Viewing entries posted in February 2016

Jana Passes her ArcGIS Desktop Certification

Jana picture

Posted by on 26 February 2016

Jana has recently completed the requirement to be recognized as an Esri  Certified ArcGIS Desktop Associate. The certification recognises capability in the use of Esri software and best practice. This is a great achievement for Jana and tops off an outstanding 2015 when Jana’s technical excellence was recognized by receiving an industry award. Well done Jana! 

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Interpret Entertains the Minister for Land Information

Ministerial Visit

Posted by on 25 February 2016

The Interpret team were excited to host a visit by the Hon Louise Upston and LINZ CEO Peter Mersi to the Interpret office. Our visitors were most interested to see demonstrations of how the team uses and combines different types of data, including open spatial data, to deliver high-value solutions for our clients. We demonstrated how we utilise the LINZ Data Service to source key spatial datasets such as imagery and cadastral data which forms the basis of many of Interpret’s applications we deliver for our clients.

The Minister’s visit was prompted by Interpret’s success at the recent NZ Spatial Excellence Awards where we picked up a number of awards, including the Supreme Award. You can view more details of our success at the awards in this blog post.

The team appreciated the Minister's visit and the ensuing engaging and enthusiastic discussion facilitated by the visitor's challenging questions.


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Strictly Spatial #9

Strictly Spatial 9a

Posted by on 24 February 2016


Five years ago, at 12:51pm on the 22nd of February, Christchurch was rocked by a deadly 6.3 magnitude earthquake. As you all know this devastated Christchurch. Five years on, we are rebuilding and re-envisioning our city. In this edition of Strictly Spatial we look at how GIS has been used worldwide to assist emergency efforts in quake ravaged communities.

On the 25th April, 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayas, greatly effecting Nepal. Nepal had limited geospatial information, coupling that with the effects of a disaster, it made accessing remote communities incredibly difficult; until crowdsourcing joined in. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of crowdsourcing, here is an informative article on the idea.

In Nepal, crowdsourcing was used in numerous ways, comparing pre/post imagery to find damaged buildings, mapping out previously unmapped roads, (using the imagery) giving those roads an accessibility rating, and mapping out help requests, shelters, aid distribution centres and more. Two very interesting blogs on crowdsourcing during the Nepal relief efforts can be found here and here

More complex GIS analysis was also used to assist Nepal post disaster. This article from the Penn State University Department of Geography explores some of these. For a map centric, informative view of the disasters, take a look at Esri’s Nepal Earthquake Maps. These informative maps help to understand the scale of the devastation in the country.

Strictly Spatial 9b2Shortly after the Christchurch earthquake, Japan was effected by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami. Again, crowdsourcing played a vital role in helping the relief efforts. Combine this with existing datasets, resulted in a swath of GIS data. Just some of this data can be found here. Maps and other spatial resources were developed and released – all of which assisted with relief efforts. An interesting article published by Joseph Kerski takes a geospatial perspective and looks at the events in Japan and how spatial and GIS helped the rescue and relief efforts.

  Many of you would have been involved at some point during the past five year in work to rebuild Christchurch. Many companies are leveraging GIS tools to convey information to the public and to keep track of work. There are some interesting online maps on the CERA website, they can be found here.

To assist in the immediate recovery, high resolution (0.1m) imagery was taken of Christchurch two days after the February quake. This imagery is now available for public viewing and use. You can download this off the LINZ Data Service portal. There is also a 2m resolution DEM available from Canterbury Maps.

Strictly Spatial 9c

That’s this edition of Strictly Spatial done. As always, if you have any interesting spatial stories to share with us, let us know through Twitter, Facebook or Email.

Kia Kaha Christchurch


ChristChurch Cathedral Image taken from Cathnews:

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Strictly Spatial #8

Strictly Spatial 8a

Posted by on 12 February 2016


Hope you all had relaxing long weekend and have had a productive four day week! If you’re already hanging out for another long weekend, remember that Easters not far away! In this fortnights Strictly Spatial we head south to Antarctica to look at Esri’s new Antarctic Imagery. We then head north, and back in time, to New York to have a look at the original street layouts for the city. This edition also explores how geography is being pushed onto the world wide stage as well as looking at how drones (UAVs) and cars can work together in post disaster scenarios.

To follow up the release of an Antarctic Imagery Basemap (in WGS 1984 Antarctic Polar Stereographic) Esri has created a story map (pictured) on the Territorial Claims of the Antarctic. This story map is very informative and showcases the new basemap – 15m, true colour imagery. It gives a brief overview of countries historic claims on the frozen continent as well as their research centres. Reading the story map, I discovered that since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961, all territorial claims are invalid and that Antarctica is not to be used for any military activity! If you want to use the imagery, you can connect to the REST endpoint here.

The Museum of the City of New York has released a georeferenced, interactive map that allows for users to compare how (little) the original proposed layout of NYC has changed compared to its current state. The map, found here, allows for the user to alter the transparency of the original paper map and compare it to a current day basemap. I’ve never been to New York so I can’t fully appreciate this, but I imagine many of you will be impressed with how little the layout has changed.

I imagine the majority of us have backgrounds in Geography, and from that, we know just how variable and adaptable the subject is. This article by Joseph Kerski looks at five global trends that are transforming the audience for geography and the way it is taught and perceived. Kerski does a great job in explaining each of these and goes into an informative discussion towards the end.The five trends are:

  1. Geo-awareness,
  2. Geo-enablement,
  3. Geotechnologies,
  4. Citizen Science and
  5. Storytelling
 Ford and drone maker DJI are teaming up to integrate vehicles and drones. The ultimate outcome of the venture is a surveying system that can be used by the United Nations Development Program. What it plans to achieve is to allow for the control of drones from the cabin of a Ford F150. Users would be able to drive into (or as close as possible) a disaster zone and select a location using the cars touch screen. The drone would then fly to the location and take high resolution imagery. Pretty cool if you ask me, check out the article and a short video on the project here.


Finally, the FIG Working Week is coming to Christchurch. This international conference brings together surveying and spatial professionals. This year the overarching theme of the event is recovery from disaster. If this floats your boat, check out some more details here.

That’s all for this fortnights Strictly Spatial. If you or your company has any interesting GIS or Spatial news to share, let us know on Twitter, Facebook or email.

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Regional Esri User Conferences

New Zealand Esri Users Group

Posted by on 5 February 2016


The 2016 Regional ESRI User Conferences are scheduled for March/April this year. Check out the NZEUG web page here for dates and further information. These User Conferences are great for catching up and meeting other GIS professionals in your region. There will be a range of presentations including demonstrations of the latest ESRI apps and a heads up on upcoming improvements to existing ESRI software. These events are free to attend and are a great way to stay connected until the 2016 NZ ESRI User conference in Auckland.

If you, or your company is interested in showcasing some work at any of the events, contact Kate Waterhouse or Kurt Janssen. See you all there!

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