Viewing entries posted in August 2016

ZAP Tracker


Posted by on 29 August 2016

Interpret have created an exciting real-time tool that is able to track the location of lightning relative to sensitive infrastructure assets, then the moment it strikes, instantaneously trigger notifications to asset managers, field crews and dispatch centres. The notifications detail exactly where the strike occurred and the closest asset – all in real-time! As a by-product of this technology and through the analysis of a large amount of historical data, Interpret are also able to identify areas there is a greater likelihood of lightning strike. Although targeted primarily towards electrical transmission and distribution asset owners for the management of critical infrastructure, other potential use cases include fire fighting, forestry and aviation, or just the general public. To check out the app, visit or for more information please contact Phill on

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Hamish Showcased on University of Canterbury Web Site

hamish kingsbury

Posted by on 29 August 2016


The University of Canterbury has been committed to producing tomorrows leaders for over 130 years and has chosen Hamish to represent its Geographical Information Science programme. In the profile Hamish talks about his time at the University and what he enjoyed along with his career so far here at Interpret. He’s an excellent promoter of the discipline stating  ‘You can choose to use GIS in conjunction with a range of other skills. It is both a tool and a discipline – and extremely versatile.' To read the full article click here.

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Strictly Spatial #22

Strictly Spatial 22a2

Posted by on 26 August 2016


Have you wondered how quickly datums can become incorrect? Or have you ever been stuck wondering what type of map is best to display your data? In this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial we look at both of these, as well as handy holiday applications and maps of movie locations. Read on for more!

Every day we work with spatial data and take things such as projections, coordinate systems and datums for granted. We don’t often think about the tectonic processes that shift, change and mould our earth and affect our datums. Australia is currently in the process of designing a new datum for mapping and spatial data. The current Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994 (GDA1994) has served them well but it is now a surprising 1.5m out! You can read about the new datum on Esri Australia’s blog here.

When creating a map you need a few things, firstly data. Once you’ve got that sorted you need to decide how to display the data. Should it be a choropleth map? How about a dot density? Or even a cartogram? To help you decide you can take a look at the UX Patterns for Maps website. This website contains a range of different cartographic map styles ad explanations about how and when is best to use them.

Strictly Spatial 22b3Remote Sensing comes in various degrees of ‘remoteness’. From ground based infrared sensing, to drones, to Geosynchronous satellites. These different methods all have their own advantages and disadvantages. Esri has written a blog post outline the previously mentioned, as well as other, remote sensing platforms. You can check the blog post out here.

We all enjoy a holiday and in today’s connected world it's often difficult to escape technology. However, there are some handy apps that can help make sure that you make the most of your break. The team at the Geoawsomeness blog have made a list of five ‘must have’ location based apps that will prove invaluable on your holiday. Check them out here.

Everyone loves a good movie and for the more diehard fans you could think of nothing better than visiting a location used in your favourite film. Whether its exploring your favourite Hobbit Hole, walking down Diagon Alley or visiting the hall where Stu explains GIS in What We Do in the Shadows. Google Maps Mania has published a blog post that introduces a number of maps showing where movie locations are in various cities and countries. You can check the blog post out here.

That’s this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial all wrapped up. Don’t forget to stay in touch with us through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email!

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Research and Development Grant Received from Callaghan Innovation


Posted by on 19 August 2016

Interpret has received a grant from Callaghan Innovation to employ a student intern over the 2016/7 summer break. This is to work on the ‘Predictive Lightning Strike Model’, a project that involves building on existing research and development work Interpret has undertaken. This research will help utility asset owners to understand the spatial and temporal risk associated with lightning strikes, by providing real-time knowledge of when critical assets are at risk and enabling an effective response in advance of potential damage or outages.

Each year Callaghan Innovation provides research and development grants to employ students over the summer break. This year they received a record 364 applications of which 245 were granted. This gives undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain valuable work experience as well as injecting new talent into the workplace. Click here if you are interested in applying for the student intern position.

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Strictly Spatial #21

Posted by on 11 August 2016


In this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial we look at alternatives to Esri Story Maps, the development of Rio’s Olympic venues, how round and how rectangular countries are, some new software from Esri and to finish it off, a sky diving game making the most of Google Maps.

Strictly Spatial 21aStory Maps are a great way to share information, photos or videos on a map. Esri has their own robust implementation with various themes and layouts. For those of you who don’t use Esri software, Jack Dougherty has developed a leaflet based story map template. The result is a very smooth and clean interface that can be styled to suit your needs. If you’re interested in using or adapting this template, you can find the well documented source code on GitHub. If this leaflet implementation doesn’t quite fit you needs, have a look at examples by Mapme, CartoDB or StoryMap JS.

Strictly Spatial 21bWith the Rio Olympics in full swing it’s often difficult to think of the work that went into developing the facilities used by the Olympians in their respective sporting disciplines. The team at Geoawesomeness have made use of historical satellite imagery from Terraserver to generate some animations showing the development at three key Olympic sites. You can check these out here.

 The 2016 International Esri User Conference was held last month in San Diego. During the conference many questions were asked regarding ArcGIS Pro. For those of you who were unable to make the UC, Esri has released a blog post outlining the top 10 questions asked about ArcGIS Pro. For those of you interested in 3D, but unsure of some of the new terms, Esri has published a glossary of these important 3D terms.

Strictly Spatial 21cHave you ever wondered which country is the most rectangular, or which is the roundest? No? well, nor had I – until I saw these two websites (rectangular, roundest). The first uses the programing language R to determine a countries’ rectangular nature whilst the second makes use of Python to determine how round a country is. In each instance, New Zealand scores reasonably poorly, ranked 156 with a score of 0.767 for rectangular and ranked 186 with a score of 0.437 for roundness.

Strictly Spatial 21dEsri has recently announced the release of a new piece of software, Insights for ArcGIS. This software offers new ways to analyse and visualise your spatial data. Esri Australia have written an interesting blog post on this product. It is a very interesting article which provides some insights to Insight - couldn’t resist! If this software sounds like something that can help you get more out of your data, you can read Esri Australia’s blog post here.

Have you skydived? Are you worried that the parachute might not open? What about skydiving with no parachute and relying on a 30x30ft net to catch you… Recently an American daredevil did just that. You can read about his death defying stunt here. Off the back of such a stunt, Google Maps Mania has released a blog post that contains two fun browser based skydiving games, you check out the article here.

That’s all for this fortnights Strictly Spatial, remember to keep in contact with us on Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email.

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