Viewing entries posted in May 2016

Strictly Spatial #15

Posted by on 19 May 2016


Welcome all to this fortnight's Strictly Spatial. Here in Canterbury we’ve been very fortunate to have a very extended summer! However, to quote a very well-known TV show, winter is coming, and hasn’t it hit with a blast! Speaking of wind, in this fortnight's Strictly Spatial we look at a nifty wind map, hand drawn ‘memory maps’ and cartographically inspired roading visualisations.

Strictly Spatial 15a

It’s been pretty windy here in Christchurch over the past week. I came across this very pleasant wind predictor map called Project Ukko and it instantly struck a chord. It’s built on MapBox and displays the probabilistic wind speed predictions for the upcoming year. It was built for the energy sector but for me, it’s a gorgeous map and interface to look at. Give it a go and let us know what you think!

Recently, the United States government released a declassified list of 1,100 nuclear target sites. These sites were decided upon in 1956, during the Cold War and not surprisingly, the majority of these sites are in Eastern Europe. The Future of Life Institute partnered with NukeMap to provide some interactive maps to show what the fallout from these sites would be if the USA were to launch  any one of its nuclear war heads. You can read more about the sites here.

Strictly Spatial 15bLast year at the Esri International User Conference, the New Zealand contingence had a ‘Kiwi Night’. One thing myself and a few others did (well tried to) was draw memory maps of various countries. These included New Zealand, Australia and the USA – with all the states. It may sound easy, but it wasn’t. I came across this website where someone has georeferenced hand drawn memory maps of Edinburgh. There not many of them, but shows how people’s perspective of locations can vary.


Strictly Spatial 15c

I’m sure many of you have heard or seen what has (and still is) going in Fort McMurray, Canada. The fire has completely devastated vast amounts of land. The Map Room has compiled a list of links to maps and satellite imagery of the fire. Check them out here.



Strictly Spatial 15dIntersections, specifically vast interchanges, can often be complex, confusing and stressful for drivers. They’re often given names such as ‘spaghetti junction’, ‘mixing bowl’ and ‘knot’. Nicholas Rougex, a designer, has produced a series of work aptly named Interchange Choreography. There are some absolutely stunning visual representations in his work. On a similar theme, Andrew Douglas-Clifford, a Masters in GIS student at the University of Canterbury has produced some London Underground inspired State Highway maps for New Zealand. We like them so much we’ve ordered two copies! Check them out here.

That’s all for Strictly Spatial this time around! Don’t forget to stay in touch through Facebook, @InterpretGS (Twitter), LinkedIn or email!


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Dale wins the 2015 Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for Technical Excellence

Dale Harris Award for Technical Excellence Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards

Posted by on 5 May 2016


Recently at the Locate 16 Conference in Melbourne Australia, Interpret's Dale Harris won the 2015 Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award for Technical Excellence for her work on 'Vehicle Speed and Curve Risk Modelling for Road Safety'. The judges' citation on Dale's work reads as follows:

'This project represents a significant improvement to identifying road safety issues and improving the management of the risk to public safety on the roads. The project was technically demanding and overcame some real challenges. The project delivered an interactive webmap “SignatureNET” that displayed the results of the curve assessment alongside other contextual data, including crash locations. Within the engineering and road safety sectors, this project is regarded as having the potential to revolutionise how road authorities target risk in the future. The project is particularly effective at identifying road safety risks on low volume rural roads where existing assessment techniques, such as hot spot analysis, are unreliable. The project is also recognised as a new spatial sciences benchmark in both research and across the road safety and engineering industries.'

Congratulations Dale on your outstanding win!

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Strictly Spatial #14

Posted by on 4 May 2016

Welcome to Strictly Spatial 14. I hope you are all enjoying this truly extended summer as much as I am! In this edition of Strictly Spatial we take a look at how GIS is being used to manage both competitors and security during the Boston Marathon. We also look at photographing an iconic 4wd trail, mapping one of Americas favourite cities and we hope that Apples new Maps API does (not) produce some hilarious and frankly bizarre errors.

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This article was published a few weeks ago, but it displays what I think is fantastic about GIS – its interoperability and ability to transcend its apparent boundaries into other disciplines. In 2013 the Boston Marathon was the victim of international terrorism when two bombs went off, killing three and injuring 260 people. Two years later, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency produced the Boston Marathon Dashboard - powered by GIS. This system, which uses ArcGIS Online, covered many aspects of the race management; including security and medical assistance. You can read more about the dashboard here.

I came across this short read and I think it clearly identifies the boundary between free software solutions (Google Maps) and paid software solutions (Esri). It talks about answering the ‘where’ question and compares two scenarios, one where you need complete simplicity (Google Maps) and one where you need more advanced analytical and query abilities (Esri). Have a read and let us know where you’ve encountered a similar scenario and what solution you’ve used.

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Some of you might have heard of the Rubicon Trail, for those that haven’t it is a technical 4wd trail located in the Sierra Nevada, USA. A collaboration between Top Gear USA and NCTech has led to the capture of 360 degree imagery along the trail. This was done using NCTechs’ iSTAR camera. Not all the imagery has been upload yet, but you can check out what has been uploaded to Google Maps here

I would be surprised if anyone reading this has not heard of The Simpsons. For those more avid viewers, you’d know that the cartoon is set in the fictional town of Springfield, somewhere in America.Strictly Spatial 14cThe location of the Simpsons Springfield has always been vague.  Springfield New Zealand does have its own giant donut to pay respect to the long standing cartoon. Some time rich individuals have created a number of WebMaps Springfield, how accurate are they? I’ll leave that up to you. You can see them here. 

Last week I was working on a map in ArcGIS Online which required an imagery basemap with street names overlaid. The process of combining two layers was made incredibly easy by the ability to move the street name layer to the basemap. Now, when using this WebMap in applications like Web AppBuilder, I can ensure that users What I didn’t know was that this is a relatively new addition by Esri, you can see their blog post on the matter here.

There is some speculation floating around that Apple is going to release a public map API. This could turn out to be interesting…. Does anyone remember the catastrophe that was Apple Maps when it was first released?

That’s all for this fortnight. If you see or hear any cool GIS or spatial stories let us know through  Facebook, @InterpretGS (Twitter), LinkedIn or email!

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