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April/May 2014 – No. 70

The Australasian magazine of surveying, mapping & geo-information

10 YEARS OF

G-NAF A look back at a landmark dataset

Official publication of

inside UAV for coal Coal mines are benefitting from UAV

Geo-viticulture The spatial secret to a good drop

MAPS to the rescue Volunteering expertise in times of need


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Š 2014 Intergraph Corporation. All rights reserved. Intergraph is part of Hexagon AB. Intergraph and the Intergraph logo are registered trademarks of Intergraph Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks or servicemarks used herein are property of their respective owners.


contents

April/May 2014 No.70

22

page

26

page

features

page

32 Map heroes to the rescue! A volunteer group of mapping experts are donating time and resources to provide invaluable location expertise to those responding to natural disasters and emergencies.

16 Cover Story: G-NAF - yesterday, today and tomorrow 2014 marks the first decade of Australia’s Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF), so let’s take a look back at its evolution.

34 The (spatial) secret to a good drop An increasing demand for higher quality grape products has led to a wider application of precision viticulture.

20 Q&A with Garry Essex The general manager of UPG talks to us about the changing face of the surveying industry.

40 Special Feature: Locate14 What you can expect to gain from Australia’s newest spatial conference.

22 Mine surveyors take off with UAS One of Australia’s largest coal mines is using unmanned aerial system (UAS) technology to increase safety and productivity.

26 Multi-agency collaboration A collaborative web service that helped in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake could help Australian maritime authorities.

28 Mapping for resilience Communications are simultaneously at their most crucial – and vulnerable – during times of disaster.

32

regulars 4 7 8 15 38 46

Upfront, Calendar Editorial News Company News New Products SSSI www.spatialsource.com.au 3


upfront

Upcoming Events

Frosty Martian dunes This image of a sand dune field in a crater in Mars’ Southern highlands was acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The image was acquired on 24 January 2014 at 3:25PM local Mars time – when the Sun was just 5 degrees above the horizon, which is why the shadows are so dominant. Clearly visible in the image are the blueish marks on the dunes, which are the result of seasonal frost accumulating on the dunes as the hemisphere approaches winter. There’s something striking about seeing red sands – usually associated with arid, dry environments on Earth – being covered in frost, which is why I found this image so appealing. The HiRISE sensor used to capture the image is providing scientists with imagery at an ultra-high resolution of 0.3m/pixel, which allows them to resolve objects less than 1 metre across. The sensor has been used to understand many previously-unexplained phenomena and formations on the Red Planet, as well as investigate the safety of landing sites for other missions, such as the

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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Phoenix lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover. The stereo and colour capabilities have also allowed scientists to explore Mars in 3D, and with compositional information. The 5 kg, $40 million USD instrument was built under the direction of University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. It consists of a 0.5 m aperture reflecting telescope, which is the largest of any deep space mission so far. Interestingly, the general public can request sites for the HiRISE camera to capture, as part of the HiWish program. For this reason, and due to the unprecedented access to pictures provided to the general public shortly after they have been received and processed, the camera has been termed ‘The People’s Camera’. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which carries HiRISE, was launched on 12 August, 2005, with HiRISE taking its first high-resolution pictures of Mars on 29 September, 2006. You can learn more about the image, as well as download your own high-resolution version, at http://bit.ly/1hdPsD0 ■

7 April 2014: DigitalGlobe Australia User Meet; Canberra, ACT. yvonne.uu@ digitalglobe.com 7-9 April 2014: LOCATE 14; Canberra, ACT. www.locateconference.com. 5-7 May 2014: ANZ Disaster & Emergency Management Conferece; Gold Coast, Queensland. http://anzdmc. com.au. 5-9 May 2014: Geospatial World Forum; Geneva, Switzerland. www. geospatialworldforum.org/2014. 15 May 2014: FME World Tour; Melbourne, Vic. www.1spatial.com/events/ fme-world-tour. 16-21 June 2014: XXV FIG International Congress; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. www.fig.net/fig2014. 25-27 June 2014: Digital Rural Futures Conference; Toowoomba, Qld. www.usq. edu.au/digital-crn/drf-conference. 1-4 July 2014: GI_Forum 2014; Salzburg, Austria. www.gi-forum.org. 25-27 November 2014: Pacific Islands GIS\RS Conference 2014; Suva, Fiji Islands. http://picgisrs.appspot.com.


CAPTURE EVERYTHING NOW, MEASURE LATER. Tired of going back to the field to gather missed data? Then, you need the Trimble® V10 Imaging Rover. Extending Trimble VISION™ technology further, the all-new Trimble V10 is an integrated system that captures 360-degree digital panoramas for precise measurement of the surrounding environment. Work faster in the field and avoid rework. With the V10, you are sure to leave the site with everything you need. Whether your need is for project planning, inspections or investigation, this radical new solution provides previously unavailable data that will make your job more efficient, no matter what industry you’re working in. Together with Trimble Access™ field software and Trimble Business Center office software, the Trimble V10 is a professional solution that fits surveying workflows. See it yourself at Trimble.com/V10

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© 2014, Trimble Navigation Limited. All rights reserved. Trimble and the Globe & Triangle logo are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited, registered in the United States and in other countries. Access and VISION are trademarks of Trimble Navigation Limited. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. GEO-015 (03/14)


The Australasian magazine of surveying, mapping & geo-information

Publisher Simon Cooper Editor Charles Pauka charles@intermedia.com.au Journalist Simon Chester Graphic Designer Alyssa Coundouris National Advertising Manager Troy Hale thale@intermedia.com.au Circulation/Subscriptions Chris Blacklock Production Jacqui Cooper www.spatialsource.com.au Position is published six times a year, in February, April, June, August, October and December by Interpoint Events Pty Ltd. ABN: 9810 451 2469 Address: 41 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Ph: +61 2 9660 2113 Fax: +61 2 9660 4419 Editorial inquiries should be sent to: charles@intermedia.com.au Advertising inquiries should be sent to: thale@intermedia.com.au Ph: +61 2 8586 6103 Designed and produced by The Intermedia Group, 41 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Position is available via subscription only. To subscribe visit www.intermedia. com.au, phone 1 800 651 422 or email: subscriptions@intermedia.com.au. Subscription rates and information can be found on page 51. Reprints from Position are permitted only with the permission of the publisher. In all cases, reprints must be acknowledged as follows: ‘Reprinted with permission from Position Magazine’, and must include the author’s byline.

from the editor H

ot on the heels of news from McCrindle Research that surveying is the smartest choice for prospective students in which to enrol (see http://tinyurl.com/odvrorq), comes the announcement of Locate14 Conference and Exhibition that combines three previous national events: spatial@gov Conference, Surveying & Spatial Sciences Conference (SSSC) and AsiaPacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), “combining to form a single, premier Australian and New Zealand industry event”. More info and registration for both the conference and open day are available on the Locate14 Open Day page on the Locate Conference website at www.locateconference.com. Now, I am a relative newcomer to the field of surveying and spatial sciences, and, as a ‘simple’ journalist/editor, I am not immersed in the profession as deeply as someone working out in the field, and definitely not nearly as much as an expert educator and researcher such as Chris Rizos (see pages 42-43). Yet I cannot help to join him in being fascinated and excited about the new, combined Locate14 conference, as much as for the contents as just simply because of the coming together of all these, previously stand-alone, events. Of course, Mr Rizos and his co-contributor Stephan Winter have worked hard to make Locate14 even more special, through their new concept Research@Locate, “the academic research stream making Locate the Australasian meeting point of industry, government and academia, in one of the fastest growing areas of IT: spatial information.” Research@Locate give the conference “a transparent, full-paper peer-review process, with carefully selected presentations and papers, and with its own annual, open-access proceedings. It aims to become the premier academic event in the Australasian region.” Early indications are that Mr Winter and Mr Rizos have struck the right chord and contributions have been flowing in from academic researchers, giving Locate14 the potential to be named ‘the’ event to aim for for leading researchers. In this issue of Position magazine, we have a comprehensive preview of / guide to Locate14 Conference, together with our usual high quality content. I hope you will enjoy reading through this issue of Position magazine and I look forward to your feedback as always.

Charles Pauka Editor charles@intermedia.com.au

Coming soon

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.

June/July 2014 GIS in local government – Utilities – Cloud computing – Hydrography August/September 2014 Mining and mining automation – Remote sensing technologies – Intelligent Transport Systems –Surveying and GIS software directory.

Supported by

On the cover G-NAF - yesterday, today and tomorrow 2014 marks the first decade of Australia’s Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF), during which time this new benchmark has become widely accepted.

www.spatialsource.com.au 7


news 3D scanner for Queensland Police Police in Queensland will employ the CSIRO-developed Zebedee handheld 3D scanner to map crime scenes, the Queensland Government has announced. Police, Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the Zebedee scanner will allow an operator to walk through a crime scene and capture data to generate a 3D map in about 20 minutes. “The Zebedee Scanner is primarily being used by Forensic Services to map crime scenes, but has the potential to be used by the Forensic Crash Unit,” Mr Dempsey said.

Japan to release most accurate global 3D map + free DEM The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will compile a global digital 3D map that it claims will have the highest precision in the world, by compiling some 3 million data images acquired by the Advanced Land Observing Satellite ‘DAICHI’ (ALOS). The digital 3D map will have a precision of five metres in spatial resolution and five metres height accuracy, which will enable them to express land terrain all over the world. JAXA has been compiling about 100 digital 3D maps per month as part of the engineering validation activities of DAICHI. JAXA research and development in the area of full automatic and mass processing map compilations has allowed engineers at JAXA to predict that it could soon process 150,000 maps per month. JAXA started the 3D map compilation in March 2014, with the aim to complete the global 3D map in March 2016. JAXA will commission the compiling work and service provision from NTT DATA Corporation. JAXA will also prepare a free global digital elevation model (DEM) with a lower spatial resolution of about 30 meters, with a view to publish it as soon as it is ready. JAXA expects that its data will become the base map for all global digital 3D maps.

8 position April/May 2014

CSIRO Computational Informatics’ Dr Jonathan Roberts said CSIRO would continue to explore ways to improve the technology and explore more uses for it. “The latest research version contains a video camera to provide imagery on top of the 3D laser information,” Dr Roberts said. Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said Queensland police were the first in the world to use the technology in law enforcement, after it was originally designed for caving and mine mapping.

“The benefits of this new technology will reduce interference at a scene, save time and allow access to previously hard-to-reach areas such as step declines and bushland,” Commissioner Stewart said. “This cutting-edge technology is allowing us to adapt to a new environment of ongoing change and improvement. “We look forward to continuing our working relationship with CSIRO to explore new technology that will benefit our officers in their duties.”

2014 Esri Young Scholars Award Esri Australia has announced the 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award – a nationwide competition celebrating excellence in geospatial applications – which gives university students from across the country the chance to book their place at the world’s biggest spatial technology conference, the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego. Senior figures from across the commercial, government, and academia sectors have signed on to the judging panel for the award, including Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute president, Emeritus Professor at University of NSW John Trinder; Secretary for the Department of Communications Drew Clarke; and principal GIS strategist for Western Power, and 2013 winner of the Esri Special Achieve-

2013’s Young Scholar Award winners, including Australian winner Rodolfo Espada Jr (front, pink shirt), with ESRI president and founder, Jack Dangermond.

ment in GIS Award, David Klein. Heading up the panel is Esri Australia managing director Brett Bundock. The judging panel will be rounded out by the winner of the Australian 2013 Esri Young Scholars Award, Rodolfo Espada Jr, whose flood risk mapping of Brisbane’s electricity network infrastructure is now gaining widespread attention. The winning student will be flown to San Diego in July to meet with Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond, as well as other Young Scholars from around the globe. The competition is open now, and closes 11 April 2014. The winner will be announced on 20 April. For further information on the award and to submit an application, visit http:// esriaustralia.com.au/youngscholars.


IKONOS

QuickBird

WorldView-1

GeoEye-1

WorldView-2

WorldView-3

Visit DigitalGlobe booth #25 & 26 at Locate14 Conference for more information


news GPS III satellite delivery delayed The GPS III satellite program is expected to miss a critical deadline, due to a delay of its Exelis-provided navigational payload. However, US Air Force officials have said they are confident that it will not delay the overall constellation of Lockheed Martin satellites. The GPS III program will replace legacy GPS satellites and provide upgraded capabilities, including new anti-jamming capabilities, three times the positional accuracy, and a 25 per cent longer spacecraft life, according to Lockheed Martin. The first GPS III satellite was originally expected to be delivered this year, but this recent delay may push the delivery date into 2015. “I think the date was at the end of FY14 and we’re going to slip well past that now,” Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, commented at a breakfast in Washington on which Defense News reported. “But we hadn’t intended to launch this thing until into ’15 anyway. So that’s why I say I think we’re going to be fine. We haven’t determined exactly what the slip is going to be. Maybe we can still make what was going to be our date, but in terms of their contracting date, that’s where we’re going to drive past.”

Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder said in a statement that the delay is largely a result of issues surrounding integration. “The problems were largely first-time development and integration issues, including required design changes to eliminate ‘signal crosstalk,’ or interference between the signals on the satellite.” The US Air Force has plans to build up to 32 satellites for the new GPS constellation.

New Zealand announces new cadastral strategy New Zealand Surveyor-General Mark Dyer has released the new Cadastre 2034 strategy. Cadastre 2034 is designed to ensure that, in the future, New Zealanders will be able to more easily understand where their rights in land actually are, and will be able to visualise those rights – and any restrictions

10 position April/May 2014

and responsibilities – in three dimensions. The vision of Cadastre 2034 is for a broader cadastral system that enables people to readily and confidently identify the location and extent of all rights, restrictions and responsibilities related to land and real property.

“The Cadastre 2034 strategy will look to set New Zealand’s cadastral system within the wider location system as part of a broader property rights framework,” said Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson. “While New Zealand already has a world-class cadastral system, a gap is developing between what we have now and what will be needed in future. “Advances in location-based technology in the next 20 years will transform the expectations of landowners, businesses, government agencies and the general public. “I’m pleased to see the SurveyorGeneral plans to respond to these new expectations and the opportunities that will arise,” said Mr Williamson. It is expected cadastral data will be able to be reused and integrated into other spatially-related information to help grow the location system. This would, in turn, help enable the best use and management of land. The Cadastre 2034 strategy can be found online at http://bit.ly/1gEdgU0.


news feature

GeoNext Hack Contest winners announced As part of the GeoNext conference held on 26 February, a hack contest was held using data provided by event partners GoGet and HERE. The competition kicked off with a launch event at GoGet HQ on Saturday 1 February, which was followed by three weeks of development time from the entrants.

The finalists were then invited to show their works during a special presentation at the GeoNext conference. The hack contest asked entrants to see what could be done with GoGet’s data, which included GPS locations for their fleet, as well as info on drivers, fuel costs and more. HERE also provided access

All Images: Stephen Lead, fullextent.com.au

GoGet’s chosen first place winner, Treffyn Koreshoff.

The entrants attended a briefing event at GoGet HQ on the 1st February.

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to its API, which consisted of basemaps on which to display the data, as well as some geoprocessing tools, traffic information, and more. There were no specific guidelines for the hack contest, entrants were free to use the GoGet and HERE datasets to create the most compelling demo, application or visualisation. The finalists chosen all displayed something unique, and ranged from visualisations, to customer engagement, to new ways of loaning out unused vehicles. The chosen finalists included: • Alex Gilleran: decided to see how much carbon GoGet could save if it switched to electric cars. • Anton Bubna-Litic: did a data visualisation of the GoGet GPS data. • Chase Clettenberg: created a real-time method to incentivise returning cars early. • Ian Scrivener: wanted to create a ‘dashboard’ for use at GoGet HQ that would provide real-time info. • Hoang Nguyen and Jinjun Sun: decided to make a trip view application for any pod/car, including 3D visualisation. • Jeffery Candiloro: decided

HERE’s chosen first place winners, Hoang Nguyen & Jinjun Sun.

to focus on saving GoGet money in the form of fuel efficiency. • Owen Earley: wanted to make it simple for members to locate cars, and created an HTML5 web app to do so. • Treffyn Koreshoff: created a site where you can get to know your favourite GoGet car, meet new ones, and perhaps name one. There were two prize categories, one chosen by GoGet, and one by HERE. GoGet chose: • First place: Treffyn Koreshoff • Second place: Chase Cletternberg • Equal third place: Ian Scrivener • Equal third place: Hoang Nguyen & Jinjun Sun HERE chose: • First place: Hoang Nguyen & Jinjun Sun • Second place: Jeffery Candiloro • Third place: Chase Cletternberg Congratulations go out to all the winners, and many thanks to everyone who participated in the contest. To get a better idea of the projects created by the talented developers, you can view the slideshows of the presentations at www.geonext. com.au/hack-contest.


company news AeroScientific wins international award Australian aerial photography equipment provider AeroScientific has won the 2014 Innovation Award at the Professional Aerial Photographers Association (PAPA) International Conference recently held in Las Vegas. PAPA International is a professional trade organisation with members throughout the world. Its annual Innova-

“Since AeroScientific was launched last year, the company has made a significant contribution to the aerial survey industry,” said CEO Dr Paul Dare. “AeroScientific is also working with UAV manufacturers to develop lightweight camera control systems.”

tion Award recognises new products and services that benefit the art and business of aerial photography. AeroScientific won the PAPA International Innovation Award for Aviatrix, its flagship aerial camera control system; FlightPlanner, its flight planning software; and AeroMosaic, its cloud-based image stitching software.

AeroScientific CEO Dr Paul Dare receiving the 2014 PAPA International Innovation Award.

Pitney Bowes announces new VP of software APAC

Pitney Bowes’ new vice president software for the Asia-Pacific region, David Hope.

Pitney Bowes has appointed David Hope as the company’s new vice president software for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to Pitney Bowes, Mr Hope had regional leadership roles with IBM, Intentia and Lawson. Recently, he was the regional managing director at INFOR Global Solutions, Asia Pacific South. In this role, he was responsible for revenue generation for South-East Asia, India,

Australia, and New Zealand through a combination of both direct and channel sales, with offices throughout the region supporting over 3,000 clients. “I am excited to join Pitney Bowes at this transformative time,” said Mr Hope. “The demand I see in the regional and global markets around location intelligence, customer information management and customer

engagement solutions are substantial. We are poised to deliver some highly relevant and valuable solutions and advice to our clients in Australia and across the APAC region.” In March, Pitney Bowes will continue to enhance its presence in Australia with the merging of the software and mailing division head offices into one unified operation at Macquarie Park, NSW.

Position Partners appoints new GNSS infrastructure manager Position Partners has announced the appointment of James Millner to lead the company’s GNSS infrastructure and Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) network, AllDayRTK. Mr Millner has extensive expertise in GNSS infrastructure and was instrumental in the successful roll-out of Victoria’s CORS network, VicPos, and its commercial positioning services. He has previous experience with survey equipment, having worked for Nikon in Japan, along with Intelligent Transport Systems – an industry that, like civil construction, is seeing productivity and cost saving benefits from positioning infrastructure. “We are delighted to welcome James on board,” said Martin Nix, Position Partners’ CEO. “His experience with

survey technology and Intelligent Transport Systems means he has a solid understanding of the impact of geospatial technologies on a wide range of applications. We are confident of the growing success of our AllDayRTK network with James at the lead.” Commenting on his appointment, Mr Millner said: “AllDayRTK has an exciting future and I am pleased to be a part of its continuing growth and development. We have extensive expansion plans on existing infrastructure throughout regional and metro areas, enabling us to deliver the most reliable and accurate positioning services to more users in more areas, nationwide.” Mr Millner will lead the AllDayRTK team from Position Partners’ national office in Campbellfield, Victoria.

James Millner will lead Position Partners’ GNSS infrastructure and CORS network, AllDayRTK.

www.spatialsource.com.au  15


cover story -35.315895, 149.127162

G-NAF - yesterday, today and tomorrow 2014 marks the first decade of Australia’s Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF) – a time during which this new benchmark for geocoded address accuracy has become widely accepted.

T

he year is 2004. Google launched Gmail, then Google Earth. In two years, Facebook will move to open registration and transform social communication. The iPhone is three years away. The first release of the iPad is still six years away. It’s a leap year. At Parliament House in Canberra, a selection of politicians and geospatial industry stakeholders assemble to mark the birth of something new – a Geocoded National Address File for Australia. They call this new thing ‘G-NAF’, and discuss the potential future applications of a worldleading processing methodology, capable of building a quality assured national address index from ten diverse data sources. Fast forward to 2014, and PSMA Australia is celebrating the 10th birthday of G-NAF. Ten years is not a long time... but in this hectic 21st Century, so much can change! It can be pure revelation to cast our minds back and realise that even ten years ago, we had access to significantly different technology and had a different set of expectations for our digital platforms. Within this time, PSMA’s G-NAF has evolved from an unknown quantity utilised only by its patrons, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and Australia Post, into a dataset used widely throughout the economy. In 2013, the Australian Government announced its intention to explore options for providing open access to G-NAF, making it freely available to all Australians. This was recognition of G-NAF’s fundamental place within the Australian digital economy and a sign of the growing acknowledgement that some flavours of national geospatial

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data are essential digital infrastructure – an invisible and virtual parallel to our physical infrastructures, such as the roads we drive on and the utilities that provide us with essential services.

Addressing the challenge of addressing The virtual nature of the address has created some interesting challenges for authoritative addressing. This is because the address itself is simply an idea: an artefact of human communication, a shared syntax for referring to location, an agreement between our institutions regarding names, numbers, and invisible administrative boundaries. Given its human origins, we must understand that the address is transient and subjective, and may or may not be accepted by all in the community all of the time. Many people will, either intentionally or unintentionally, ‘select’ their address based upon social and cultural preferences rather than an official reference. And because people will adopt an unofficial address and use it consistently enough that it appears in government and commercial databases, the address itself becomes a data type that lacks the mathematical consistency required for rigorous matching and analysis. Compounding this, there are thousands of new Australian addresses captured each week by multiple organisations and stored in a variety of formats, generating a multitude of raw address datasets that vary widely in content, quality and accuracy. In the years leading up to the launch of G-NAF, the will to create a geocoded addressing reference that users could have confidence in, compelled PSMA Australia

stakeholders to accept the challenge of designing a process that would match and resolve the range of official addresses with their unofficial aliases, and then assign an officially recognised geocode. Olaf Hedberg, chairman, PSMA Australia, 2001-2012, remembers the genesis of G-NAF as: “All about taking a risk. What we were proposing had not been done before – anywhere,” he said. “It was ambitious and there was no way to really know what it would cost or if it would work. While there was strong support for the concept, the risks made it virtually impossible for the stakeholders in the initiative to fund it. “In the end, the board was left with the decision as to whether to proceed with the venture, carrying all the cost, or leave it alone. The decision was the right one, as time has proven, but only possible because of how PSMA Australia was established and the funding that it was able to put to it.” Once support was established, the vision for the methodology that would build G-NAF was a simple instruction: construct a comprehensive database of addressing knowledge that connects the officially recognised address of government, the commonly used address adopted by citizens, and the precise latitude and longitude of the geocode. It took six years of research, including three pilot studies and a feasibility study, followed by two years of development. The development phase was undertaken with the support and assistance of Australia Post, the AEC, the ABS, and the land administration agencies of the states and territories. The feasibility study that devised the methodology was developed by a team within Geometry Pty


-35.320643, 149.149541

G-NAF Facts • Contains more than 13.5 million geocoded addresses • Over 50,000 new addresses are added every quarter • All addresses have a locality level geocode • 94.6% of principal addresses are at property level • 63% of principal addresses are confirmed by all contributors • Offers an extensive address-level alias listing, plus street and locality aliases and vanity addresses.

Ltd, headed by Ashley Maher, while the implementation and ongoing maintenance were performed by a team at Logica Australia, headed by Brian Marwick. It was a unique and ambitious project. “What amazed us when merging data from the jurisdictions, AEC and Australia Post for the first time,” said Mr Marwick, “was the lack of alignment between the addresses from the contributors and the gazetted localities in each state and territory. The discrepancy was far greater than expected. The establishment of a process that generates rules to align addresses with the reference datasets proved to be a significant success, and has provided the rich alias tables that exist today.“ Mr Maher remembers the development of G-NAF as: “A fascinating project - and not simply matter of automating an existing process. I recall our developers analysing the structure of an address in depth and employing a range of geometric principles, prompting extensive debate around the coffee machine. “Interestingly, the fundamental address-matching and geocoding philosophies deployed 10 years ago are still valid today, although considerable peripheral processes have been added to improve the quality of the final product.” Speaking for the Geometry team, Mr Maher said: “It is pleasing to take a step back and see the impact G-NAF has had on the spatial and business communities in Australia. We are grateful to PSMA Australia for the opportunity to participate in this stimulating design and development challenge.” The outcome of this period of innovation was a world-leading processing methodology that assembles national

The G-NAF development team celebrates the launch of G-NAF in Canberra, Parliament House, March 2004. Right to left: Daniel Paull (PSMA CEO), Ashley Maher (director, Geometry), Marni Bower (project manager, PSMA), Olaf Hedberg (PSMA chairman), Brian Marwick (Logica).

G-NAF is comprised of the data data included in G-NAF

“It is pleasing to take a step back and see the impact G-NAF has had on the spatial and business communities in Australia.” data from a set of ten authoritative, but relatively independent datasets, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The process differs from the normal approach, which is to hold one dataset as a reference, to which others are compared. In the case of G-NAF, all contributing datasets are weighted equally. G-NAF begins by testing the logical consistency or every address from every contributor and comparing the address components against the other geospatial datasets managed by PSMA. These components are then confirmed as valid meaning that the locality of the address is confirmed as valid and then the road name and road type of the address are confirmed to exist within the locality. Addresses that fail this test are subject to a variety of processes, resulting in the generation of rules and the population of alias

1 10%

tables. Thus, the logic and consistency of addresses is tested and an accurate Australia geocode is allocated. This, in turn, makes Post it possible to merge apparently identical addresses from different contributors and to assess address usage based on the number of occurrences of an address in different datasets. A remarkable outcome of this process is the evidence that no single custodian holds all the valid addresses for the country. Each custodian is biased by their core business and consequently, addresses that are not useful to the business will fall through the gaps. For the AEC, it is addresses that do not correspond to a residence. For Australia Post, it is addresses that do not receive mail. For the state and territory governments, it is sub-address units within multi-address sites that often fall outside the land registration system. www.spatialsource.com.au 17


cover story Through the multiple award-winning PSMA Systems web interface, it allows users to customise and orchestrate address verification services with OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Map Service (WMS) into a single consumable workflow.

Geospatial futures and G-NAF

An invitation from

On behalf of the Board of Directors of PSMA Australia Limited, Chairman Ollie Hedberg cordially invites you to the launch of the Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF), the first authoritative geocoded national index of all Australian street addresses.

WHEN

4.15pm Tuesday 2 March 2004

WHERE

Mural Hall Parliament House, Canberra

Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon John Anderson MP, will officially launch G-NAF.

RSVP

(please arrive via the front entrance security desk)

telephone (02) 6295 7033 email dianne.brooks@psma.com.au by 26 February 2004

An invitation from

PSMA Australia thanks the many government agencies and other After the launch you are invited to stay on for refreshments with the PSMA Australia Board and

organisations that have collaborated over several years to develop other Government and industry colleagues. the authoritative Geocoded National Address File (G-NAF).

Ten years ago... the original invitation to the launch of G-NAF, featuring the original PSMA logo.

This fragmented nature of address collection makes the quality of G-NAF processing and its continuous improvement model especially critical: each G-NAF release is enhanced and modified depending on the outputs from the previous iterations, with each maintenance update removing further anomalies and discrepancies from the candidate data. However, the inexorable law of diminishing returns applies to this improvement process, making successive changes of the same magnitude harder, more complex and more expensive to achieve. This is a major reason why the G-NAF of the future will need to be different to the G-NAF of the past. If G-NAF is to keep pace with maturing market demands, a step change in address processing is required to deliver further improvements.

G-NAF futures G-NAF is used extensively across government and industry, underpinning many policy and business systems that provide important services to Australians including emergency response, social services, insurance, telecommunications and navigation. However, the weeks of time and effort associated with the current maintenance approach, while leading to unsurpassed quality, makes G-NAF unsuitable for an update schedule more frequent than quarterly.

18 position April/May 2014

G-NAF Australia's authoritative index of suburb, street, number and geocode

The longer term vision for G-NAF however, is to not only achieve continuous maintenance with the same robust approach, but to incorporate real-time address validation failure notifications from client address validation services. Such an approach closes the loop on the address maintenance process, empowers the citizen and guarantees the highest levels of quality and currency, as is expected of G-NAF. This is an ambitious vision. And while its realisation is some way off, numerous steps towards it have already been taken. The most significant of these steps will be the launch of G-NAF Live before the end of the 2014 financial year. G-NAF Live closes the G-NAF currency gap by providing web-based address verification for the addresses changed or added from the date of the last G-NAF supply. This will ensure the most current and authoritative geocoded addresses available. The service references a continuously maintained resource of jurisdictional data with a refresh rate equal to the highest update rate available in each jurisdiction (in some cases, daily), works with G-NAF and maintains linkages to other PSMA Australia datasets. G-NAF Live does not incorporate data from the AEC or Australia Post – referencing the most relevant address attributes rather than the full attribution of G-NAF.

The G-NAF technology has enabled efficiency, accuracy and innovation for many vital functions across industry and government. Yet, as transformative as the introduction of G-NAF has been, PSMA Australia believes that the next ten years will be equally transformative. The G-NAF that has served us this past decade is nearing the end of its life – but the future of the geocoded address reference is already emerging and evolving to support the growing range of requirements within the digital knowledge economy. “Consequently,” said PSMA Australia’s current chairman Glenn Appleyard, “PSMA Australia is driving forward with G-NAF Live and other ‘data as a service’ offerings, while continuing to explore the fringes of geocoded addressing and geospatial data management as we know it. With the growing interest in location data beyond specialist industries, PSMA has actively engaged with major users of location data as well as their value-added reseller network to understand the market’s future needs for foundation spatial data.” PSMA Australia CEO Daniel Paull added: “The most useful approach to our Australian geospatial future must be one that recognises that the digital age of geospatial is very early in its lifecycle. And as far as G-NAF has come in these past ten years, there is so much more ground ahead for this foundation data resource – as there is for the geospatial industry itself. “But in the meantime, happy 10th birthday G-NAF – and many more to come!” ■

The percentages in blue indicate unique contributions to G-NAF. 63% of addresses are common to all contributors.


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q&a

An industry in flux Simon Chester talked to Garry Essex, general manager of surveying and geospatial company UPG, about his time in the industry, how it’s changed, and what he thinks the future will hold. Can you give me a brief outline of your career? I graduated with a Ba App Sci (Survey) from RMIT in 1978. My field career started with ten years at a large construction company as a surveyor with wide-ranging experience on projects throughout Australia. I then went on to run my own engineering survey and computer bureau service business in Cairns, which also operated in New Guinea and Hong Kong. I started working full-time for Ultimate Positioning (now UPG) in January 1994, and have worked in many areas of the business, taking up the general manager position in 2007. I also have a senior management role in our associated companies, Sitech Construction Systems, DataHawk, and BuildingPoint Australia and New Zealand.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the field since you began? I was fortunate enough to have started my surveying career prior to the widespread

use of electronic total stations and computers. I started in the field with an optical theodolite, a steel band and a handheld calculator. Most of the detail survey work was done with stadia and everything in the field was written in a field book, reduced by hand and hand plotted. If we were lucky we could ’borrow‘ the company electronic distance meter (EDM) for a short time at the start of a big project to establish some control, but then we had to return it to head office and all of the field work was done the old fashioned way. There has been a complete change in the emphasis within surveying – when I started, getting accurate measurements was a real skill. We were still using sun observations and positional astronomy to establish an azimuth on large projects, and many more surveyors were required for a large project. Larger offices also had draughtsmen, whose job was to hand-plot the detail surveys and produce all of the as-constructed plans. With the continual development of technology, initially EDM and basic computer systems, the skill involved in

A 3D image of a quarry, captured using an unmanned aerial vehicle.

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making longer accurate measurements became unnecessary, and the volume of work that could be done by a survey party was far in excess of what could be achieved by several parties using the older methods. We now have GPS, scanners that can collect an amazing number of points per second, unmanned aerial vehicles to provide aerial imagery at any time we require it, and an amazing array and density of data in real-time that we could never have even dreamed of when I started.

Technology is often recognised as one of the biggest causes behind changes in the surveying industry. Have there been other changes, too (eg. in liability, the type of work, availability of workforce, changes in industry players, availability of work/labour, etc)? In terms of liability, not much has changed. A private surveyor has always had to provide professional indemnity insurance and some warranty to his work. One of the most important things learnt by a surveyor was how to manage the errors that were inherent in your measurements. There has been a large change in the surveyor’s role, from being the measurement expert, to being the 3D data expert, understanding about map grids and transformations, and how to manage 3D data.


Left: A surveyor using a GNSS receiver and controller to capture data. Below Left: A zoomed-in look at the same image. A 3D model like this would have been fantasy when Garry graduated.

What are the advantages of this unification of surveying and geospatial? The major advantage of the unification is the increase in the diversity of data sources and the richness in reporting options. In the past – and actually still today – a surveyor produced a simple two-dimensional contour plan that might have symbols on it to represent a tree or a fence. Now, they can produce an entire 3D digital model instead, which has actual images and a great deal more information about the objects. If you can imagine what this means for the end client: often when they see a 2D plan on a sheet of paper, they can’t visualise what’s going on, but if you give them a 3D model on a screen, they can really visualise it, click on different parts, spin it around, etc. They really start to see what’s going on; it’s really powerful.

How are ‘traditional’ surveyors being challenged by this push towards unification?

As the industry continues to develop with a more integrated geospatial solutions flavour, the separation between surveying and GIS, for example, will largely disappear. We are already seeing much richer 3D information recorded with a huge number of attributes, not just a point code and point number as was the standard a few years ago. This means that a feature survey done by a geospatial professional in the future will include embedded 3D images, and multi-layered attribute information about everything on the digital plan. The spatial location or measurement will just be one of many attributes.

How has this changed the role of the surveyor? This has dramatically changed the role of the surveyor in a couple of ways: the surveyor now has multiple sources of information, most of them increasingly easy to use, and the surveyor’s skill will increasingly be in having the knowledge to provide the most useful and most reliable information, from whatever source, to the client. Also, the client now has many choices in obtaining the information, so the surveyor has to carve out a niche for themselves where they are the trusted consultants who can provide the best information for the task at hand.

Traditional surveyors risk being passed by if they do not take up this challenge, their traditional measurement skills have almost been completely replaced by technology. Their geospatial data management skills are one area that technology is providing many more opportunities, but this is also an area that can be exploited by other professionals if surveyors do not make it our own.

What can they do to stay on top of this change? Embrace the opportunities that this flood of information sources can provide.

There is a noted labour shortage in the field of surveying. Do you think the industry can overcome this? Any suggestions on how? Surveyors have always been very poor at advertising their industry and the exciting and interesting careers that it can offer. We must be much better at getting out there and advertising what we can do. ■ www.spatialsource.com.au  21


uav

Mine surveyors take off with UAS GINA VELDE

Following extensive market research and testing, one of Australia’s largest coal mines is set to increase productivity and safety by deploying unmanned aerial system (UAS) technology.

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G

ary Robertson is a registered surveyor and senior engineer at a large coal mine in Central Queensland. His working teams have been nominated for Delivery Improvement Awards the past three years running, while he has been awarded ‘Young Professional of the Year’ at 2013’s Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards and nominated for the ‘National Individual Award’ at the upcoming AsiaPacific Spatial Excellence Awards. Mr Robertson has a unique ability to discover ways in which the latest technology can be adapted and intertwined to benefit mining productivity. For example, he recently worked with technology suppliers to devise solutions for real-time reconciliation on draglines by combining scanning systems and dragline monitoring systems to improve productivity. He has also taken part in multiple ACARP & CSIRO projects in mobile mapping and GIS functionality. “I enjoy learning about new technology and exploring ways to adapt it to improve mining operations,” he said. He’s been keeping an eye on the development of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology since 2000, when the first military drones were released and hobbyists were designing their own remote-control aircraft. In fact, he has become a UAS controller himself. “I could instantly see the potential for surveyors to use an unmanned aircraft for a wide range of applications on a mine site. It was just regulations and computing power that let us down,” Gary said.

How UAS benefits mining operations Because UAS can carry different payloads, such as an infrared camera or even gas monitoring equipment, Mr Robertson explains they can benefit a wide range of mine applications. These include: • Reconciliation. Using photogrammetry techniques for monitoring stock pile volumes and design comparisons for excavation and dumping equipment (where a fast turnaround of data is essential so that mining operations can take action while the machinery is still in the area). • Rehabilitation and environmental. Using infrared and multi/hyperspectral payloads for vegetation mapping and topsoil monitoring. • Geology and geometric applications. UAS can cover a large area that could previously only be mapped with manned aircraft. • Gas monitoring and spontaneous combustion. Fly aircraft into the area to monitor sulphuric gas levels. Without UAS the monitoring is ‘hit and miss’, as it involves setting out monitoring devices based on wind direction in the hope something is collected. • Imagery. Multispectral 3-band imagery for use in presentations, data analysis, and QA of GIS layers. • LiDAR. Use for volumes, excavations and dumping, reconciliation, dig versus design, ramp grades & width compliance. • Geotechnical monitoring. Detect movement in the spoil piles by comparing UAS data to scan data.


As the first UAS designed for surveying and mapping began to appear around 2008, Mr Robertson says they were hindered by computer processing power and the lack of post-processing software capable of handling the huge amount of data that a UAS collects. “Recently, there have been great improvements in both, so I re-instigated the process of investigating the best setup for our mine site in earnest,” he explains. “Finding a system that would do imagery and photogrammetry was easy enough, but finding something that would satisfy the company’s rigorous health and safety guidelines, approvals process, and be capable of holding various sensors for different site tasks, all with limited impact on current resource requirements for site was another matter entirely.”

Finding the best option Mr Robertson began a comprehensive critical analysis and job step analysis (JSA) to determine the best solution for the company, which has now been sent to corporate so that the findings can be reviewed for other sites and as a corporate business improvement review article. “We reviewed every option available on the market, comparing fixed wing UAV with multi-rotary systems, petrol-run versus battery-operated, large versus small, payloads, targets versus RTK. We looked at systems from America and New Zealand as well as those available locally in Australia. “We dismissed systems that used a catapult launch because of the energy the catapult stores inline with company HSEC guidelines, and also petrol/combustion crafts due to the maintenance side of the regulations and certification,” he added. “We also needed a solution that had semi-autonomous control so that you could take over either mid-flight or during landing to avoid any potential obstacles. Larger aircraft often needed some sort of catching device or descended by parachute – there was too high a risk of them getting blown off course and landing in the wrong area. RTK systems appeared to reduce turnaround time compared with conventional target placement systems.” In addition to the analysis of the hardware itself, as a CASA approved UAS controller, Mr Robertson explored the possibilities of owning and operating the UAS outright, or contracting a service provider that will conduct the flights and post-process the data.

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uav “Because of the CASA requirements to become fully certified, we thought the best option was a service provider who was experienced and had all the required qualifications in the short-term, until the business sorts out the CASA UOC, chief controller & maintenance controller requirements. It can’t just be a buy and fly approach as some people think due to the aviation regulations.”

A mining solution Mr Robertson has worked with a local service provider to explore and test a potential mining solution. Matt Ewing, director of UAS service provider company Airmap3D, recently conducted a demonstration flight and data analysis over the mine with his SIRIUS and SIRIUS Pro UAV. “The hardware met all of our safety requirements, as it is launched by hand just above the operator’s head and it has semi-autonomous control options to ensure a safe landing,” Mr Robertson said. “The data it supplies is well within our accuracy requirements and the SIRIUS Pro has the unique ability to

map accurately without setting out ground control points through GPS RTK solutions. This has the added safety benefit of removing surveyors from the active mine site environment while also reducing job request turnaround times.” Mr Ewing has extensive experience with UAS technology, having conducted more than 160 flights since his company

“…the appeal in UAS technology is that it gives you the perfect vantage point for conducting surveys…” launched in 2013. Like Mr Robertson, he saw the instant appeal of unmanned aircraft for mining, having worked as a mine surveyor for ten years. “For me, the appeal in UAS technology is that it gives you the perfect vantage point for conducting surveys,” he said. “All terrestrial systems face two main challenges on a mine site: covering a large

enough area and getting a good vantage point where you can capture the right data. UAV systems are the ideal solution to both of these problems.” Mr Ewing also did his homework before committing to a UAS. “I was starting my own business that was completely centred around this technology, so I had to make the right decision,” he said. “As with any complex technology venture, I also needed to buy from a supplier that would be able to support me.” He opted for the SIRIUS UAV, distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Position Partners. “The accuracy, ease of use and reliability of this UAV is astounding,” he said. “I carry out quality assurance on every job that I do and consistently achieve a mean accuracy of around ±50mm xyz, with a standard deviation of less than 100mm. But I can often get ±20mm mean accuracy, with only a 50mm standard deviation.”

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set out ground control points, Mr Ewing faced the challenge of getting site access to the mines in order to set out. “Organising the logistics to get out and set out the ground control points was a long process that would add up to a whole day to each job,” he explained. “But now with the new Pro system, I am able to achieve the same if not better accuracies, without having to go through the ground control setup at all. “That means I can deliver a job to a mine site, from start to finish including data processing, in half a day,” he added. Mr Ewing said the response he received from mine surveyors has been very positive. “Because I can supply them with a wealth of accurate data in a short period, they can focus on data analysis and other tasks and not spend time manually walking the site to collect data. Having stood out in the scorching Queensland sun myself collecting data with GPS for many years, I can understand why they love to see me arrive on site!” Gina Velde is the marketing communications manager at Position Partners. ■

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defence

Multi-agency collaboration SIMON CHESTER

O

n 12 January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti. With an epicentre near the town of Léogâne – approximately 25 kilometres west of the capital, Port-au-Prince – the earthquake caused around 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings to collapse or be severely damaged. Worse, the quake affected an estimated three million people, with the death toll estimated to be between 100,000 and 159,000. In response to this earthquake, the US Military and Thermopylae Sciences + Technology developed and deployed a customised instance of the iSpatial framework, known as the 3D User Defined Operational Picture (3DUDOP), to allow users to contribute, author, and collaborate on the relief efforts. “3DUDOP was the first implementation of a geospatial multi-agency collaboration platform based on Google Enterprise geospatial technologies,” said Glenn Irvine, national practice manager Google Enterprise, at Dialog Information Technology. (DIT is the sole ANZ distributor of the iSpatial platform and its mobility option, Ubiquity.) “This collaboration solution introduced, arguably, the most popular consumer mapping platform into a Defence and NGO collaboration framework, integrating disparate GIS backend solutions from the participating agencies, to help in coordinating relief operations.”

3DUDOP was delivered as a webbased geospatial application that used the familiar Google mapping interface, as well as its geospatial canvases, which were overlaid with spatial data imported from disparate agencies. This formed a common operating picture that was beneficial to relief efforts. “For instance, elements like weather overlays from web services provided by the meteorological agencies assisted relief efforts by allowing the management of ground activities based on current weather conditions,” said Glenn. In multi-agency collaborations – especially in times of emergency – it can be difficult to get users up to speed on how to use a new spatial solution. More so, the desperate need for users often means that they are seldom comprised of trained spatial professionals. It’s therefore critical that they can quickly and easily understand how to use a spatial solution’s interface. The near-ubiquity of the Google Maps/Earth interface makes it an ideal candidate. “The extensive use of Google Earth in the consumer market meant that users of the 3DUDOP system would require minimal to no training,” said Glenn. “Also, the various agencies had disparate GIS backends, and surfacing the rich data from these independent systems via a common and easily usable interface enabled collaboration and great situational awareness that assisted the relief efforts on the ground. The Google solution – delivered

A poor neighbourhood in Haiti shows the damage after the 2010 earthquake. CC BY 2.0 UN Photo/Logan Abassi.

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on a web platform – became the glue for all these geospatial data sources. “Google’s simple interface provides non-GIS users with the ability to manage these location-rich data sources and layers in ways that have typically been seen only in complex GIS systems with limited access. It also provides a common frame of reference and navigational method to the user.” 3DUDOP has since been used for an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, and is now a major tool in US Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM’s) operational arsenal. 3DUDOP’s simple interface and integration of disparate sources was made possible by the iSpatial framework, which comprises both front- and backend libraries that enable developers to augment and extend the existing capabilities of Google Earth. By its very nature, the framework is designed to allow connections to, and integration of, multiple, disparate data sources. “iSpatial includes an enterprise connector framework for integrating GIS back-ends like ESRI, as well as trackingdevice feeds and dynamic data sources, to provide a common integration layer for all of the collaboration partners and their data sources,” said Glenn. “Its origin lies in the defence sector in the US, and it has been used extensively in military theatres in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as by the US State Department for managing embassies and international incidents with global situational awareness.” The simplification of spatial interfaces – arguably started by the consumer-facing Google Maps precursor in the early 2000s by Where 2 Technologies – has had great effects on the professional GIS realm, too. “User-friendly platforms, such as the Google Earth Enterprise-based 3DUDOP used in OP Unified Response in Haiti, have enabled geospatial technology to evolve beyond its highly technical origins and into a useable tool to monitor, record, communicate, and strategically plan across agency participants,” said Glenn. “The iSpatial/Google combination allows end users without GIS systems expertise to annotate, search, collaborate on, and share data, via a simple, secure and effective platform.”


An iSpatial application being used for real-time tracking.

Glenn believes that a similar implementation of the iSpatial platform would work well in Australia, too, and is presenting this idea in April at Locate14 – the new Australian spatial conference that combines the previous spatial@gov, Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) conferences. “The requirements of a multi-agency taskforce, such as OP Sovereign Borders, could leverage a similar platform to efficiently visualise operations across the Australian continental littoral zones, and maritime operations in Australian waters,” said Glenn. “Integration of real-time aerial & maritime asset feeds, weather, events, satellite imagery, and charting layers all build upon this capability to costeffectively monitor large sections of coastline, weather patterns, and display layers of historical data for analysis and a common operating picture. “Australian federal authorities - like defence and the emergency services community - across all levels of government in Australia could benefit from this low-cost platform, and the low investment required for training interventions. It provides a way for an organisation to scale across the whole organisation without expensive GIS licensing, providing a broader benefit that isn’t just siloed in the GIS Department. “Initiatives like OP Sovereign Borders where agencies such as Defence, Border Protection, Immigration, Customs and the AFP need to collaborate and share information, would see an immediate benefit. “In relief efforts, the platform is easy to expand out to coalition and NGO partners, as it requires minimal training, and no reliance on specific hardware – just a web browser. “As the tempo reduces in the Middle East, and Defence turns its eye to our local neighbourhood, this platform would be a valuable tool for managing natural disaster scenarios to our north in the seismic and tsunami zone around our region.” As part of Glenn’s presentation at Locate14, which runs in Canberra from 7-9 April 2014, he will give a demonstration of the 3DUDOP environment as used in Haiti, as well as a demonstration of the iSpatial Platform in a Maritime Monitoring scenario. ■

Above: Objects of interest can be viewed in a slideshow.

WORLD LEADING UAV TECHNOLOGY TOUCHES DOWN IN AUS

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emergency and disaster management

Mapping for resilience GEORGE COREA

Developing a disaster-resilient communications plan During times of disaster, especially cyclones, communication tends to fail. Council has an obligation to ensure the safety of residents. Knowing where to deploy limited resources is key and a resilient communication network is essential for disaster management teams. The sole purpose of the communication network is to allow critical information such as situation reporting, damage assessments and requests for assistance, to be transmitted from community disaster teams back to the LDCC, so that emergency resources can be efficiently allocated. Atherton Tableland GIS studied, modeled and tested existing radio communication networks and, together with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS), established a clear strategy to employ during times of disaster.

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Why radios in this digital age? The sheer expanse of the Tablelands region makes accessing some communities challenging following natural disasters. Recent experience demonstrates that extended power outages lead to failure of the battery back-ups at telephone exchanges and mobile towers, leaving communities without the ability to dial 000 and often leaving local disaster managers without situational awareness. As a result of these challenges, Tablelands Regional Council (TRC) applied for funding through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP) to plan a resilient communications network to facilitate critical communications post-disaster. The project involved identifying all resilient public communications infrastructure in the region that is likely to be accessible for local disaster managers and modelling coverage of each radio repeater on priority radio towers. The modelling

helped identify resilient communications pathways from each community into TRC’s Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC). It also allowed the development of a simple flowchart to easily communicate those pathways to personnel.

The process underpinning the results The research aspects of this study were borne out of the practical requirements of the TRC Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) who needed to ensure the availability of a reliable communication system post-disaster and to resolve existing communication gaps. Initially, the study involved a review of the software that was available for producing radio propagation maps, testing them against existing models and examining the output formats to ensure the selected model was suitable. Once software was selected, a vertical slice of the project was carried out to pilot the radio modelling.


Acknowledgments: open source, collaborative, and for the public good

Figure 1. Modelling process.

Figure 2. Much spatial information was generated as a by-product of the analysis.

Due to the size and distribution of the study area, code had to be written, and many tools developed, to effectively consume the data. The final step of the project was to simplify the complex models and maps down to a flow chart for use by disaster response personnel.

Software options A number of software options were explored: 1. ArcGIS (ESRI, CA, U.S.A) - using the Spatial Analyst Extension. 2. Global Mapper (Blue Marble Geographics, Maine, U.S.A) The key reason software 1 and 2 were rejected was because the tools perform a simple-view shed analysis and are not designed for the purpose of radio propagation. 3. Communications Research Centre Canada. (CRC-COWEB). A free online tool that produces a raster image. This

was not utilised as it couldn’t be used for efficiently analysing coverage at multiple fixed locations. 4. Signal Propagation, Loss, and Terrain Analysis Tool (SPLAT!). Derivatives from this software in the www.wildwalks.com website were used to check the general accuracy of the final models. 5. Radio Mobile (RM) - is the freeware that was used for this project as it had accurate predictive capabilities (like SPLAT!), and also enabled output in a text-based format that could be converted to vector-based models for analysis in ArcGIS.

Getting SMART: what we did and how we did it The Radio Mobile (RM) software was created by Roger Coudé. It uses digital terrain elevation data to create a path profile between an emitter and a receiver. Data from the path profile is added by

The author wishes to acknowledge the following individuals and organisations for their support with the Resilient Communications Study: • Roger Coudé, VE2DBE, software author, radio mobile software and custom support. http://www.cplus. org/rmw/english1.html • Ian D Brown, G3TVU. Telecommunication engineer, author of Radio Mobile Handbooks (http://www. antennex.com/Sshack/radmob/ RadMobHB.html), and involved with local emergency network planning (RAYNET) in the UK. • Matt McClellan. Radio propagation comparison maps and advice. www.wildwalks.com • Multiple users of gis.stackexchange. com and stackoverflow.com. • Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Queensland Fire & Rescue Services, Miles Electronics, Austek Communication and Community Disaster Teams across the Tablelands, who participated in the testing and provided critical information for the mapping. • The Resilient Communications Stakeholder Committee and the Local Disaster Management Group for their support and involvement in this project. • The Australian Government, Queensland Government and Tablelands Regional Council for their joint funding of this project through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP).

the software to system, environmental and statistical parameters to feed the Irregular Terrain Model (R. Coudé, 2012). The program produced an ASCII data set containing the performance of a radio system at the required resolution. Once the required data was entered, the Combined Cartesian Radio Coverage Model as implemented within Radio Mobile creates raster data as a text file using dBuV/m and a pixel size relative to the required resolution. The resultant text file (Figure 1.) was then further processed. The files produced were too large to open in Windows, and as a result a tool had to be developed to read and process the data. This data was automatically cleaned, and subsequent processing failures meant that each data set holding over 30 million records (over 2GB each) had to be split for spatialisation. This was accomplished using SED (Unix tool) and Python in ArcGIS. www.spatialsource.com.au 29


emergency and disaster management A model was designed to group the points within given ranges of signal strength (see Figure 3.) that was based on the standards referred to in the Radio Society of Great Britain Yearbook (RSGB, 2011 p. 93). Once this grouping was completed, each data set was converted into a polygon shape-file by applying a buffer equal to the required 30m resolution. Adjoining buffers that had the same grouping were dissolved as depicted in Figure 2. The colours are an indication of the groupings by signal strength. The initial product of the processes described above was a series of maps based on topographic sheets to show the propagation classes around each tower. The resultant maps were then field-tested using a Radio Frequency (RF) analyser, where signal strength was measured using the equivalent of a standard 5W receiver with an external antenna. The map legend includes important information relating to the anticipated radio signal strength at different locations and the type of radio equipment recommended to communicate from that point (Figure 4.). This data was used to correct the models based on predicted and actual signal strengths. This data was then refined in consultation with stakeholders and a network diagram developed documenting the communications pathways from each community into the LDCC. Following the revision of the communication pathways, standard operating procedures and a process to activate the resilient communication network were formalised through the Tablelands Local Disaster Management Plan – Resilient Communication Plan. The plan was field-tested with a live disaster management radio communications exercise ‘Exercise Converse’, which tested the pathways between each area and the LDCC. Thankfully, the testing reinforced the analysis and demonstrated a viable alternative communications network to local emergency services personnel and community disaster plan volunteers. While we never look forward to natural disasters impacting on our region, at least now one of the more problematic aspects of managing the impacts across the Atherton Tablelands has been resolved.

Getting SMARTER: applying complex technology to create easy to use systems Radio Mobile and ArcGIS programming tools facilitated the development of the technical mapping as well as the radio network diagram, which was the practical outcome of this study. While complex

30 position April/May 2014

Left: Figure 3. Sample map showing modelling results. Below: Figure 4. Signal strength groups from map legend.

Signal Description

Details

3

Strong signal (>32dBuVm)

Should work on a 5w handheld

2

Medium signal (>24 dBuVm)

Vehicle mounted (5w) with low gain antenna

1

Low signal (18 dBuVm)

Vehicle mounted (>5w) with high gain antenna

0

Marginal signal (<18 dBuVm) Will require a 25w fixed system with high gain antenna

Figure 5. The end product: a simple (!) flow chart for emergency managers.

technical mapping was required, this could not be the final product in community-based disaster plans. Technically valid information was translated into products that could be easily understood and accessed by individuals with limited or no prior experience of disaster events. This enables remote communities to communicate with each other, and with the LDMG when normal communication pathways fail. As a result of this study, it has been identified that the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service Very High Frequency (VHF) network as well as existing Ultra High Frequency - Citizen Band (UHF-CB) infrastructure in the region can provide a resilient communications network post-disaster, and enhance agency and

community resilience in a practical, efficient and affordable way. By leveraging existing infrastructure, this project saved council more than $200,000 it had planned to invest in new radio repeater towers. It also relieved council of the recurring expense of tower maintenance. The Disaster Resilient Communications Project was highly commended at the 2013 Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards and won the prestigious Geospatial Information Technology Association (Australia/New Zealand) 2013 Award for Spatial Excellence. The project’s use of innovative spatial and radio modelling technology has been recognised by the UK author of Radio Mobile, and by the Electrical Engineering Council of Chile. ■


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feature

Map heroes to the rescue! FRANK BLANCHFIELD AND STACEY GRANT

L

ocation plays a critical role in planning for, and responding to, emergency situations such as floods, cyclones and bushfires. Australia is a country prone to natural disasters. It is not uncommon for one part of Australia to be battling ferocious bushfires, whilst at the same time another area is dealing with devastating floods. It is a country of extremes. For that reason, it is vital that the country is equipped to deal with natural disasters and emergencies when they arise. A critical tool in responding to those emergencies is location intelligence. For managing emergencies, maps need to be digital, dynamic and accessible, with skilled GIS professionals required to produce them. Organisations dealing with emergency situations often don’t have enough staff or resources to do it all themselves. That’s where the map heroes come in!

MAPS volunteers at Red Cross Brisbane helping with the 2012 Queensland floods.

32  position  April/May 2014

MAPS to the rescue A volunteer group of mapping experts are donating time and resources to provide invaluable location expertise to those responding to natural disasters and emergencies. The ACT Emergency Services Agency’s (ESA) Mapping and Planning Support (MAPS) group helped with the 2009 Victorian bushfires, Cyclone Yasi and the 2011 Queensland floods, just to name a few. But it hasn’t stopped there: the 2013/14 fire season has seen MAPS volunteers deployed with the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) right across south eastern NSW. MAPS was formed in 2005 as a direct result of the 2003 ACT bushfires. The 60-plus MAPS members are volunteers in accordance with the (ACT) Emergencies Act 2004 and the Commissioner’s Guidelines 2006. Some MAPS volunteers are also active members of the NSW

Steve Forbes photo.

RFS through the Lake George Zone Operational Support Group (OSG). At the core of MAPS is a group of private citizens, who have the skills to provide location intelligence and GIS assistance during an emergency when the first responder agency has limited or no GIS capability or when their own GIS resources are fully expended. While the recent focus has been on NSW bushfires, MAPS can function across all emergency service agencies, and in any jurisdiction where assistance is requested. Volunteers are unpaid and when working with MAPS they represent only themselves, not the organisations they work for during the week. All costs such as travel and accommodation are met by ESA - usually recovered from the organisation that requests assistance.

MAPS provides people Skilled GIS professionals. The volunteers are generally not equipped with their own GIS software, hardware and data. They work with whatever systems the host agency has available, and these days, many emergency services have their own sophisticated GIS infrastructure. What they don’t have is enough GIS trained people to operate systems in multiple incident management teams (IMT), across their jurisdiction for weeks on end during, for example, a bad fire season. As all MAPS volunteers are GIS professionals in their day job, they only need some training in how an IMT works and a little training on the host’s specific GIS infrastructure to become immediately productive at an emergency. Where the host agency has limited or no GIS infrastructure in place, MAPS can draw upon its sponsors and supporters to build or supplement systems. Pitney Bowes was one of the first to become a sponsor, providing MapInfo Professional desktop and server software as well as data for use in emergencies and volunteer training in the off season.


Under the current agreement between MAPS and Pitney Bowes, in a potential emergency where the requesting agency has no GIS infrastructure, a volunteer could walk into an IMT armed with a laptop, connect to the internet, and download and unlock all the software and data they need to establish a GIS capability from scratch. “Pitney Bowes is proud to sponsor the MAPS group and the great work they do volunteering their time and valuable GIS expertise to help respond to emergency situations,” said Sean Richards, director of marketing and product management at Pitney Bowes Software.

Volunteers in charge Traditionally, much of the work done by MAPS volunteers around location intelligence during an emergency has revolved

MAPS has a number of volunteers who are skilled in geocoding, but most volunteers have not been exposed to this technology in their day jobs. Access to Pitney Bowes online geocoding has enabled MAPS volunteers to validate, analyse and depict street address data during emergencies, but has also allowed expert geocoders to train other volunteers in the nuances of turning addresses into spatial information. These days most emergency managers, particularly in the bush fire services, are very ‘tech savvy’ and know what GIS can do for them. But for other MAPS clients such as the Red Cross, GIS is a brave new world. In such situations, the MAPS volunteer has to understand the need and work out how best to satisfy it, using whatever technology and data they can lay

Fast facts During the Queensland floods in 2011, MAPS deployed: • 13 groups of 2 to 4 people for 4 to 5 days at a time over a 7 week period. • 40 people in total. • 487 different map products produced. During the fire season in 2013/14, MAPS has up till the time of writing deployed: • 26 people • 15 individuals, with one going 5 times, • to 10 different Fire Control Centres including • Queanbeyan • Moruya • Nowra • Southern Highlands • Blue Mountains • Tumut • Wagga • Cooma

Emergency responders can access cloud based web services to geocode the addresses of evacuees and colour code them by the evacuation centre which received them.

around producing paper maps for use by frontline responders in the field. These days, more emphasis is placed on having digital access to information in the field via GPS devices, smart phones and tablets, and better managing the flow of information from the frontline responders back to the IMT. A GPS track recorded on a tablet in a helicopter can be emailed to the IMT and mapped on the situation map within minutes – a far cry from the old days of garbled radio messages and scribbles on paper maps. While GPS tracks and digital maps are now commonplace, particularly in bushfire emergencies, in other situations location intelligence is more often than not linked to street addresses. Whether it’s threatened properties or the location of evacuation centres, geocoding of street addresses is a fast and efficient way to map many situations.

their hands on – and usually in doublequick time. One of the most satisfying experiences for a volunteer is the look on the face of an incident controller when they see a spreadsheet of names and addresses transformed into a clear picture of who and what is where – the power of location intelligence. Although using mobile and online technology is becoming more commonplace in emergency response, there is still a need and probably always will be, for producing hard copy printed maps for frontline responders to use in the field. “I’m pleased to see that desktop mapping solutions are still being improved and keeping pace with current hardware and operating environments,” said Frank Blanchfield, a MAPS executive. “The improved printing and multithreading coming in MapInfo Professional

this year will help us to more efficiently produce hardcopy output for emergency responders to use. This will save us valuable time, which is precious in an emergency situation.” This summer, South Eastern Australia has experienced devastating bush fires and with climate change, it is hard to predict what the future holds. MAPS in the ACT is continuing to grow and expand its band of volunteers. Another group is now established in Perth, and new MAPS groups are planned for Queensland and Victoria. Through these volunteers and the public and private sector organisations that support them, the spatial information industry stands ready to play its part whenever and wherever it is needed. Frank Blanchfield is a MAPS Group executive and Stacey Grant is a product manager at Pitney Bowes Software. ■ www.spatialsource.com.au  33


feature

The

[spatial] secret to a good drop PAUL GRAD

An increasing demand for higher quality grape products has led to a wider application of precision viticulture, i.e. monitoring and managing spatial variations in productivity-related grapevine features. One of the most powerful tools in precision viticulture is remote sensing, which makes it possible to rapidly obtain data on grapevine shape, size and vigour over whole vineyards.

G

rapevine (Vitis vinifera) health and productivity result from several factors, including topography, climate, soil characteristics, and the incidence of pests and diseases. The spatial variations in these factors can lead to wide spatial variations in grape quality and yield within vineyards. In viticulture, yield is a measure of grapes or wine produced per unit area of vineyard. It is usually measured either in mass of grapes per vineyard area, or volume of wine per vineyard area. Yield can be measured in tons per acres, i.e. mass of grapes. Some wine writers say that yield is seen as a quality factor, with lower yields associated with higher quality wines. Hall said this is a fallacy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Different varieties have different requirements in different climates, and yield does not predict quality. A well-managed vineyard that is high yielding can produce much higher quality wines than poorly managed or poorly established vineyards, even if they are low yielding. Causes of differences in quality is a much more complex issue and is related to many aspects of management, climate suitability for the variety and weather events during each

34 position April/May 2014

individual growing season. A wine should be judged by the finished product and not by the density of the crop,â&#x20AC;? he said. The amount of wine produced per unit mass of grapes varies due to different winemaking procedures and different grape varieties. In general, the amount of grapes needed for 100l of wine is 160kg for white wine, and 130kg for red wine.

Measuring up Recent studies in Australia have indicated that up to eightfold differences in yield can occur within a single vineyard block. Therefore, accurate and reliable data on those spatial variations are essential tools for a winegrower. Two commonly measured quantities relating to wine grapes are acidity and total soluble solids (TSS). TSS indicates berry carbohydrates (sugars, the vinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; energy source) content.

TSS is measured in degrees Brix and converted to Baume units. Degrees Brix is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix is 1g of sucrose in 100g of solution. One unit of Baume is equivalent to 1.8 degrees Brix. Baume is an indication of alcohol content of the wine. For example, grapes of 13 Baume, if fermented completely, produce a wine of about 13% alcohol by volume. Acidity and TSS are commonly used to identify the best harvest times because during the phenological stage of veraison (when berries colour and soften) acidity decreases and TSS increases. Total carbohydrate (sugars) production in a grapevine is a key factor in the ripening process. It depends on total photosynthesis. In addition to TSS and acidity, accumulation of phenolic compounds within wine grapes is also affected by grapevine canopy vigour.


Phenolic content in wine refers to the phenolic compounds in wine, which affect the taste and colour of wine. Two key groups of phenolic compounds are flavanols, common in both red and white varieties, and anthocyanins, which are specific only to red grapes. These play an important role in the quality and value of finished wines. Research on the climate on vineyards has shown that anthocyanin concentration is dependent on the temperature of the fruit during ripening. Since berry temperature increases linearly with sunlight exposure, grapevine canopy density and extent tends to affect the accumulation of phenolic compounds. The canopy of a grapevine includes the parts of the vine visible above ground – trunk, cordon, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. The canopy plays a crucial role in photosynthesis, water use regulated by transpiration, and microclimate of the ripening grapes. Canopy management is an important part of viticulture because it affects grape yield, quality, and vigour.

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feature Since grapevine canopy affects wine grape composition, remotely sensed imagery of grapevine canopy vigour can be used to obtain vineyard maps of grape quality. Traditional methods of generating spatial data on grapevines are usually time-consuming and expensive. Methods such as on-the-go sensing of yield and quality parameters by combining sensors with GPS-equipped vehicles are slow and cumbersome. Lately, several rapid-sensing techniques have been developed, such as measurement of Baume using near infrared spectroscopy and measuring grape-phenolic composition using visible near-infrared spectroscopy. Using rapid electromagnetic induction techniques to accurately characterise soil structure is also gaining favour in the grape and wine industry. As a major wine producing nation, Australia has developed a high level of expertise in all aspects of winemaking, and has contributed many improvements and refinements to those techniques. An instance is a project aiming to provide improved means of predicting wine quality by a team from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre in Wagga Wagga, NSW, and the School of Environmental Sciences, of Albury, NSW, both from Charles Sturt University. Details of the study are published in the International Journal of Remote Sensing (Volume 34, from page 1772). With funding support from the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, the team has developed multispectral high-spatial resolution optical remote sensing to analyse grapevine canopy relationships with wine grape composition and yield. The correlations between canopy vigour and end-of-season fruit quality varied with phenological stage and with vineyard type. The team, led by Dr Andrew Hall, senior lecturer in remote sensing, School of Environmental Sciences at Charles Sturt University, used high spatial resolution optical remote sensing to produce a map of predictions of wine grape yield, quality and ripeness in a vineyard. The team studied vineyards in the Riverina and Hunter Valley regions of NSW. It used a custom-built multispectral airborne digital imaging system consisting of four identical digital video cameras, with 994 by 1014 pixel arrays attached to an imagecapturing PC mounted in a Cessna 310 aircraft. Each camera lens was filtered to produce four spectral bands centred at 450, 550, 675 and 800nm. Images were acquired at an altitude of 1525m. Images were collected four times per growing season across three years at both

36â&#x20AC;&#x192; positionâ&#x20AC;&#x192; April/May 2014

vineyard sites within an hour of solar noon, minimising shadow. Reflectance targets of known spectral characteristics, each measuring 3 m by 3 m, were placed on the ground at the time of imaging. Digital values extracted from the calibration panels in the raw imagery were related to the known reflectance values of the panels to produce a linear model to transform the whole image from digital values to reflectance values. The geographic coordinates of eight ground control points located at the edges and corners of the vineyard blocks were used to register the images to map coordinates using a spatial warping function from commercial image processing software (ENVI4.7, Linux 64, ITT Visual Information Solutions, from Boulder, Colorado, US). The map relies on relationships between image-derived canopy vigour measurements and parameters relating to fruit composition and yield. To allow analysing the variation of those relationships over time, Hall acquired images of two contrasting vineyard sites. He developed an image processing algorithm to produce groups of pixels equivalent to the size of individual grapevines. The purpose of the image processing was to segment vineyard imagery into individual grapevine plant

units from which reflectance information could be extracted. The first stage consisted of a process to determine the start and end points of each vineyard row, and the second stage entailed automatic splitting of each vine row into single plant unit areas. Once each pixel was assigned row and vine coordinates, it became a simple process to extract reflectance information for each vine unit. By collecting images four times per season and harvest data over three


years at two contrasting vineyards, the team was able to analyse yield and fruit composition relationships. Hall said his team focused on vegetation indices that could be produced from low-cost multispectral systems with blue, green, red and near-infrared spectral bands. He said the team’s method enabled calculating vegetation indices to describe vegetation canopy for individual grapevine objects. Hall said an investigation of the ability of various vegetation indices to enable predictive mapping of yield and composition data demonstrated that triangular vegetation index (TVI) was the best. He said vegetation indices sensitive to differences in dense vegetation were stronger predictors than the traditionally used normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-a simple graphical indicator used to analyse remote sensing measurements) or the simple ratio. Hall said he is now studying the interaction of carbohydrate reserves and climate variability with the spatial variability of vineyards as revealed through remote sensing.

He said the length of the post-harvest period of a vineyard is influenced by management practices and also by the climate in any particular growing season. A complex pattern of spatiotemporal variability in yield and fruit quality can be exhibited within vineyards, i.e. changes to spatial variability over time. Hall is looking at carbohydrate reserves accumulated in the post-harvest period as a key to understanding the temporal element of variability. He said a longer post-harvest period may lead to more carbohydrate reserves being available for early season development in the following season. This can affect yield and quality, not only in the following growing season, but also in the next, because of the grapevines’ overlapping two-year reproductive cycle. The effect of the underlying spatial variability in the vineyard can mitigate or enhance the effects of changes in carbohydrate storage and explain the changing patterns in yield and fruit quality. Paul Grad is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Position magazine. ■

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Spectra Precision has introduced the new SP80 GNSS receiver, which features Z-Blade GNSS-centric technology running on a 240-channel, 6th generation chipset, in a rugged and waterproof body. The SP80 is said to work with all six available GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS and SBAS), but can also be configured to use only selected constellations in an RTK solution (GPS-only, GLONASSonly or BeiDou-only). The SP80 is compliant with the new RTCM 3.2 standard, including the recently approved MSM RTCM messages, which makes it ready to support all available GNSS corrections. The receiver provides a 3.5G GSM/UMTS modem, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and an optional transmit UHF radio. The WiFi and 3.5G modem can provide an internet connection for RTK corrections, and also send SMS or e-mails with system alerts.

The receiver also features antitheft technology to safeguard the receiver and can detect if it has been disturbed whilst in the field. The antitheft protection feature informs

the surveyor via SMS or e-mail if the SP80 receiver is moved and can provide its position to facilitate recovery. The Spectra Precision SP80 receiver is available through the Spectra Precision global dealer network. For more information visit www.spectraprecision. com or email sales@spectraprecision.com.

Esri Australia has released Dekho v4.1, with a view to simplify it for the user and administrator, and improve functionality and performance. The new version allows administrators to create maps within Dekho, instead of having to switch between applications. It also includes a new value-add product called

‘InstaLink’, which connects the platform with other systems including Pathway, Works & Assets, Property & Rating, Hansen, Conquest, and more. The printing function has also been upgraded to take advantage of the core ArcGIS printing capabilities. For more information visit: www.esriaustralia. com.au/dekho41.

Online information management platform Trimble has introduced a new platform for geospatial information management called InSphere. The cloud-based software platform is designed for central management of geospatial applications, data and services. The framework provides access to multiple

applications, including Trimble InSphere Data Manager, Trimble InSphere Equipment Manager and Trimble TerraFlex for field data collection. In addition, Trimble Access Services provide a data connection between surveyors in the field and managers in the office.

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locate 14

The unification of the spatial industry KELLEE IRELAND

“W

hy do we have so many conferences?” “Can’t we just have one spatial conference for the whole of industry?” Who has not heard these questions before? Personally, I have been asked these types of questions many times. I often wondered if anyone was truly listening to industry feedback, and, finally at the last spatial@gov 2012, someone was not only listening, but working on a true plan of unification. Anyone who was at spatial@gov 2012 would remember the underlying excitement and anticipation buzzing around the conference. Someone said that there was going to be a special announcement at the end of the conference, so people were speculating what the announcement would be. The ‘Chinese whisper’ around the conference was rife: “Was this really the last spatial@gov?” Then, finally, on the last day, came the official ‘big’ announcement: it was indeed the last time spatial@gov would be held as a stand-alone event. From 2014, the industry and profession would unite and run one truly national annual conference. This new conference would consolidate the spatial industry events including spatial@gov conference and exhibition, the national Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) conference, and the Asia

40  position  April/May 2014

Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA). Since this announcement, other organisations have become involved and are active stakeholders on what has become the Locate Organising Committee. With the ongoing stresses of an uncertain world economy, and the competing demands of many industry associations for sponsors, exhibitors, and delegates, it was definitely time for the spatial industries to come together to host a single national conference that can serve the needs of all players. There has never been a national location intelligence conference in Australia that brings together all aspects of the spatial industries, its activities, products, and services. While the Spatial Information Industry Action Agenda, which was undertaken in 2000-2001, identified a latent industry sector, it did not fully resolve the disparate representation of the discrete elements that make up the spatial industries. Helen Owens, assistant secretary of Spatial Policy at the Department of Communications and Locate14 conference convenor, commented: “This conference will be a great turning point for the spatial community, as we combine three national events into one. As the chairwoman of the first Locate Conference, I look forward to formally handing the conference over

to the industry for SIBA and SSSI to comanage into the future.” Unification of national conferences enables industry stakeholders and participants to explore, in detail, the real power of location. The unification provides an opportunity for the spatial industry sector to put ‘spatial’ at the forefront of discussions. This new Locate forum positions the industry to engage users of location IT in a range of wider discussions.

Locate conferences The Locate 14 Conference will be the stepping stone needed to move forward and grow. Future Locate conferences will be recognised as an important presence in the Australian economy. “I have no doubt that year-on-year Locate will grow, both in size and recognition, and that it will begin to attract greater interest from the region and globally as an event not to be missed,” said Ms Owens. Locate 14 is an industry-wide national conference that engages already established interests within the spatial industry and profession, as well as attracting those from the user and technology adopter communities. It is these communities that will contribute to the growth of spatial information and technologies going forward; this conference will be a demand-driven event.


The 2011 APSEA awards

networking opportunities, and provide a greater ability to offer supporting programs and events. “We want this conference to have industry-wide representation and to offer the spatial community an opportunity to work collaboratively,” said Ms Owens. “But, even more than that, we hope that it will be an opportunity for the Australian spatial industry to connect with their markets and sell their products and services into new industries and countries that are only now recognising the true value that spatial information can bring to their business.”

Unifying a diverse industry

Locate 14 will embrace a range of needs, from professional development to business development. It addresses policy issues for government, as well as solutions for other industry sectors whose needs may not necessarily be articulated in the language of the spatial professional. Locate 14 delivers an important value promise, not only to delegates, but also to the sponsors and exhibitors. Streams at Locate 14 will cover surveying, mapping, photogrammetry, remote sensing, GPS, location-based services, and GIS, among others. SIBA is a strong believer in the value of a single national conference. Including all of the key elements of the spatial domain that enhance the attractiveness of the event will increase the participation of sponsors, exhibitors, and delegates. No longer will they have to choose between competing events; a single national conference will encourage greater overall attendance, enhance the

We all know about the Action Agenda and the government’s recognition of the benefits of a revitalised and effectively structured industry. The unification of the disparate and largely ineffectual sub-sectorial interests of surveying, mapping, photogrammetry, remote sensing, GPS, locationbased services, and GIS, among others has now been well and truly harnessed. And now we can boast how the industry is truly supporting that unification. Today, SSSI and SIBA enjoy many synergies and work collaboratively together across a range of activities. A solid foundation has been built and is being extended into an ever increasing range of joint national initiatives and events. “For me, brokering the legal agreement between SIBA and SSSI for joint ownership of Locate Conferences has been a great opportunity to make a contribution to the industry,” said Ms Owens. “I have learnt a lot from the experience and I have been amazed at the collegiate way in which the organisations have opened themselves up to new ways of

doing things. Roger Buckley, Kellee Ireland, Glenn Cockerton and Jonathon Saxon have been incredible to work with and I thank them for their significant efforts in bringing all this together. “SSSI and SIBA are built on our members deriving value through participation in our industry’s activities. Maximum value is derived from active participation not just from merely belonging. It is delivered by taking advantage of the strength of a united industry to push for changes that will benefit your business.“ Change in an industry rarely happens overnight. It is a long-term commitment to a plan – a plan that may, at times, seem rather vague and disconnected, but once together, can be explosive.

APSEA: the recognition of excellence The Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) is the premier spatial event on the national calendar. This year it celebrates its 10th year, and the coming together of both the industry and individual national awards. Winners from each state are finalists at APSEA. The APSEA is a night where organisations and individuals are acknowledged for their contributions to industry, government and the community for the promotion of spatial information, technology, and services. It is expected that this event will continue to grow in numbers and stature. It is already recognised beyond our own traditional boundaries. Winning recognition at the APSEA makes you and your company stand out. Awards bring prestige and recognition of the excellence being achieved by key individuals and organisations. When you win an APSEA award, you’re in league with some great companies and remarkable leaders. Wining an award at the APSEA is the highest honour within the spatial industry. Kellee Ireland is the general manager of the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA) and a member of the Locate14 organising committee. ■ www.spatialsource.com.au  41


locate 14

Standards for a changing world

Denise McKenzie, executive director, communications & outreach at OGC.

SIMON CHESTER

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ince 1994, the voluntary consensus standards organisation Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) has worked with more than 400 commercial, government, non-profit and research organisations worldwide, in a collaborative process to develop and implement open standards for geospatial content and services, GIS data processing, and data sharing. And, while the OGC now works across many different domains – including aviation built environment and 3D, business intelligence, defence and intelligence, emergency response, energy & utilities, geosciences & environment, mobile internet, sensor webs, and universities and research – government & SDI has always been an important area of focus. Indeed, Australian governments have been working with the OGC since almost the very beginning. “Australian governments at all three tiers have had a long history of working with the OGC,” said Denise McKenzie, executive director, communications & outreach at OGC, “spanning from the SIDP project (http://bit.ly/1gsuo0p) in the 1990s, through to recent years with significant contributions from CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Defence, GeoScience Australia, Office of Spatial Policy and many of the state governments. “You would be hard-pressed to find a GIS environment that does not include the use of the OGC web service standards.

Canberra, as viewed from Mt Ainslie.

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These standards have not only improved many governments’ ability to share and distribute their geospatial data, but also decreased the cost of that sharing.” Outside of the government domain, Denise is currently working on reaching out to the mobile industry, which has become a huge consumer and creator of geospatial technologies in the last few years. “We held a second successful event with ICGC (Institut Cartogràfic I Geològic de Catalunya) in Barcelona this year, and are currently discussing a joint activity at next year’s Mobile World Congress with a group of other mobile-focused standard developing organisations (SDO), such as Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).” However, this isn’t the only area where OGC is expanding its efforts. “There is a broad range of focus areas at the moment, such as law enforcement and public safety, security, geo-semantics, sensor web, met-ocean, energy & utilities, 3D, mobile & location services, and more.” At Locate14 in Canberra this April, Denise will discuss the way that standards will help Australia ‘locate its digital economy’. One such area that Denise will examine is the growing proliferation of connected sensors, and the requirement of open standards to aid in their communication. “Watching the change at this year’s Mobile World Congress to wearables, cars

as sensors, and many other new types of mobile devices, it is clearly evident that this area of technology will have a pivotal role in locating our digital economy.” But it’s not just OGC’s domains that are changing with new technologies – the way that OGC collaborates with industry and users is also changing. “There are some significant shifts in technology and development practice that are producing challenges to the way we have traditionally developed standards within OGC,” said Denise. “Some of this was evident in the REST discussions of last year, and, in the past few weeks, GeoJSON has emerged as a topic of conversation.” To address these challenges, the OGC has implemented what it calls ‘Ideas4OGC’ – an effort that aims to collect feedback, ideas, critiques, and comments to help improve the OGC. “In an effort to stay true to our original mission from 20 years ago, to be ‘open’ and ‘accessible’ to all, we are looking at how we evolve our practice, process and model, to better meet the changing needs of the world’s geospatial developer community,” said Denise. Denise’s presentation at Locate14 will cover a number of areas where open standards will help build Australia’s digital economy. Notably, Chris Tucker – a board member of the OGC – will also be delivering a keynote. ■


Research@Locate: The new academic conference in Australasia STEPHAN WINTER AND CHRIS RIZOS

Left: Stephan Winter, chairman, Research@Locate 2014. Right: Chris Rizos, co-chairman, Research@Locate 2014.

L

ocate is new, and so is Research@Locate, the academic research stream making Locate the Australasian meeting point of industry, government and academia, in one of the fastest growing areas of IT: spatial information. Research@Locate has been designed to provide an Australasian research conference with a transparent, full-paper peer-review process, with carefully selected presentations and papers, and with its own annual, open-access proceedings. It aims to become the premier academic event in the Australasian region. Already, in only its first year, Research@Locate received 42 submissions. After a thorough peer-review process, 16 of these papers were selected for the conference proceedings. This result corresponds to an acceptance rate of 38%, which is better than some longestablished conferences have. This means that Research@Locate is on the right track, and meeting a demand of critical mass in this region. In addition to the 16 accepted papers, four papers received sufficient reviewer support to be invited for presentation only. The reviews will also count in the competition for the best paper at the conference. Research@Locate14 was supported by an international program committee. Submissions also came from the wider

region. Having both provides an essential condition when striving for excellence, for vibrant discussions at the event, and for proceedings of impact. Hence the groundwork is laid, but what can we expect from Research@Locate14? The presentations this year are organised around four themes: sourcing and access, accuracy, processing and analysis, and algorithms. A few review papers are included as well. The accepted papers will appear in the CEUR Workshop Proceedings Series (www.ceur-ws.org), a free, open-access publication service of Sun SITE Central Europe. In addition, the authors of the selected papers will be invited to submit extended versions to a special issue of the Journal of Spatial Science. Research@Locate is organised by the Australasian Spatial Information Education and Research Association, ASIERA (www.asiera.org.au). ASIERA represents a significant part of the academic segment of the spatial information industry in Australasia, with a workforce of several hundred people in fundamental and applied research and innovation, with a responsibility for educating and training future generations of spatial professionals. Stephan Winter is chairman and Chris Rizos is co-chairman, Research@Locate 2014. â&#x2013;  www.spatialsource.com.auâ&#x20AC;&#x192; 43


locate 14

‘Power of where’ key to achieving lasting benefits for New Zealanders

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and Information New Zealand (LINZ) is playing a prominent role in Locate14 conference, recognising the government agency’s leadership in the geospatial area. New Zealand is among the many countries striving to realise location information’s full economic potential. Internationally, it is accepted that combining location information with other sorts of data results in significant economic benefit, and products and services built off the back of location information already generate hundreds of billions of dollars. LINZ has a 10-year strategy that builds on two key concepts: location (geospatial) information, and the location system. By ensuring the system develops and operates in a seamless, integrated way, and information is widely accessible, it will provoke better decisions and inspire innovation. LINZ’s chief executive Peter Mersi says that the vision is to double the value generated through the use of location information within that timeframe. “We’re talking about the ‘power of where’, which is a key to achieving lasting benefits for all New Zealanders - users are at the centre of our system. What we want for this country is a location system that benefits anyone making any decision where location matters.” Mr Mersi says by improving productivity, the work LINZ is doing will support increased GDP and higher living standards. “Our location system will improve the lives of New Zealanders by reducing

Right: A 3D reconstruction of the destroyed Christchurch Cathedral. Below: Peter Mersi, chief executive, LINZ.

transaction costs and frustrations in finding information. It will also speed up planning, enabling better evidence-based and sustainable decision-making, with benefits for our future generations.” Mr Mersi says the work that will enable the agency to achieve the objectives of the long-term plan is already well underway. “Our location system is going to drive greater resilience and recovery from disasters, and that’s critical for us here in New Zealand as we sit on the Pacific Ring of Fire. We realised, after the tragedy of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, that we had a perfect opportunity to make

strategic use of geospatial information to drive the rebuilding of a better Canterbury. Lessons from there will be applied elsewhere, not only in New Zealand but around the world.” Mr Mersi says another major stream of work for LINZ includes modernising survey and title services, ensuring that, in the future, New Zealanders will have a more complete picture of land ownership and their rights. “LINZ has to work simultaneously on and across the location system over the next decade, while continuing to deliver the high-calibre services that underpin the performance of New Zealand’s economy. “We know that this comes with its challenges. We also know that LINZ is a world leader in this area. And we’re confident that our expertise, along with our strong relationships across the system, will ensure our success.” ■

Locate14 public exhibition day

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pen from 10am to 4pm on Monday 7 April, the Locate14 exhibition open day provides the opportunity for members of the wider government, business and spatial communities to talk with exhibitors and hear various presentations on the latest technologies and their application, both within the spatial industry, and beyond. It is a chance for policy makers, nontechnical business managers and owners, as

44 position April/May 2014

well as technical users, to learn more about the latest spatial technologies, including applications for surveying, satellite imagery, visualisation, maps and charts, and GIS. Key government organisations can request a VIP tour of the Exhibition Open Day by contacting exhibition@ locateconference.com. Entry to the Open Day is free but you must pre-register at http://bit.ly/1kO6Thx. The Locate14 Conference and Exhibi-

tion combines three previous national events: spatial@gov Conference, Surveying & Spatial Sciences Conference (SSSC) and Asia- Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), combining to form a single, premier Australian and New Zealand industry event. More info and registration for both the conference and open day are available on the Locate 14 Open Day page on the Locate Conference website at www. locateconference.com. ■


sssi news

President’s Report – John Trinder SSSI Board of Directors 2013-2014 President – John Trinder Past President – Gary Maguire Treasurer – Jonathan Saxon Director – Bernard O’Sullivan Director – Gypsy Bhalla Director – Chis McAlister Director – Danielle Beaudreau Company Secretary – James Curnow Company Secretary/CEO – Roger Buckley Consultative Council for 2013-2014 President – John Trinder Past President – Gary Maguire Treasurer – Jonathan Saxon NT Rep – Renee Bartolo QLD Rep – Chris McAlister WA Rep – Kerry Smyth NSW Rep – Greg Goodman NZ Rep – Chris Weir VIC Rep – Zaffar Mohamed-Ghouse SA Rep – David Trengove TAS Rep – Darren Llewellyn ACT Rep – Gypsy Bhalla RS&P Rep – Craig Smith HC Rep – Simon Ironside SIC Rep – Penny Baldock LS Rep – Phil Pozzi EMS Rep – Bernard O’Sullivan YP Rep – Danielle Beaudreau Company Secretary – James Curnow CEO/Company Secretary – Roger Buckley

46  position  April/May 2014

Locate conferences The signing of the ‘Joint Statement of Commitment Hosting of a Single Annual Australasian Spatial Conference’ in 2012 by 10 spatial organisations in Australia and New Zealand has meant that following the Locate conference in Canberra in April 2014, all future conferences covering the topics of surveying and spatial sciences will be held as joint conferences of all spatial organisations, managed by a new company named Locate. There will be two shareholders on this company, SSSI and SIBA (Spatial Industries Business Association). Formalities have recently been completed for the establishment of that company. The advantage of this agreement is that there will be a single national surveying and spatial sciences conference held every year in Australia,

Australia. I have stated earlier that this is a crucial matter that needs attention by all members of the profession.

Cooperation within SSSI SSSI comprises members with interests covering the areas of surveying and spatial sciences. It was formed initially as SSI (Spatial Sciences Institute) in 2002, but subsequently as SSSI by the amalgamation with the Institution of Surveyors Australia divisions in most states. This is a relatively diverse group of individuals who are represented in eight regions around the Australia together with New Zealand, and five commissions, namely Land Surveying, Engineering and Mining Surveying, Hydrographic Surveying, Spatial Information and Cartography, and Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry.

[The] SSSI comprises members with interests covering the areas of surveying and spatial sciences. leading to savings in sponsorships, conference attendance, preparation for exhibitions by companies, and overall conference organisation. The conferences are planned for the April period each year and will move around the country on a rotational basis, the first being planned for Brisbane in April 2015.

Cooperation between SSSI and SIBA As well as cooperating with SIBA on the Locate conferences, SSSI has established a Memorandum of Understanding with SIBA that will enable the two organisations to cooperate more closely on joint event organisation, branding and profit sharing, and to meet regularly at Board level. In addition, the two organisations will be working cooperatively on the marketing of surveying and spatial sciences in order to address the projected shortages of professionals entering the profession in some states in

The commissions have similar interests in the acquisition, processing, management, representation, display and dissemination of spatial information. However, at present the commissions tend to work independently of each other. Since there are clearly many synergies between the commissions, it would make sense to establish closer cooperation between at least some of them through the Consultative Council (CC), which has the responsibilities to oversee professional matters and professional development. As the institute matures with an active CC, it is hoped that it will be possible for greater cooperation between commissions and regions. This should include sharing of event organisation, joint technical sessions at national and regional meetings, joint webinars and articles in SSSI publications. John Trinder President


SSSI sustaining partners

SSSI Commission Chairs for 2013-2014 Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Commission Chair Craig Smith chair.rspc@sssi.org.au

Spatial Information and Cartography Commission

Spatial Information and Cartography Commission The Spatial Information and Cartography Commission committee has been working hard deciding upon and prioritising our key activities for the year. Promotion of the GISP-AP certification and recognition of certified professionals continues to be an important focus for the Commission. The GISP-AP certification is now endorsed by SIBA as a benchmark for GIS professionals, and has been acknowledged by Helen Owens, Assistant Secretary, Spatial Policy Branch within the Department of Communications, as a significant program building the nations skills and capabilities. Providing and helping Regions to deliver spatial information and cartography related CPD events is also a focus for this year. We are looking to license a third URISA workshop to add

SI&C Commission Activities Certification

• Develop an action plan to promote the value and benefits of GISP-AP certification • Ensure GISP-AP recipients are recognised at regional awards events • Review and update MOU with GISCI • Continuing Professional Development • License third URISA workshop • Run URISA workshops • Offer webinars/e-learning videos • Run AURIN workshops • Promote events via LinkedIn and twitter Education

• Position SI&C as the approving body for migration assessments

to our collection and are aiming to offer webinars/e-learning videos to strengthen our CPD offerings. Another priority for this year is establishing the Commission as the approving body for migration skills assessments. We believe that the Commission has built a suitable reputation and standing in the industry, and has adequate knowledge and skills to be able to make these assessments. As always we will continue to develop and maintain relationships with the other similarly aligned groups and organisations in our field, and hope to grow and share knowledge through these channels. These activities are possible thanks to the effort and support of our volunteer committee members. Without these dedicated individuals, we would not be able to strive towards these goals. If any of these activities takes your interest and you would like to be involved, please get in touch with me or your local Commission representative – we’d love to welcome you to our team. Jessica Davies Co-Chair Spatial Information and Cartography Commission

Coordination of the Profession

• Maintain relationship with URISA • Develop relationship with AIIA (GeoSpatial SIG) • Maintain relationship with SBEnrc Project Steering Committee • Develop relationship with MSIA • Maintain relationship with ICA • Maintain relationship with other SSSI Commissions Advocacy and Community Engagement

no high priority activities

Land Surveying Commission Chair Phil Pozzi chair.lsc@sssi.org.au Hydrography Commission Chair Simon Ironside chair.hc@sssi.org.au Spatial Information & Cartography Commission Chair Penny Baldock chair.sicc@sssi.org.au Engineering & Mining Surveying Commission Chair Bernard O’Sullivan Chair.emsc@sssi.org.au

SSSI Regional Chairs 2013-4 New South Wales Regional Chair Gaby Van Wyk chair.nsw@sssi.org.au ACT Regional Chair Gypsy Bhalla chair.act@sssi.org.au Northern Territory Regional Chair Renee Bartolo chair.nt@sssi.org.au New Zealand Regional Chair Chris Weir chair.nz@sssi.org.au Victoria Regional Chair Zaffar Mohamed-Ghouse chair.vic@sssi.org.au Queensland Regional Chair Chris McAlister chair.qld@sssi.org.au South Australia Regional Chair Gary Maguire chair.sa@sssi.org.au Western Australia Regional Chair Kerry Smyth reo.wa@sssi.org.au Tasmania: Regional Chair Darren Llewellyn chair.tas@sssi.org.au SSSI Head Office 27-29 Napier Cl, Deakin, ACT 2600 (PO Box 307) Phone: +61 2 6282 2282 Email: support@sssi.org.au

Connecting and Empowering

• Maintain SI&C Commission website pages • Contribute content to Geo Message • Contribute content to Position magazine www.spatialsource.com.au 47


sssi news Mapping the way to enhance effective Crisis Coordination An exciting collaboration between Australia’s Geoscience Australia and the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre (CCC) will now deliver real time mapping products to inform strategic decision making in response to natural disasters. The CCC is a 24/7 facility that provides situational awareness, coordination of assistance and support for all natural disasters Australia wide to assist local, state and national government agencies. The CCC produces a range of products that include; hazard reports, executive briefs and situation reports, all of which provide meaningful data that will assist in the response of a crisis. Prior to 2010, collaboration between the CCC and Geoscience Australia, was largely limited to the provision of earthquake alerts. The CCC utilised publically available resources and hard copy maps to provide spatial relevance to CCC reports and decision making requirements. To improve support outcomes sought by Emergency Management Australia (EMA) during disasters response and recovery. A Geoscience Australia officer was seconded to EMA in 2010 to develop a greater understanding of the integration of data and science. With natural disaster events, such as the Brisbane floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi unfolding during this time. Geoscience Australia was able to provide new insights and mapping products and procedures relevant to assist during these events. As a result of the success of this secondment that ensued novel insights and innovative products, EMA sought opportunities to continue and strengthen collaboration across the science and policy domains. Another Geoscience Australia officer was seconded to the CCC in 2012, tasked with identifying opportunities for spatially enabling the CCC and implementing a new EMA requirement of reducing the lead time for the development of mapping products from almost a day, to an hour. This has assisted the CCC in developing enhanced briefing products that provide more informed response options for government considerations. Geoscience Australia and EMA worked collaboratively to progress this project, with a series of recommendations being proposed and progressively implemented to enhance the CCC’s existing and ongoing capability to include a new

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Incident map of the Emergency Warning issued for the Numurkah bushfire, showing the status of the fire.

spatial dimension to their official briefing products and establish a targeted, innovative spatial capability to the agency. The introduction of a spatial capability was undertaken in a phased approach, enabling the CCC to produce their own mapping products quickly and efficiently with minimal technical knowledge. Initially, empowering the CCC to create their own mapping products presented an interesting challenge for Geoscience Australia as the CCC had only limited prior exposure to cartography and spatial processes, no experience in using or manipulating spatial products. A solution was identified by using the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation’s (AGO), Planterra platform to provide a base map creation tool. Palanterra is an existing GIS platform and was specifically modified and tailored for the CCC to enable the generation of specific products to support their business needs. These modifications allowed maps to be intuitively produced effectively. The mapping product conforms to the Emergency Management Spatial Information Network Australia (EMSINA) symbology. EMSINA is a group of spatial practitioners in the emergency management sector committed to

improving safety for Australians through the use of sound decision-making supported by spatial information technologies (http://emsinagroup. blogspot.com.au/p/who-are-we.html). The tailoring of Palanterra for specific CCC needs, supported with training provided by Geoscience Australia and AGO, enabled the CCC staff to generate incident and briefing maps to be included in reports within five minutes. This vastly improved the responsiveness of map creation in the CCC of events unfolding. Additionally, mapping products have been created and tailored for disasters, incorporating information relevant and useful to the event being portrayed, rather than previous resources that included a generic base map that only presented the location of an event with no additional incident specific data or information. The CCC is now a voracious consumer of spatial data. Spatial data is pulled from agencies including the Bureau of Meteorology, emergency management agencies in each state and territory, the Bureau of Statistics for their demographic information and many other datasets from other federal and state/territory agencies, all of whom are custodians for their own specific datasets.


SSSI sustaining partners

The introduction of a spatial capability in the CCC allows for the consolidation of spatial data with other data sources, effectively supporting decision making for disaster response, relief and recovery responsibilities of the Attorney-General’s Department. It also allows the CCC stakeholders to become aware of incidents quickly and ‘at a glance’. Geoscience Australia, AGO and the CCC continue to collaborate on this project, with Geoscience Australia, providing ongoing advice and expertise, in addition to ongoing support through the provision of Geoscience Australia datasets and imagery repositories and for AGO’s Palanterra platform. Additionally Geoscience Australia provide staff to assist in training, and producing mapping products. These products range from incident specific and briefing reports to higher level analysis maps requiring sophisticated spatial expertise. The culmination of this project enhances the Australian Government’s ability to better prepare and respond to events and activate targeted and efficient recovery arrangements as quickly as possible. Spatially enabling the CCC has required a significant collaborative effort however, it is already paying huge dividends. In October 2013, spatial Analysis map of Ex - Tropical Cyclone Dylan, indicating the existing and projected path of the cyclone.

products were developed in response to the bushfires in the Blue Mountains. These products assisted the delivery of financial support to affected communities and the tasking of Defence Force personnel in the clean-up operation. Further improvements are imminent as the CCC’s demand and capacity for spatial data consumption increases and Geoscience Australia’s role increasingly shifts to data analysis. The tri-agency collaboration between Geoscience Australia, the CCC and AGO will continue to enhance the Australian Government Crisis Coordination Centre, as each agency (and others in the future) join and share their respective networks to coordinate and consolidate location based information to support the role of the Commonwealth in natural disaster management. Monica Osuchowski is an Emergency Management Coordinator with Geoscience Australia. Robert Newham is a CCC Liaison Officer for Geoscience Australia.

Acknowledgements:Geoscience Australia, the CCC and the AGO would like to acknowledge the contributions of all offices within these agencies and across states/territories that have and are continuing to enhance the Australian Government’s spatial capability.

Spatial Summit 2014 The Victorian SSSI Conference

Members of the surveying and spatial community are invited to submit abstracts for the Victorian Spatial Summit Conference being held on September 25, 2014. This year’s theme is “Spatial Enablement: Past, Present, and Future”. All Presenters accepted for inclusion in the final Conference Program will receive a 10% discount on their conference registration fee. We are seeking presentations showcasing a wide variety of spatial and surveying projects, including: • Local government • Past, present or future projects in the industry • Emergency management • Entrepreneurial Start-up • Adventure/travel Abstracts must: 1. Provide an overview of the project, research or topic 2. Be a maximum of 500 words 3. Be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF 4. Be submitted by Friday 27 June 2014. Following the closing date for receipt of abstracts, presentations will be reviewed and delegates notified of acceptance. Please email abstracts or queries to the Spatial Summit Organising Committee at: SpatialSummit@sssi.org.au Supported by:

www.spatialsource.com.au 49


sssi news Recent activities of the Young Professionals Update

Over the last few months, the Young Professionals in the surveying and spatial arena have been busy organising and running events across the country. Starting off in the south, the Tasmanian YP’s in conjunction with the Planning Institute of Australia hosted a very successful networking event. South Australia organised a night out of comedy at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, and Western Australia have locked in a regular breakfast networking event series as well as running a speed networking event in February. In coming months, both Queensland and Victoria are planning social lawn bowls and networking events, and Tasmania will conduct presentations at their local universities. Continuing with the theme of career development, the National YP committee is also planning

another webinar, this time with YP patron Brett Bundock on specialist career advice. Please ensure you check the SSSI events calendar on a regular basis for details on all of these events. For many of us, childhood was a time of fun and excitement and a carefree attitude to life. We didn’t have the worries of the adults around us, we didn’t need to work, and we could enjoy life to its fullest. Many of us were also delegated the task of setting up new technology in the home, whether that be the VCR, the DVD or more recently the PVR. Parents entrusted us to do this because we always seemed to be able to work out how to make these things work and all without looking at a single page of instructions. I believe that as Young Professionals in the surveying and spatial industries, we should take an active role in teaching and mentoring the older generation in today’s technological mind field. Whether providing advice on the use of social media hubs such as Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook, new releases of computer software, new technologies and techniques

of capturing data in the field, or new emerging business processes, Young Professionals have a role to play in educating the older generations about these things. These sorts of advances are what can give businesses the edge over their competitors. By stepping up and taking a leading role in your workplace, you will also demonstrate a willingness to contribute your natural skills and abilities to the benefit of the whole organisation. This may even generate unexpected and positive benefits for yourself and others in both your workplace and in your personal life. So get out there and be proactive. If you know someone in your office that has heard of LinkedIn but doesn’t know how to use it, or a new total station hits the market and your boss should know its capabilities, show some initiative, step up, and show others how best use the technologies that are there waiting to be harnessed. Matthew Fry Communications Officer, National YP Committee

Land Surveying Commission their own cadastral workshop models. In WA monthly cadastral interest group meetings are held, where younger members are encouraged to attend and participate in discussions of operational matters that are generally the domain of the experienced surveyor.

National solutions to national problems

Promotion of the profession

The National Land Surveying Commission has been discussing and identifying a number of issues that need to be considered from a national perspective. While many solutions can be implemented locally, there still needs to be a national appreciation of limitations and an awareness and identification of the possible pathways to implement solutions.

The main initiatives that appear to be having a positive impact on attracting students to surveying and spatial courses are Destination Spatial and the Lifewithoutlimits programs through the Surveying Taskforce. We are also currently compiling course enrolments and monitoring their movements across the country. We need to ensure that these

Mentoring and training With the number of graduates continuing on to licensing/registration being insufficient, a number of regions are implementing mentoring programs to assist graduates continuing on to registration. ISNSW offers Instructional and Assessment Cadastral Workshops to financially enrolled BOSSI candidates undertaking registration. The Victorian and Queensland Surveyors Boards, in conjunction with Professional Surveying Associations in each state, are developing

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education initiatives are working in harmony to make certain the maximum utilisation of our resources.

Areas on titles ACSV has released a discussion paper on having a consistent definition of displaying areas on titles, in particular apartment areas. There has been some concern expressed by property bodies with the definition of areas in relation to the financing, marketing and valuation of apartments. The establishment of a national independent definitive standard in relation to apartment areas could result in significant benefits to purchasers, financiers and other stakeholders involved in property.


The Australasian magazine of surveying, mapping & geo-information

April/May 2014 – No. 70

The Australasian magazine of surveying, mapping & geo-information

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