Viewing entries posted in March 2016

Strictly Spatial #11

Strictly Spatial 11a

Posted by on 24 March 2016


Who’s looking forward to the extra-long weekend? I know I am! For those of you who are heading away, this fortnights Strictly Spatial will provide you with some interesting travel reading and might even spice up your car trip. We look at travel times, and how they’ve changed, explore the world through music, look at satellite imagery art and look unconventional ways of searching for shipwrecks. So buckle in and enjoy!

 We came across these cool Isochrone Driving maps (right). They’re really interesting maps and can give an insight into the topology and road structure of a city and the surrounding area. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there are links to driving maps of various cities (Christchurch included – yay!). These however are in 2 hour increments, and because of New Zealand’s size and lack of borders aren’t as interesting as other countries. Using TomTom data, we created a map of Christchurch with 10 minute intervals from our office. Check it out here.

Strictly Spatial 11b

On the subject of travel, a UK insurances company, The Co-operative Insurance, has created a time travelling map. Using this map will allow you to time travel when you reach 88mph.... Great Scott! Not quite; for the time being Doc, Marty and the infamous DeLorean will remain a Sci-Fi fantasy. What this map does do is let you enter postcodes, towns or cities in the UK and it will show the route as it is now and as it was in 1945.



Strictly Spatial 11cAre you sick of listening to AM talkback whilst driving? Did you forget to load some songs on your phone? Or are you simply fed-up with the one 90s pop rock CD that you always forget to remove from your glove box? Well why not try out Radiooooo? Radiooooo is a fun global music map that allows you to listen to music from anywhere in the world. What further makes this web app interesting is the ability to select music from any decade starting in 1900. You can also take a ‘taxi’ through different countries exploring all sorts of music. Give it a go and see where the music taxi takes you!



Strictly Spatial 11dHow do you use remotely captured imagery? Do you use it as a virtual sightseeing tour? How about using it to perform automated land use classification? Well, a number of developers are utilising the Google Maps API to create art from this imagery. Check them all out here. There are some quite clever visuals here. I particularly like this one.

Who would’ve thought that imagery, captured from space could be used to find shipwrecks under the ocean? Well, imagery from Landsat 8 is being used by a Belgian marine research institute to do just that. It is estimated that only 10% of all shipwrecks have been found. Those that are still ‘missing’ are rumoured to hold billions in treasure, both material and historical. To see how scientists find these missing wrecks, follow the link! And if you find any buried treasure, remember who pointed you in the right direction!

 That’s all for this fortnights Strictly Spatial. I hope you all have a relaxing break, and have enjoyed your four day week (and are looking forward to the following four day week!). Keep safe and don’t eat too much chocolate! If you encounter any cool or interesting spatial stories, let us know! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Email.



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Hamish Wins 3M Award at the IPENZ Transportation Group Conference

Hamish Ipenz 2016

Posted by on 11 March 2016

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Hamish has been awarded the 3M Traffic Safety Young Professional Award and the Best Young Professional Award at the recent 2016 IPENZ (Institution of Professional Engineers NZ) Transportation Group Conference in Auckland. These awards are for the work Hamish has performed on investigating how road safety metrics can be incorporated into vehicle routing networks. It’s great to see GIS being recognised in the engineering domain and it shows how versatile GIS can be.

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Strictly Spatial #10

Strictly Spatial 10a

Posted by on 10 March 2016


Hello all, welcome back to the 10th edition of Strictly Spatial. This week we look at a range of places, such as Null Island, Fukushima, Union Square, and Israel and Palestine. For those of you who use Esri products, especially ArcGIS online, we have a really helpful set of tools to help you manage and customise your apps. And finally, if you think back to Strictly Spatial 7 you’ll remember What3Words. Well there is now a new way to make the most of this service.

Have you heard of Null Island? Apparently it is like no place on earth! Situated 1,600km of the West Coast of Africa, it sits right on 0⁰ latitude and 0⁰ Longitude.  Sounds pretty sublime right? Well, you’re out of luck. Null Island is fictional island. A tongue-in-cheek website encourages people to visit, but if you travelled to those coordinates, all you’ll find is a weather buoy. Null Island was invented as a way to identify geocoding failures. Esri has released a story map on Nill (Null) Points which show where these points in various projections fall. You need to be careful when creating null or default values for failed geocoding. Developers at the Los Angeles Police Department found that null points skewed their data. These default locations caused artificial and incorrect rises in crime density in locations around the city.

Strictly Spatial 10b

Google has recently released new Street View imagery for Japan. The new imagery, combined with their Memories for the Future website, and pre and post Fukushima Street View imagery, shows just how efficient, hardworking and resilient the Japanese are. Check out the progress visible from imagery that was taken three months after the earthquakes, two years, and four years later. I would love to know just how they removed that ship!


Strictly Spatial 10cReal time data takes GIS to the next level, but often this requires expensive sensors. The team at Placemeter have developed a sensor that, using video, can count traffic, pedestrians, bikes or anything that moves! The applications for this are pretty sweet. What makes it great is that it’s not limited to tracking one flow. You can add multiple measurement points (lines) for one video stream. So you can count traffic flows along multilane roads or track pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, all using one sensor. To demonstrate this, they’ve setup a demo in Union Square, New York.

The ongoing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is complex. The New York Times has released an informative and very well done, story map like interactive web application. By utilizing maps and static visuals, the NYT does a very good job at conveying information about the conflict. You can check it out here. 

For those of you who use Esri products, these tools will prove to be a godsend. There are a range of different tools here, including python scripts and web apps. One in particular that I use regularly is the ArcGIS Online Assistant. With this tool you can manage web maps, applications and services in you ArcGIS Online Account. It makes it really easy to migrate and change service urls without having to add/remove layers and you can even view the raw JSON. Check out the range of tools, I’m sure you’ll find something useful.

A few weeks ago we looked at the What3Words web application and saw how three words can be used to represent any point, anywhere in the world. Well recently, W3W have released an application on the ArcGIS Marketplace allowing for user to leverage their innovative positioning system. It isn’t a free service, but could prove to be beneficial in a number of scenarios. Check out their blog post on the release here.

 Strictly Spatial 10d

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.



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