often we see stakeholders or enthusias-

3. Select your algorithms

tic champions in an organisation viewing the technology

This is where you should seek expert advice. There are

as the end goal and not the business outcome. Its import-

many algorithms that may have potential application to

ant to understand the business problem you are attempt-

the data and the business problem. If you don’t really have

ing to solve and who the beneficiaries will be. At this

much of an idea about the relationships that may be of SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 13

value in your data then unsupervised learning might be

enough to deliver the stated project goals. There are

the approach to take. This approach helps find previously

accuracy measures such as absolute accuracy, recall and

unknown patterns in data sets without pre-existing labels.

precision that can help you decide whether your models

Most industrial machine learning uses supervised learning,

are ready for release into the business.

and this is in most cases the best approach especially for your first AI project. The two main branches of supervised learning are: Regression – often used for forecasting and prediction and Classification used in areas like image recognition, natural language processing, customer retention and identity fraud. Within each of these sub fields there are a host of algorithm options and parameter settings that need to be considered by your data scientist or data science solution partner.

At this stage also knowing what level of accuracy is needed is very important. If you think about it, we don’t usually put a numerical measure on how well a human makes a particular decision. But we demand our models are 95% or (often) more accurate in their decision making. This of course is reasonable and realistic in many situations but there is always a trade-off between cost and effort to train and refine your models versus the accuracy needed to deliver a business ready AI system. The reality is the team should understand and agree what level of accuracy is needed to solve the business problem. Overall, in our experience these are the most important

4. Validate your models

factors in making your first AI project a success. There are

Key to the process is turning all of the hard work and plan-

many other things to consider such as governance, where

ning into defensible results. Seemingly straight-forward,

you will store your data and run your models, data privacy

but this might in fact be the most challenging part of the

and ethics, how will you visualise your results and what

project. The idea here is making sure your models are not

to do to maintain your model once it’s in production. We

over-fitted to your training data as this means the models

will discuss some of those topics in later blogs, but we

will not work well against the wider data population and

have found these four areas are especially crucial to good

therefore in the real world but also that they are accurate

project outcomes.

14 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Celebrating Excellence – 2023 Awards Evening


s we commemorated the remarkable 60-year jour-

centrepieces, the venue transformed into a captivating

ney of the Otago School of Surveying, it felt only fit-

vision of sophistication and charm.

ting that this year’s Conference and Awards ceremony

Every year, the Awards are divided into two distinct

found its home in the heart of the city and the very Universi-

categories: the Stream Awards, which are handpicked

ty where the journey began for some of our members.

by the Streams themselves, and the Premier Awards,

The Awards evening - a glamorous black-tie affair

carefully chosen by a Judging Panel consisting of

proudly sponsored by our long-term sponsor, GSI Part-

esteemed Land and Property Professionals. The quality of

ners - unfolded within the elegant atrium of the business

entries was exceptionally high, presenting the Panel with

school. Adorned with enchanting lights and exquisite

a formidable challenge in making their selections.


subdivisions and regularly presents seminars and papers on all aspects of Unit Title Subdivision. Neale has also been a prominent leader within Consulting Surveyors of NZ and a Cadastral Survey Licensing Board member since 2013. He is currently the chair of Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board and has been heavily involved in several very significant changes and reviews undertaken by the Board.

The McCrae Supreme Award for 2023 and Professional Excellence in Cadastral Surveying awards were awarded to Neale Faulkner. Neale is a leader and educator for the profession. He gained his registration as a surveyor in 1989 and is current-

For outstanding service to the Land Development and

ly a practicing licensed cadastral surveyor, senior surveyor

Urban Design industry, Bruce Sinclair was recognised

and former principal of a cadastral surveying company

for his successful survey and land development projects in

based in Auckland. He has considerable experience with

Christchurch and the South Island for more than 50 years,

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 15

and as such, he is highly regarded and respected as a land development consultant.

The final stream award was awarded to Simon Ironside for outstanding service to the Hydrography industry. Simon has always been a passionate advocate for hydrography and Survey and Spatial NZ and has made Mike Cutfield was this year’s very well-deserved recipient

a significant global contribution to the profession over the

of the Engineering Surveying Award for Outstanding

years. His international involvement with the hydrographic

Service to the Industry. Mike has managed some of the

commission enables young professionals to get involved

largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand over the last

with the work of FIG. Nationally and internationally,

10 years including the Waterview Tunnels, Warkworth to

hydrographers have benefited from his involvement in our

Puhoi Motorway and the City Rail Link. On top of all this,


he also provided 9 years of service as Engineering Stream the panel for the Certification of Engineering Surveyors.


For professional excellence in the Positioning and

Our well-deserving winner of the Young Professional of

chair for Survey and Spatial as well as being an assessor on

Measurement industry, Nic Donnelly was recognised, primarily for his leadership in the emergency management response to Cyclone Gabrielle. He was also heavily involved in the recovery from other events. Nic has a long history of involvement in the P&M stream and plays an international role as chair of WG2 (positioning) of Commission 5 for FIG.

16 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

the Year Award, Géneviève Abrey, is a rising star within the Survey profession and is already making her mark on the industry as both a professional and as an inspiration to many Young Professionals. She has significantly contributed to both the New Zealand and South African surveying profession both through her professional role and as a volunteer.



The inaugural winner of the CSNZ leadership award has been a member of the division for over 20 years. He is a director of a successful multi-disciplinary consultancy where he has been the managing director since 2010. His leadership skills have also shone through for CSNZ, where This year the Technicians Professional Excellence Award was presented to Darryl Wymer in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to Survey and Spatial NZ as a senior lead member of the Survey and Spatial Engineering Surveying Certification pilot program as both as a successful candidate in the pilot and as a

he has been on the management committee for more than 10 years and where he was the chair from 2019 – 2022. This year the CSNZ Leadership Award winner was Carl Fox.


team assessor in the ongoing program. Darryl is also a member of the Technicians Division Leadership Team and represents the division in the Engineering Stream. He is an outstanding example of the technical profession in his use of cutting-edge technology in his current role as Tunnel Survey Manager for the Link Alliance delivering the City Rail Link Project to Auckland.

S+SNZ PROJECT EXCELLENCE AWARD The Cadastral Survey of the Year Award recognises the outstanding cadastral surveys which have been carried out by cadastral surveyors over the past twelve months. The winner of this award was Ben Smith for DP 572823.

EXAMINATION AWARDS Percy Dyett Award This award recognises the best land development engineering candidates in the Professional Entrance The S+SNZ Project Excellence Award celebrates the achievements of our top surveying and spatial organisations and showcases the finest projects we have to offer.

Examinations as part of the process of qualifying to be a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. This year’s Award Recipient is Benjamin Power.

The joint winners of the Project Excellence Award for

Maurice Crompton Smith Award

2023 are WSP, Waka Kotahi, Toitū Te Whenua Land

The second exam award is the Maurice Crompton-Smith

Information New Zealand, Beca, Aurecon, and Harrison

Memorial Award for the best set of projects for a Certificate

Grierson for their Digital Improvement Project.

of Competency. This year, the winner is Nicki Shaw.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 17

Kairūri Community Trust Stirling Scholarship for 2023


ongratulations to Samuel

Artificial Intelligence on the Survey-

Thompson who has won the

ing and Spatial Industry”.

inaugural Kairūri Community

The scholarship has been made

Trust Stirling Scholarship for 2023.

possible by the Stirling family

Sam is a fourth-year student at Otago

through a generous donation from

University studying a Bachelor of

the Ian and Margaret Stirling Fund

Surveying with honours.

in 2021. The purpose of the fund is

The scholarship included a $2500

to provide scholarships/grants to

cash prize plus support to attend

support those individuals seeking

the Annual Survey and Spatial NZ

careers or further education in

conference held in Dunedin a few

the survey and spatial sectors and

weeks ago.

for those who have financial or

At the conference, Sam got the opportunity to share his wonderful submission titled “The Impact of

other barriers to pursuing tertiary education. A big congratulations to Sam!


The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Surveying & Spatial Industry

images are at a level where they

Samuel Thompson

emulate creativity. This is a major


are nearly undiscernible from real pictures, furthering the potential for misinformation. What this represents is an ability for artificial intelligence to successfully curveball. It has long been predicted

he advent of artificial intelli-

free, open-source tools such as the

that AI would take over mundane,

gence (AI) has always loomed

infamous ChatGPT reaching head-

repetitive tasks that are already large-

as an inevitable consequence

lines globally. This media attention

ly automated. This includes physical

of technological development. Some

has more often than been negative,

tasks, such as factory line assembly,

view it as an incredible opportunity,

with topics including plagiarism,

and digital ones, such as basic coding.

with potential for optimization in

misinformation, and discriminatory

These roles being automated is large-

innumerous applications. However,

bias to name a few. When AI was a

ly good for professionals, as it allows

some see artificial intelligence as a

novel, mostly useless tool, these pit-

more time to focus on big picture,

threat which will reduce the need

falls had little significance. However,

complex endeavours. Creativity in AI

for employees and drive unem-

as it became more applicable, its

could see it taking over these parts of

ployment. The Survey and Spatial

potential for harm grew.

the job too.

industry is in a unique position

Perhaps the most concerning

In years to come, we may see AI

with a combination of manual and

consequence of effective AI is its

deliver legal adjudications, or give

digital processes, neither of which

accurate image generation. In

medical diagnoses. It is not unrea-

is immune to AI. In fact, no career is

March, an AI generated portfolio

sonable to say it may also be able

off limits.

of images won the Sony World

to design subdivisions, determine

In recent months and years, what

Photography Awards, with the

boundary positions, or interpret

was once science fiction has come

judges having no idea of is falsified

survey network statistics. Likewise,

frighteningly close to reality, with

nature. Meanwhile, AI generated

robots with knowledge of field

18 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

practices may be able to complete

just beginning to appear in surveys.

harder. The knowledge of spatial

surveys without a technician. There

Prior to that, it was a steel band

data and networks, engineering,

already exists a robot made by

and theodolite, and prior to that,

land tenure, and data presentation is

Boston Dynamics which is capable

a chain. GPS would not exist until

invaluable in today’s workplace, and

of using a Trimble total station – the

1978, and not in a useful form to

their intersection uniquely occupied

future is not as far away as it seems.

surveyors (a receiver that wasn’t the

by surveyors.

What, then, does the role of a

size of a truck) until the turn of the

Looking back, it is clear that the

surveyor or spatial scientist look like

millennium. As these advents came

answer to new technology is not

in the coming years and decades? It

to the profession, many surveyors

to resist, but to adapt. The skills of

is in times like these that the Māori

surely thought that their livelihoods

survey and spatial are as valuable as

whakataukī “Ka Mua, Ka Muri” rings

were at risk.

ever, and in high demand. AI is not

true: walking backwards into the

History goes to show that instead

to be feared, but to be embraced,

future. The meaning of this is that in

of yielding, surveyors adapted. Field

like EDM and like GNSS, as a tool in

order to progress, we must look to

crews have shrunk, from five or more

the surveyor’s toolbox. By learning

our past for guidance. In particular,

to one or two, but internationally

to harness its potential, the survey

the past of the surveying profession.

there is a huge demand for spatial

and spatial profession will only

A mere 50 years ago, EDM was

experts. We worked smarter, not

grow stronger.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 19

Representing S+SNZ Hydro at FIG

Simon Ironside is a cadastral surveyor working with Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). He is a member of the Hydrography Stream Leadership Team and has been the S+SNZ representative to the Fédération Internationale des Géomètres (FIG) Commission 4, Hydrography since 2004. Here, Simon tells us about how he got into surveying and some of the work he’s done with FIG. Tell us about your background and how you got into surveying?

got a job as a chainman with a land

had already made the transition to

development company in Columbia,

hydrographic surveying and were

subdividing land into residential lots.

enjoying it, I also decided to take on a

Our dad was a registered surveyor. He

It was fairly hard work, cutting lines,

new challenge. I moved to Aberdeen

carrying gear, digging holes, banging

in 1980 to begin my hydrographic

in pegs and stakes (I even learnt

surveying career.

registered as a cadet with the Christchurch firm of Davie, Lovell-Smith and then moved south to Invercargill where he worked for the Southland County Council and subsequently as the town planning officer for Invercar-

how to throw a chain) in hot and that cold beer after work made it all

Survey party, Libya, June 1975


I worked in the industrial offshore

humid conditions but the first sip of

Dad moved again, transferring to

sector for 10 years before deciding

the firm’s London office and the fam-

it was time to return home to New

ily settled in Surrey, south of London

Zealand. I began as an offshore

where I got a survey assistant job

surveyor working in the UK, Norwe-

with a surveying firm based in West

gian and Danish sectors, moving rigs

Byfleet, Engineering Surveys Ltd (ESL).

from one drilling location to another,

I was fortunate to travel all over the

undertaking site surveys at drilling

UK with them and also worked in the

locations, positioning platforms on

What has your career looked like up until today?

Middle East, in Libya, Iran and Jordan.

the seabed, undertaking pipeline

The work, although varied, was

inspection surveys and worked on

mostly engineering survey work. After

various construction and pipelay

When I was 14 Dad got a job as a

a while I realised I wanted to progress

barges. I moved into the office

transportation engineer with an

in my chosen field so decided to

working as a project coordinator for

engineering consultancy firm based

obtain a surveying qualification. As I

another survey firm and then became

in Columbia, South Carolina, USA.

wasn’t eligible for university entrance

a freelance surveyor, working as

The firm, Wilbur Smith & Associates,

in England, I attended the North East

a client representative on several

had undertaken a projected growth

London Polytechnic and obtained a

offshore projects for a number of oil

study for Invercargill City and

higher diploma in land surveying.

and gas exploration companies. By

afterwards offered Dad a job. The

After polytechnic, I returned to ESL but

the time I left I was working almost

family moved to the ’deep south’, and

at that time the new frontier was the

exclusively for BP in their Dyce,

after graduating from high school, I

North Sea and, as several colleagues

Aberdeen, office.

gill City Council. I remember holding the end of the tape or the level staff or digging holes looking for marks with him when he did the odd ‘PJ’. I wasn’t overly fond of maths at school, but those early days in the field obviously made an impression.

20 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

I was required to be a member of ISA (which subsequently evolved into the Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI), the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and is now the Geospatial Council of Australia (GCA)), so I joined the ISA Hydrography Commission and am still actively involved in its new form as the GCA Area of Practice, Hydrography. It was through the Hydrography Commission that I first became involved with FIG. This is a roundabout way of answering the question of what FIG is. Survey party, Libya, June 1975

Platform ‘topside’ installation, offshore Iran, 2003.

From its website (, the International Federation of Surveyors Information New Zealand based in

(FIG) is the premier international

the Christchurch office about three

organisation representing the

years ago as a cadastral surveyor.

interests of surveyors worldwide. It is a federation of the national member

of years away and was fortunate to

What is FIG and how long have you been involved?

get a job with Trimble Navigation in

Once again, I have my father to

Christchurch. I worked in the hydro

thank for getting involved in the

software development group, testing

professional side of surveying. He

new releases and training users and

was involved with the Southland

agents in Australia and throughout

Branch of the New Zealand Institute

Southeast Asia. Although the work

of Surveyors during his time there. I

was enjoyable, I found I was travel-

started attending Canterbury Branch

ling as much as I had been in Europe

meetings soon after survey school

so decided to return to my cadastral

and after a while I was elected to

surveying roots.

the branch executive and progressed

I arrived back home after a number

I attended the University of Otago

associations (i.e., S+SNZ) and covers the whole range of professional fields within the global surveying, geomatics, geodesy and geo-information community. It provides an international forum for discussion and development aiming to promote professional practice and standards. FIG was founded on July 18, 1878, in Paris by delegates from seven na-

on to become secretary and chair,

survey school as a mature student,

and served as a NZIS councillor (I am

obtained my Bachelor of Surveying

currently on my second stint as S+SNZ

(with credit) and set out on my new

Canterbury Branch secretary). It was

career path. I became a registered

through my time on the Council that I

surveyor while working with the

got involved with FIG, but that wasn’t

Christchurch City Council’s City

my first introduction.

Design unit and then joined a fellow

Around the time I returned home,

ex-Trimble surveyor at the long-estab-

the Institution of Surveyors, Australia

lished Christchurch firm of Middleton

(ISA) began certifying hydrographic

Williams. We parted ways and after

surveyors based on the recognition

a short-lived stint offshore, I joined

of their certification programme by

Eliot Sinclair and Partners, a multi-dis-

the FIG/IHO/ICA International Board

ciplined Christchurch consultancy,

on Standards of Competence for

where I worked for 15 years. The

Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical

work was principally focused on

Cartographers (IBSC). After graduation

land development in Christchurch

from Otago, I applied for, and ob-

and Canterbury. And most recently,

tained, Level 1 hydrographic surveyor

I joined Toitū Te Whenua/Land

certification. In order to be certified,

tional associations – Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Switzerland – and was known as the Fédération Internationale des Géomètres. This has become anglicised to the International Federation of Surveyors. It is a UN-recognised non-governmental organisation

Platform ‘topside’ installation, offshore Iran, 2003.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 21

2011 FIG Working Week in Marrakech promoting the S+SNZ bid to host the 2016 FIG Working Week in Christchurch. Simon is third from the right.

(NGO), representing more than 120

tional congresses are held every four

of hotels were damaged/gone, and

countries throughout the world, and

years, with annual working weeks

generally we were not in good shape

its aim is to ensure the disciplines of

held in the intervening years and

infrastructure-wise) the local organis-

surveying and all who practise them

member associations bid for the right

ing committee did a fantastic job, and

meet the needs of the markets and

to host them. The 2010 FIG Congress

we were able to host an international

communities they serve.

was held at the Sydney Convention

conference that many delegates I’ve

Centre in Darling Harbour, and I

talked to since consider to be among

cal work. Each member association

remember a group of us Kiwis (in-

the best they’ve attended.

appoints a delegate to each of the

cluding NZIS councillors), enjoying the

commissions. Detailed information

view over Circular Quay with a beer at

promoting the S+SNZ bid to host the

on the work of the commissions, their

the end of a busy day discussing how

2016 FIG Working Week in Christchurch.

work plans, working groups, semi-

good it was and why don’t we give

Simon is third from the right.

nars, newsletters and publications

it a go. I agreed but thought nothing

Other highlights include the

can be found at

more of it. However, others did and

friendships that are formed and

organisation/comm/. Although I am

the next thing I know I got a call

cemented at FIG events, the chance

a cadastral surveyor, I have been the

from Kurt Bowen asking if I would be

to travel to the different locations

S+SNZ delegate to FIG Commission

prepared to organise a working week

and being involved in the really

4 (Hydrography) since 2004, during

in Christchurch if we were successful.

interesting work being done by the

which time I have been active in

I’d had the honour of organising the

surveying community internationally,

various Commission 4 roles and am

successful 9th South East Asia Survey

particularly the role of surveyors in

currently co-chair of Commission

Conference held in Christchurch in

addressing the effects of climate

4 Working Group 4.3 Mapping the

2007 and the NZIS Council decided

change and achieving the 17 UN

Plastic. I also serve on the FIG Climate

that Christchurch would be a good

Sustainable Development Goals (aka

Compass Task Force.

location for a working week. Mind

the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable

you, this was before the earthquakes!


Ten commissions lead FIG’s techni-

What have been some highlights?

Nevertheless, afterwards we decided

2011 FIG Working Week in Marrakech

There have been several, but the

the theme ‘Recovery from Disaster’.

principal highlight for me has been

We were successful in our bid and

How can spatial and surveying specialists get involved and why?

organising the FIG Working Week held

despite the obvious drawbacks (the

By saying yes when asked, by

in Christchurch in 2016. FIG’s interna-

convention centre was unusable; a lot

presenting a paper about the work

that it was a still viable option, under

22 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

you are doing at a working week

their own goals and, in doing so,

or congress, by becoming a S+SNZ

understand the issues they face

delegate through your branch or

and how to address them within

stream. Younger surveyors may think

the shared language and values of

that this is for old ‘grey heads’ like

the surveying and spatial sciences

me and there’s nothing in it for them.


How wrong you are! FIG has a very vibrant Young Surveyors Network

And finally…

(YSN) whose principal aim is to create

Simon is the recipient of the 2023

an environment that encourages

S+SNZ Hydrography Streams Profes-

the active participation of young

sional Excellence Award for his work

surveyors in the work of FIG, as well

representing S+SNZ and Hydrography

as its 10 commissions. Young New

at FIG. Simon has always been a

Zealand surveyors have been active

passionate advocate for hydrography

in the YSN for many years.

(and S+SNZ) and has made a

New Zealand has a world-class

significant global contribution to

cadastre, a highly skilled work force

the profession over the years. His

with a very low/non-existent level

international involvement with the

of corruption, which are things that

hydrographic commission enables

surveyors in many countries can only

young professionals to get involved

dream of. We can offer support to

with the work of FIG and bring

others less fortunate in achieving

their skills to address the effects of

Simon Ironside at S+SNZ Awards Dinner

climate change while achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nationally and internationally, hydrographers have benefited from Simon’s involvement in our profession. Congratulations, Simon!

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 23

Survey and Spatial New Zealand 135th Conference

A powerful presentation within this theme, was the presentation describing New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure project following the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the northeast coast of the South Island resulting in landslides, tsunamis, and areas of huge ground uplift across the complex fault rupture. The destruction severed key transport links including the Main North Railway Line and the State Highway 1 coastal road that connected Kaikōura with Picton at the


top of the South Island. This is a major

olding the annual Survey

governance, diversity, statutory and

piece of infrastructure supporting

and Spatial New Zealand

Landonline reforms.

the journeys of freight, tourists and

conference at the University

Following the Mihi Whakatau,

information around the country, all

of Otago was always going to mean

the traditional Māori welcome, the

essential to keep the country work-

good attendance and this proved to

conference was opened by various

ing. The presentation describes the

be true with the 135th conference.

dignitaries including the Minister for

incredible journey of those involved

Held in Dunedin in early September,

Toitū Te Whenua, Land Information

in the project which was carried out

the conference, along with the 60th

New Zealand the Hon. Damien O’Con-

over the course of the 3.5 years and

anniversary of the University of Otago

nor. Key plenary sessions included an

the valuable lessons learnt that can

School of Surveying was a strong

update on New Zealand activities by

be shared.

drawcard for members, especially

Toitū Te Whenua’s Surveyor-General,

those who attended the survey school

Anselm Haanen.

as students.

Another thought-provoking presentation, reflecting the diversity of

The theme of ‘Marking the Journey,

topics, raised the issue of protecting

Over 350 delegates enjoyed

Hāpaia’ encapsulates the journey of

historical survey features such as trig

taking part in the three-day event

surveying and spatial professionals

beacons from developing technolo-

that offered over 70 presentations

throughout their careers - the journey

gies, changing priorities and cultural

covering a very diverse range of

of a project through to completion,

considerations - a topic that is close to

topics. These ranged from technical

the journey of data from capture to

the hearts of many surveyors.

papers on infrastructure, hydrogra-

deliverables, and the professional

phy, surveying, technology to protect

development journey and of course,

highlight of each conference. A

heritage buildings, GIS, GNSS, LIDAR,

coming full circle back to Otago

black-tie event, it provides the perfect

UAVs and point clouds to name

University’s School of Surveying

vehicle for honouring the impressive

a few, to presentations covering

which will be celebrating its 60th

achievements of members through-

emergency management, subdivision


out the year. Each year the Awards

The Awards Dinner is always a

Dinner is generously sponsored by long-term partner GSI Insurance Partners Ltd led by Glenn Stone. This year excellence in both individual and project awards was celebrated with Neale Faulkner, long-term member and Chair of the New Zealand Cadastral Survey Licensing Board, being the well-deserved recipient of the McRae Supreme Award. Other The Mihi Whakatau (traditional Māori welcome ceremony).

24 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

awards were presented for the Bogle

Young Professional of the Year, the

ing 60 years, held several events

see what had changed. However, for

Cadastral Survey Award, Professional

before, during and after the confer-

many senior members it was a chance

Project Excellence Award, Profession-

ence. This included a well-attended

to see the premises for the first time.

al Stream Awards and the Consulting

60th Anniversary Dinner with past and

Surveyors of New Zealand Leadership

present staff and students in atten-

was current staff members, Richard

Award. We also welcomed two new

dance and entertainment provided by

Hemi and Emily Tidey providing an

Fellows to the institute – Dr Kat Salm

speeches from various deans of the

interesting and light-hearted journey

and Jayne Perrin both received this


back through 60 years of fun and


A series of workshops were offered

The finale for the Survey School

learning at the school including many

It was fitting that a book detailing

by the school giving people the

the history of one of New Zealand’s

opportunity to attend sessions on

most prolific and well-respected

12d software updates, help with

sponsors and supporters -their contin-

surveyors, Archie Bogle was featured

Landonline capture and cadastral

ued support is critical to the success of

at the university campus. Recently

boundary definition, Hydrographic

the conference. This year we thank our

published, the book titled “The

presentations, the new S+SNZ

Premier Commercial partners GSI Insur-

Measure of the Man” was able to

certification framework, ending with

ance Partners, 84 Recruitment, Global

be purchased by delegates on site.

a Q&A session on cadastral licensing.

Survey and Allterra and the conference

This book celebrating the life of New

The Survey School Tour proved

sponsors, Landpro, 12d Model, Quick-

Zealand’s most exceptional surveyor,

popular with past students and recent

map, PIX4D, Position Partners, Buildmax,

was supported by the Kairūri Com-

graduates. The opened its doors and

Ferntech, Synergy Positioning, Toitū

munity Trust and is proving to be very

welcomed everyone to have a look

Te Whenua, Land Information New

popular amongst S+SNZ members.

around their new premises. For more

Zealand, Otago University, GNS Science

The School of Surveying, celebrat-

recent graduates this was a chance to

Te Pū Ao and Abtrac.

photos and some costumes. S+SNZ is very grateful to all its

S+SNZ Bogle Young Professional of the Year Award recipient- Géneviève Abrey. Attendees enjoying the Awards night entertainment.

Neale Faulkner – long term member of S+SNZ and welldeserved recipient of the McCrae Supreme Award and the Professional Excellence in Surveying Award at the Awards evening

Piping in the arrival of delegates to the welcome function.

Attendees enjoying some networking at the welcome function.

Feedback on the conference has been extremely positive and congratulations goes to all involved and we are now looking forward to next year’s event in Napier city in the Hawkes Bay wine country. Further details and information on the Survey and Spatial New Zealand conference can be found at

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 25

Legacy Capture on Landonline is likely to end in early November – don’t leave your transition till the last minute!


f you haven’t already done so, migration to the new capture functionality on Landonline should be

done before the end of October – because the legacy capture functionality is likely to be turned off in November. While users will continue to use Legacy Landonline for plan generation and submit and sign, beyond November, survey capture will likely only be accessible in New Landonline. This will include functionality such as import LandXML, mark vector irregular line and parcel capture, supporting documents, survey report, and easement schedule. The new capture application went

Beyond November and into 2024,

the trickier areas of unit titles.

next phase of work to replace plan

This session will also include tips

generation and submit and sign. We’ll

and hints learnt from customer

keep you in the loop through 2024

feedback. Join to upskill yourself

with what’s happening as this work

on New Landonline and those


more difficult tasks. CPD points apply. Register here.

Webinars in October In October, we are running a series of

live at the end of March this year.

webinars in conjunction with Survey

Since then, our focus has been to

and Spatial NZ in readiness for turning

bring users on to the new application.

off Legacy capture. These webinars

I am delighted to report that currently

are free for S+SNZ members and cost

more than 50% of new surveys

$34.50 per webinar for non-mem-

created are done in the new capture


application. That does mean though

6 October – Join LINZ as we dive

that there are still many users who

into some of the more advanced

have yet to migrate across.

functionality including large

I strongly urge these users to try the

18 October – We will dive into

we will continue working on the

To get started visit:

rural subdivisions, class D survey,

new capture functionality in October

water boundary capture and

while legacy capture is still live. If you

exception requests. This is a great

have a roadblock during October, you

opportunity to get familiar with

can still jump back to the old app, then

New Landonline before Legacy

send us a message to ask: “How do I

capture is turned off. CPD points

do this?” Don’t leave it till November!

apply. Register here.

Nick Stillwell is the Lead Consultant Surveyor for Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand’s Modernising Landonline programme.

Keep your Citrix version updated to minimise security threats Citrix Workspace is how your work

We recommend the long-term

mend you follow our instructions

connects to Landonline. When you

service release for Citrix Workspace

here to upgrade your Citrix Software

are operating a current version,

as this will reduce the frequency of

to ensure ongoing protection and

we are all protected from security

automated updates.

best performance. More information

threats. So make sure you are using

If your version number is less than

can be found here.

the most up-to-date Citrix Software., we strongly recom-

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 27


Transforming New Zealand’s Legal Landscape: The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Profession By Stephanie Harris, Co-Managing Partner, Glaister Ennor


he legal profession in New

review and due diligence processes.

Zealand, much like in other parts

Legal professionals in New Zealand

of the world, is experiencing a

can now identify critical clauses,

significant transformation driven by

potential risks and discrepancies in

advancements in technology. Among

contracts with greater speed and

these advancements, artificial intel-

precision. This is particularly valuable

ligence (AI) has emerged as a potent

in real estate transactions, mergers

force reshaping the way legal services

and other complex legal matters.

are delivered and accessed. This article explores the current and potential applications of AI in New Zealand's legal sector, highlighting its benefits, challenges and the unique considerations that come with its integration.

AI's Footprint in New Zealand's Legal Sphere New Zealand's legal industry, known for its strong adherence to legal principles and robust practices, is finding ways to harness the power

3. Predictive Analytics and Case Outcomes AI algorithms are being used to analyse historical case data and predict potential outcomes based on precedents. This assists lawyers and clients in assessing the likely trajectory of a legal matter, allowing for better

models is crucial to ensure equitable legal outcomes, as New Zealand values social inclusivity and equality

decision-making and resource allo-

under the law.

cation. In New Zealand, where legal

3. Workforce Adaptation

precedents hold significant weight, predictive analytics powered by AI

As AI automates certain tasks, legal professionals need to adapt their skill

of AI. Several areas within the legal

could provide invaluable insights.

profession are witnessing substantial

Challenges and Ethical Considerations in the New Zealand Context

tasks that require human expertise,

While AI presents numerous


changes due to AI adoption: 1. Legal Research and Document Analysis AI-powered tools are revolutionising

opportunities, its integration into

legal research by rapidly analysing

New Zealand's legal profession is not

vast volumes of legal documents,

without challenges:

precedents and case law. This expe-

sets to focus on complex, high-value such as legal strategy, negotiation and client counselling.

Artificial intelligence is reshaping New Zealand's legal profession, enhancing efficiency and accuracy

1. Data Privacy and Security

across various domains. As AI

lawyers to provide more accurate

New Zealand has stringent data pro-

technologies continue to evolve,

and comprehensive advice to clients.

tection regulations. Legal professionals

legal professionals in New Zealand

In New Zealand, where unique local

must ensure that AI systems handling

must balance the benefits of

laws and regulations are integral, AI

sensitive legal information adhere to

automation with the ethical consid-

aids in locating pertinent information

these regulations to maintain client

erations unique to their jurisdiction.

more efficiently.

confidentiality and data security.

By embracing AI responsibly and

2. Contract Review and Due

2. Bias and Fairness


AI algorithms can inadvertently

legal practitioners can navigate this

AI's natural language processing capa-

perpetuate biases present in historical

technological shift while upholding

bilities are streamlining the contract

legal data. Addressing bias in AI

the country's legal values and

dites the research process and enables

28 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

leveraging its capabilities to complement their expertise, New Zealand's

principles. The collaboration between

that this is all ready for you by the

article in New Zealand English).

human ingenuity and AI's analytical

time you’ve made a cup of coffee.

More seriously, however, one of the

prowess holds the promise of a more

Sound brilliant? It sure is.

hallmarks of our profession (and

accessible, efficient and just legal system for New Zealanders.

However, as the article says, this

indeed most professions) is diversity

is not without challenges. Lawyers

of thought. Lawyers come from

doing so will need to have at the

all walks of life, different classes

forefront of their mind issues such

of society and varied cultural and

as confidentiality/privacy and

ethnic backgrounds. Their various

“Harnessing the power of AI” might

ownership of information. A client

experiences blend together and

also mean delegating the task of

will understandably not want their

form the profession that we see

preparing this article to a computer

information fed into an AI platform

and interact with on a daily basis.

that was able to do so much quicker

that could then store, learn from,

You may have heard a lawyer say

than I could, which is precisely

and later regurgitate that infor-

something to the effect of “five

what I have done with this article.

mation in another exercise. There

different lawyers will give you five

The above article was produced in

are a number of prominent cases

difference solutions and they would

a total of 5 seconds, and checked

involving these breach of confiden-

all be right”. I strongly believe the

by me over the course of about

tiality issues already playing out in

benefits that AI will bring should

5 minutes! With all the efficiency

overseas jurisdictions.

not come at the cost of this diver-

Footnote 1: Thoughts of a Human

gained, I had the time to pen down

So, attractive as it might be (and

some of my own (human) thoughts

more cost-effective for the client),

on this topic.

my firm has an unwavering rule of

Whichever way you look at it

A number of my partners already

never inputting client data or any

though, there is no doubting this

actively use AI to assist them with

other identifying or confidential

is the future. Lawyers will need

tasks such as document formatting,

information into the AI platform.

to adapt, or be left behind. This

analysis of discoverable documents,

There are certainly solutions to

is particularly so for lawyers of

legal research, and preparation for

this, such as having a bespoke

the future who will enter a vastly

court. Yet, AI can do so much more.

AI platform that sits within our

different (and rapidly changing)

By way of example, AI could build

own IT ecosystem, but that is a

world to that encountered by their

a detailed chronology of events

topic for another day because it is,

seniors. Those seniors needed

much quicker than a junior lawyer

unsurprisingly, not without its own

to be proficient with computer

could. Such a chronology could have


applications such as Microsoft

sity of thought that we enjoy but sometimes take for granted.

links to the source documents, and

Even with the simple task of

Excel and Word, and navigating

with some careful prompting (the

preparing this article, the human

a research database. I am certain

tech-word for instructions to the AI

touch is still needed. For one, I

that in the not-so-distant future,

platform), identify key individuals

had to go through and change the

lawyers entering the profession will

and highlight events of significance

American spelling (though I could

also need to add to their skill set

to the case at hand. Now imagine

have avoided that by asking for an

proficiency with AI.

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SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 29

Two S+SNZ Members Honoured with Fellows Distinction


urvey and Spatial New Zealand Fellowships, the pinnacle award, are conferred on members

who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to our organisation. This year, we are delighted to recognise the outstanding contributions of two distinguished individuals from Christchurch: Dr. Kat Salm and Jayne Perrin. Kat and Jayne were both formally honoured at the 135th Annual General Meeting held at the recent S+SNZ Annual Conference in Dunedin. They both enjoyed themselves at the esteemed Fellows Dinner held at the event.

“The bestowing of a fellowship is a recognition of the esteem and respect in which a member is held, as well as a recognition of the contribution that member has made to our body over a prolonged period of time”. Dr. Kathryn Salm, Christchurch Dr. Kathryn (Kat) Salm has had a deep involvement with S+SNZ commencing as the Council’s Spatial Stream lead in 2017. This was followed by becoming the President for three years, the first of those during the difficult Covid year, and most recently as the immediate past President and Chair of the Governance Committee. Kat is deeply respected for her professionalism and depth of experience in the spatial sector which she has successfully used to grow and advance our spatial strategy within this rapidly evolving sector. Kat has been such a strong advocate and supporter of the organisation and its members and has given untold voluntary hours of her time to the betterment of Survey and Spatial NZ and the wider industry. She is seen as an inspiration to many and is very worthy of the award of Fellow.

Jayne Perrin, Christchurch Jayne Perrin’s career in surveying has been all about jumping in the deep end and she has selflessly given time to S+SNZ over the 28 years of her career. She has always said yes and taken on the challenge. As a result, she has made a lot of valuable contributions, in a lot of different places. Whatever the role she was required to perform or that she sought out for herself, or volunteered for, Jayne brought her energy, experience and commitment. Jayne has worked in a wide range of jobs which speaks to her capability and adaptability. She has been an active member in six branches so far and Members who have worked with Jayne hold her in the highest regard and deserving of the recognition of Fellowship.

30 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 31


Managing in the information age Edward O’Leary, CEO, Abtrac Abtrac CEO Edward O’Leary gives his experienced thoughts on managing in the information age. Coming through immigration after a trans-Tasman flight, I stepped up to the facial scanner and got quite a surprise to hear the machine say, “You’ve put on a little weight Ed. Watch what you eat when you’re away next time.” Ok. Ok. That’s a joke. It’s not true. But this is. In a Melbourne café I overheard a manager talking to a supervisor. “I see Vanessa is going to Europe for a hen’s party late next month. Has she applied for annual leave?”

In ‘the old days’ you might have started your career

“No. I didn’t even know. How did you know?”

by doing menial tasks, degree qualified or not. You’d

Then it struck me. This is the information age. This is only

progress, learn more, earn respect, and be given more

possible because it’s the information age. It’s not actually

responsibility. You become a manager. You’d take infor-

about spying. It’s not actually about business. It’s about the

mation passed down from above, decide how to manage

immediacy of information, sharing information, and the

it and below you, people would follow. Being a respected

breadth of information available. And Vanessa’s business

practitioner in your profession and obtaining the promo-

uses it.

tion to higher places is now no longer enough.

Some information is perhaps unwittingly given and used by others, as happened with Vanessa. In fact, we’re all leaving our own digital footprint wherever we go,

It doesn’t work like that today. You need more. You need to understand the information age. Before the information age, management was like a

every day. Google anything and you’ll be offered products

game of snooker, or maybe chess. You had time to line up

and web sites based on your previous searches. And it’s

your move and consider consequences. You got to be a

common knowledge your phone knows where you are

manager because you were good in your chosen profes-

and where you’ve been. It’s the new normal.

sion. Others were better and more senior, and some were

The information age is a blend of human activity and ever evolving technology. It’s changed what we do. It can be helpful. It offers new possibilities. It’s also changed how

subordinates. Everyone played their role. It was the age of compliance. Yes, sir, no sir, three bags full sir.

we do things. Vanessa communicating with her friends is

Not anymore. It's now the age of information. The

doing what people have always done. But how she does

need now is ideas, thinking outside the box and offering

it today is different. So as far as her employer is concerned,

suggestions. Compliance and following orders is no longer

creepy or not, the information is there, and they harvest it

all that’s required.

for their own use. As with any social change, boundaries get realigned. Vanessa hasn’t understood that. The boundaries are also realigned for managers in the information age.

The big thing in the information age, is that control over the distribution of information is at times non-existent. People from anywhere can generate information about anything. Information can spread like wild-fire, true or false, from anywhere, at times because of influence, and

“The company has HR go through everyone’s Facebook each week and we get a report.” My ears pricked up. Wow! Is that creepy or is it what! 32 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

at other times it’ll simply get some traction and become

feared rulers. They 'knew things' others didn’t know and

this week’s internet sensation.

at their peak, they had power that was unchallenged.

Along with the skills of their profession, information

Some still exist today. But in most societies a hundred

age managers need to make extra efforts to stay

years or more ago that role gave way to those with

informed. Information is no longer passed down from

inherited family influence. They were the ones looked

above nor learnt ‘from experience’. The role now is to

up to and they had to be given respect. Everyone else

quickly sift nonsense from fact, shut out noise, and focus

‘knew their place’.

on what’s important. And you need to be careful about

Industrialists were top dogs for a while. Then science

how you communicate yourself, all to keep you and your

knew everything and was going to solve everything.

company in the game.

Scientists are still due the respect they receive, and more

Wilful ignorance takes on a whole new meaning. “We didn’t know” has always sounded a bit lame. It’s now absolutely no excuse.

should be given, I reckon. In recent times those who ‘knew about money’ were the high priests. Anything they said was gospel.

To stay on top and pass on their skills, managers also

While some scramble to rebrand themselves from bean

need to nurture others into roles that only a few years

counters to business advisors, it’s clear that fresh new

ago didn’t exist. New managers need to be brighter, and

players have arrived. Innovators!!

they have to get things done. In the information age, management is more like a

The status now is that everyone in management who’s going places, turns out to also be an expert in managing

game of touch rugby or netball. It’s not just you. Things

in the information age. And anybody who is good in

are happening quickly. You have to react, take a catch,

their profession, with skills people want, coupled with

run flat out, or fend off an attacker. You’ll often have to

information age management skills could be one of the

restart. And you still have to decide what has to be done.

new high priests.

And you still have to be good in your chosen profession. In all sorts of cultures in all sorts of countries, the top dogs in early tribes might have been the strongest or toughest, later there were witch doctors, then there were religious leaders or others regarded as leaders, or

And I can’t wait to see where things go from here. I think the next few years of evolution in business management will be awesome. As long as I’m not replaced by a robot or worse, a smart young kid fresh out from university! •

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 33


Peruvian Hydrographic Office and was the first Seabed 2030 meeting of any kind to be held in South America. There were two full days of talks, with a mix of in-person (60 delegates) and online speakers (over 60) from round the world. They focused on reviewing progress with the Seabed 2030 project and identifying ways of further collaboration and mapping efforts. The meeting also included a ba-


ince the last edition, Hydro

It includes the exclusive economic

Stream members have been

zones of 39 countries. The centre is

involved in a number of interest-

hosted at the National Institute of

ing projects and gatherings.

Water and Atmospheric Research in

Ocean mapping on show in Peru:

New Zealand (NIWA) and coordinated

Belen Jimenez Baron, who recently

by a team from NIWA, GNS Science

joined S+SNZ, led the organisation

Te Pū Ao and Toitū Te Whenua Land

and running of the 5th annual

Information New Zealand (LINZ).

meeting of the South & West Pacific

An in-person meeting is a signifi-

Centre (SaWPaC) of Seabed 2030.

cant achievement as the first SaWPaC

Belen is the data manager at

meeting was held in Wellington in

SaWPaC which is responsible for 124

2019. Since then, meetings have

million km2 of ocean from the west

been online which can be challeng-

coast of South America to the east

ing with the range of time zones

coast of Australia and north to Japan,

across the Pacific.

Korea and China.

The group was hosted by the

thymetry and GIS workshop with over 50 participants from government, academia, navy, and industry from across South America and the Pacific.

Hydrographic surveys: Andrew Price, senior surveyor with Ocean Infinity, reports that between 10 April and 13 July this year Ocean Infinity undertook the first-ever sustained Multi-DriX Multibeam Survey campaign for Toitū te Whenua Land Information New Zealand in and around the approaches to Nelson, Stephens Island, Kahurangi Shoals and D’Urville Island. Two 8m DriX unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) were mobilised and used in conjunction with a 31m mothership to acquire over 6000 nautical line miles of data to update the nautical charts. The use of the DriX has saved about 20 days of mothership vessel time (based on an average survey speed of 6 knots). The next steps for DriX will be to undertake a 7000-nau-

Two 8m DriX USVs at work in the Tasman Region.

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34 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

from Discovery Marine Ltd (DML) an-

business plan for the Hydrographic

nounced the new DML Hydrographic

Stream as well as helping to adopt

Survey Scholarship for students study-

policy and standards for professional

ing hydrographic surveying at the

development programmes to

University of Otago. DML is pleased to

improve best hydrographic practice.

announce the inaugural scholarship

Bruce has been a mentor to others

was awarded to Ryan Slattery at the

within the industry, including survey

recent Australasian Hydrographic

students, where he has undertaken

Society (AHS) Seminar Day in Dunedin.

guest lecturing at the University of

Right: Declan congratulates Ryan with

Otago’s School of Surveying.

AHS Chair Brad Cooper (right).

Conference: There were a number of great hydro-themed presentations at conference this year. Thanks to Brad Cooper and Dave Field who gave an overview of their journeys as hydrographic surveyors and what the future holds for the profession; Declan Stubbing who talked about the advancement in and importance of high-definition charting for ports; Annette Wilkinson who provided

S+SNZ is a co-sponsor of the Aus-

an overview of a project to create

tralasian Hydrographic Surveyors

a national-scale mean high water springs coastline recognised as a key dataset for resilience and climate change; and Emily Harrex, a final year student at Otago’s School of Surveying, who presented on her student project, Breaking Waves: A snapshot of Women in Hydrography.

who was the recipient of the Hydrography Stream Award. See Simon’s Congratulations to Bruce Wallen who has retired after 46 years in the hydrographic profession. Bruce started his career in the Royal New

support of the HydroScheme Industry Partnership Program.

Zealand Navy in 1977, surveying much, if not most, of the coast of New Zealand Bruce held positions at LINZ and Discovery Marine Ltd over his career and served as the chair of the Hydrographic Professional Stream


(HPS) at S+SNZ between 2013 and

In June Hydro Stream members Jimmy


Van der Pauw and Declan Stubbing

Australia. There are 13 certified hydrographic surveyors in S+SNZ, and lucky 13, Bevan Waller, received his Certified Professional Hydro-

Hydrographic Society’s day seminar, held on 30 August. Congratulations to Bevan.

article in this edition.

Island, Northern Territory, Australia in

with the Geospatial Council of

certificate at the Australasian

Congratulations to Simon Ironside

with the mothership off Bathurst

Certification Panel (AHSCP) along

graphic Surveyor Level 1 (CPHS1)


tical-line-mile hydrographic survey

And finally, did you know that

The CPHS1 certification is the official recognition that an individual possesses the necessary knowledge to perform hydrographic surveying tasks along with the demonstrated ability to apply that knowledge across various hydrographic disciplines. So, if you’re looking for a certified hydrographic surveyor get in touch with the Hydro Stream, hydrography@

He was instrumental in building a

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 35


Improving cancer diagnosis with AI Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering Professor Ramakrishnan Mukundan and PhD candidate Andrew Davidson


ew research using digital

are of interest to a pathologist. At

— helping to detect and quantify

imaging could transform the

60,000 pixels, we have extremely

diagnostically relevant features. This

field of cancer diagnosis in

high levels of tissue detail and a huge

level of detailing or analysis can’t be

amount of data,” Professor Mukundan

easily undertaken by a pathologist


in manual evaluations,” Professor

Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC)

Currently in Aotearoa New Zealand,

Mukundan says.

Department of Computer Science

tissue samples are predominantly

The potential of computational

and Software Engineering Professor

viewed under a microscope by a

pathology extends beyond automa-

Ramakrishnan Mukundan and PhD

pathologist, who then, using their

tion with algorithms able to measure

candidate Andrew Davidson are

knowledge and experience analyses

various types of tissue characteristics

working with Canterbury Health

the cancer, then generates a report

to identify several relevant patterns

Laboratories Anatomical Pathologist

for diagnosis and treatment. The

and correlations.

Dr Gavin Harris using high-resolution

challenge is that it is a subjective

daigital images of human tissue


samples to improve cancer diagnosis. “This technology can help us dial

“New image processing algorithms

Professor Mukundan says pathologists will no longer have to look for the features because they will be

can analyse intricate details across

identified and highlighted, providing

up image processing methods to

large regions of a high-resolution

additional tools and information to

automatically identify features that

image — down to the nuclei level

help diagnosis and evaluation.

36 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Dr Harris is especially interested

training data, the algorithm will

validate the algorithm on a complete-

in using the whole slide images of hu-

extract relevant features to develop

ly new test set.

man tissue to improve the precision of

a knowledge base. “It will then use

cancer treatments for patients.

that information to classify previously

involved in the development of

“By using a computational

unseen images of tissue samples.”.

algorithms, experimental analysis

approach, we can measure features

Once the training phrase is com-

and validation of results, as part of

present in the tissue samples more

pleted, the researchers can analyse

accurately than is currently possible,

the performance and accuracy with

“Results to date suggest the new

which will allow a more person-

pathologists to make any corrections

systems we are developing have the

alised approach to cancer care,” Dr


potential to significantly improve

Harris says. Currently, the research uses

Davidson has been extensively

his PhD.

Recently, the team members have

health outcomes for cancer patients

received funding which enables them

through enhanced diagnostic and

digitised tissue samples from online

to obtain scanned whole slide images

classification systems that are essen-

repositories to train the algorithms

of tissue samples, helping them

tial in developing effective treatment

and is reliant on human knowledge

determine how well the algorithms

strategies,” Davidson says.

to ensure the outputs are accurate.

are working. This funding will help to

Professor Mukundan says through

perform detailed analysis to further

The team hopes to complete their research by the end of 2024 having developed a machine learning algorithm for the accurate identification of cancer subtypes. The research team in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering has been collaborating with Dr Harris and his team on several funded research projects involving whole slide image analysis and machine learning since 2019.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 37

•UNIVERSITY HAPPENINGS Navigating the Digital Frontier: AI's Impact on Survey and Spatial Professionals

a pivotal role to play in this transfor-

new ground. One of the most prom-

mation. They serve as the incubators

ising applications of AI is its ability to

of innovation, where students and

process vast amounts of data rapidly

n an era defined by rapid techno-

researchers are tasked with harness-

and accurately. This capability is a

ing the power of AI to unlock new

game-changer in fields where data is

insights and solve complex problems.

both voluminous and complex.


logical advancements, the fields of surveying and spatial sciences have

found themselves at the forefront of innovation. Artificial Intelligence (AI), once the stuff of science fiction, has transcended its fictional origins to become an integral part of our reality. For professionals in these industries, the emergence of AI has brought both opportunities and challenges. From the perspective of academia, teaching, and research, it is evident that AI is reshaping the landscape of survey and spatial sciences, offering an excit-

In the realm of teaching, univer-

For example, AI algorithms can sift

sities are adapting their curricula to

through terabytes of satellite imagery

prepare students for the AI-driven

to identify subtle changes in land use

future. The traditional skill set of

or track environmental changes over

surveyors and spatial scientists is

time. This data can be invaluable for

expanding to include proficiency in

urban planning, disaster management,

machine learning, data analytics, and

and environmental conservation.

computer programming. This shift is

Research efforts are not only expand-

not merely a response to the times;

ing our understanding of the world but

it is a proactive measure to equip

also creating practical solutions that

future professionals with the tools

can benefit society at large.

they need to thrive in an AI-powered

The Ethical Imperative in AI

ing yet complex terrain to explore.


The AI Revolution in Survey and Spatial Sciences

AI and Research: Transforming the Boundaries of Knowledge

The integration of AI into survey

Universities are also at the forefront

responsibility. The ethical dimensions

of AI-driven research in survey and

of AI in survey and spatial sciences are

spatial sciences. From remote sensing

a pressing concern. Universities must

and image analysis to geospatial data

engage in meaningful discussions

processing and predictive modeling,

about the responsible use of AI

AI is empowering researchers to break


and spatial sciences has opened up a world of possibilities. AI-driven solutions have the potential to revolutionize data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Universities have

38 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

As we delve deeper into the AI revolution, it is essential to recognize that with great power comes great

AI-driven algorithms are only as good as the data they are trained on. Bias in data, whether deliberate or inadvertent, can lead to biased AI outcomes. This raises questions about fairness, transparency, and accountability. It is incumbent upon universities to instill ethical principles in their students and researchers, emphasizing the importance of data integrity and unbiased decision-making. Furthermore, AI also poses challenges related to privacy and data security. In the era of ever-expanding data collection, universities have a role in researching and developing robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive geospatial data from malicious actors.

The Future of Collaboration: AI and Human Expertise AI is not a replacement for human expertise in the survey and spatial sciences; it is a powerful complement. The symbiotic relationship between AI and professionals in these fields is shaping the future of work. Universities are uniquely positioned to foster this collaboration. As AI automates routine tasks such as data processing and analysis, surveyors and spatial scientists can focus on more complex, creative, and strategic aspects of their work. They become decision-makers who harness AI as a tool to enhance their capabilities. Moreover, the interdisciplinary nature of AI integration necessitates collaboration between survey and spatial professionals and experts in data science, machine learning, and computer vision. Universities can facilitate these collaborations by establishing cross-disciplinary research centers and encouraging interdisciplinary research projects.

Conclusion: Embracing

the AI-Enabled Future

ences is not without its challenges, but the opportunities are boundless.

In the survey and spatial industries, the future is undoubtedly AI-powered. The role of universities in this transformation cannot be overstated. They are not merely spectators but active participants in shaping the direction and impact of AI in these fields. Through education, research, and ethical guidance, universities are

As universities embrace this transformative era, they hold the keys to unlocking the full potential of AI for the benefit of society, for the advancement of knowledge, and for the professionals who are charting the course toward a more intelligent future. The article above was written by

preparing the next generation of surveyors and spatial scientists to navigate the digital frontier with

ChatGPT in response to the request to “write a 800 word column for Survey+Spatial New Zealand magazine

competence and integrity. As AI

about "Artificial Intelligence - its

continues to evolve, the synergy

impacts on professionals and the

between human expertise and artificial intelligence will redefine what is possible in these industries. In conclusion, the journey of AI integration in survey and spatial sci-

wider survey and spatial industries" from the point of view of university, teaching and research”. Thanks to Pascal Sirguey.

SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023 39


Finding of Professional Misconduct Cadastral Survey Act 2002


ursuant to section 44 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002, notice is


a period of 12 months supervision by a licensed cadastral surveyor from the date of the order;

hereby given that following a hearing held in Wellington on 4th November 2021, the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board of New

Zealand found Victoria Loughlin-Drover, Licensed Surveyor of Marton,


the licensed cadastral surveyor who so supervises is nominated by Ms Loughlin-Drover and is approved by the Board before

guilty of professional misconduct as described in Schedule 2 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 (“the Act”). The complaint was from the Assistant Surveyor-General and was that

undertaking this work; 3.

every cadastral survey dataset lodged with Land Information NZ during the period of the supervision be accompanied by a letter

Ms Loughlin-Drover had committed professional misconduct in that she

from the nominated licensed cadastral surveyor, certifying that the

had: 1.

and DP 533133 (Schedule, clause 2(1)(a) of the Act). 2.

dataset meets the Surveyor-General’s Rules currently in force;

Been negligent in the conduct of cadastral surveys DP 544365 4.

Ms Loughlin-Drover develop a comprehensive Quality Assurance system to be routinely used in relation to her own work. One key

Certified to the accuracy of DP 544365 and DP 533133 without

objective of the QA system must be to determine errors in cadas-

carrying out all the requirements of these cadastral surveys in

tral survey datasets prior to their lodgement; and

accordance with the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 (Schedule, clause 2(1)(d) of the Act). 3.


Ms Loughlin-Drover presents supporting documentation on her Quality Assurance system as part of any licence renewal applica-

Failed, without reasonable cause, to perform duties imposed on

tions made in the period of 3 years from the date of this order.

licensed cadastral surveyors by the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 in respect of DP 544365 and DP 533133 (Schedule, clause 2(1)(l) of the Act). The Board found Ms Loughlin-Drover guilty of professional misconduct under Schedule 2, clause (1)(a) of the Act and, under section 39(2) of the Act, ordered that Ms Loughlin-Drover may continue to hold a licence to practise cadastral surveying, subject to:

Ms Loughlin-Drover was also ordered to contribute $8,550 plus GST towards the costs and expenses of and incidental to the hearing by the Board. A notice stating the effect of the order is to be sent to Survey and Spatial NZ and the Institute of Cadastral Surveying Inc. with a request that this notice be published in their respective journals.

Finding of Professional Misconduct Cadastral Survey Act 2002


ursuant to section 44 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002, notice is hereby given that following a hearing held in Wellington on 3rd July 2023, the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board of

New Zealand found Ciaran Murphy, Licensed Surveyor of Cambridge, guilty of professional misconduct as described in Schedule 2 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 (“the Act”). The complaint was from Dr Keith Turner and concerned: 1.

The placement of a boundary mark incorrectly representing the extents of a title in relation to a water boundary without taking all the available evidence into account (clause 1(a)); and,


The placement of boundary marks without lodging an associated dataset with LINZ within 6 months of their placement (clause 1(l)).

The Board ordered that Mr Murphy’s licence be suspended for a minimum period of 3 months, effective from 28 days following receipt of the Order, and until:

40 SURVEYING+SPATIAL • Issue 113 September 2023

Mr Murphy has undertaken research and presented documentation in the form of an essay, to the satisfaction of the Board, § describing all the evidence that is required to be considered when determining the position of a water boundary (including all source material), and, § describing how the water boundaries of Lot 2 DPS 1749 could be defined for a CSD under the current Rules, and, § describing how Rule 6 of the current Rules should have applied to the specific issues raised in the complaint. Mr Murphy pay the Board $7,075.00 plus GST as a contribution towards the costs and expenses of and incidental to the Board investigating and holding a hearing about this complaint. A notice stating the effect of the order is to be sent to Survey and Spatial New Zealand and the Institute of Cadastral Surveying Inc. with a request that this notice be published in their respective journals, together with the Council of Reciprocating Survey Boards of Australia and New Zealand (CRSBANZ).

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