Viewing entries posted in November 2016

Strictly Spatial #29

Posted by on 30 November 2016


With December almost here it’s time for those movember-stashes to be removed – unless you’re father Christmas for your work Christmas function! In this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial we explore street art in Christchurch, look at a TRON inspired basemap and see just how long Trump’s wall actually is!

Strictly Spatial 29aPost-earthquake, street art has become a draw card for visitors to Christchurch. Local and international artists have visited the city to stamp their own creations on blank city walls. This has resulted in a vibrant and dynamic scene. Unfortunately, there was no definitive source of all these murals. Lindsay Chan took this as a challenge and mapped out all (as many as she could find) the murals. You can check out her story map here and let her know about any she might have missed.


Strictly Spatial 29bMaking non GIS and spatial people interested in maps is often a challenge. Companies like MapBox and OSM are creating stunning and informative basemaps that make us GIS folk tingle with joy. Going further there a plenty of ways people have customised these basemaps even further. However, this custom basemap takes it to the next level. The TRON2.0 basemap is a bright, animated basemap inspired by Tron and built using Mapzen. Check out how they made it here.

Lidar, NIR (Near InfraRed) and true colour imagery taken from drones (UAVs), lanes or satellites can reveal a lot of information about our landscape that we can’t see when we’re on the ground. Once this data has been captured, spatial modelling, analysis and statistical tools can be used to interpret the data. A combination of these GIS processes are being used in Landscape Archaeology. GIS Lounge has written a short piece on the subject, which you can read here.

Strictly Spatial 29cOne of the big promises that came out of Trump’s presidential campaign was to build a wall separating Mexico and USA. This wall is proposed to be a massive 3,200km long. That’s the equivalent of three and half return trips from Christchurch to Dunedin – via the ‘new’ inland route. A German newspaper has published an interactive map that allows you to drag the outline of the proposed wall across the globe so you can understand just how long this wall will be.

That’s all for this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial. We hope you enjoy the start of the festive season! Keep in contact through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email.

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Canterbury Spatial Network Christmas Drinks

Posted by on 29 November 2016

CSN Christmas Invite 2016RSVP here if you are interested in attending

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Kurt Janssen wins "Young Professional of the Year" award

Posted by on 22 November 2016

Kurt Janssen from Interpret Geospatial Solutions, is one of Australasia’s leading geospatial professionals.  On Wednesday 16 November, Kurt was presented the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) Young Professional of the Year 2016, in recognition of his technical expertise, leadership and contribution to the GIS community.

Several years ago, Kurt and Abley Transportation Consultants identified an opportunity to deliver smarter spatial solutions, and wanted to help organisations to make sense of the numbers through modelling, mapping and web technologies.  Interpret was established in 2013, and has grown rapidly to a team of 19 highly skilled professionals located across two offices in Auckland and Christchurch.  Interpret is now one of New Zealand’s leading geospatial consultancies.

A key ingredient in Interpret’s success, is the ability to combine Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Abley’s transport expertise, with a focus on delivering road safety solutions.  An example of this is SafetyNET, a collaborative project for the NZ Transport Agency, which involved an innovative and award-winning technique of analysing road safety metrics.  This work has helped to save lives and prevent serious harm on New Zealand’s roads.

Interpret also delivers GIS solutions to many industries beyond the transport sector, such as Enable Fibre Broadband, who understand and value the use of geospatial knowledge.  The focus for Interpret has been on growing the geospatial industry outside of traditional strongholds. 

Kurt has proven to be an inspirational leader and manager, providing support and mentoring to team.  Interpret has attracted talented experts from all over the world, creating a diverse and specialised team with a vibrant culture.  

Steve Abley, Managing Director says “The future for Interpret is exciting, with the rapid advancements in technology and so many opportunities in the pipeline, the team look forward to continuing to push the boundaries in the geospatial world.  Kurt reflects the values of the Interpret team.”

 KURT Scenic Low

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Strictly Spatial #28

Posted by on 17 November 2016


We hope you are all safe after these recent events – it was certainly a rude awakening for the majority of the country! We at Interpret are all safe and sound. In this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial we examine some maps that provide some additional information and visualisation on tectonic processes in New Zealand. We also look at some maps that have come out of the recent US Presidential Election.

Strictly Spatial 28aThe events on Monday morning were certainly an unpleasant reminder of the active environment we live in.  New Zealand is a very tectonically active country with numerous volcanos and fault lines dotted across the landscape. In light of these events, here are some maps that are very relevant to the current situation:




-          Earthquake Public Information Map

-          GNS Science’s New Zealand Geology Web Map

-          Animated map of aftershocks

-          Crowdsourced Earthquake Story Map

-          Christchurch Quake Map.

Many of us use Python to assist in geoprocessing workflows and we understand the power and flexibility that additional Python libraries can bring to ArcPy. Esri Australia has published a blog post on how ArcGIS Pro uses Conda to manage third party packages and help with backwards testing and compatibility. You can read the post here.

The other big news of the past week is the US Elections. This election, like most others was well fought by both parties. As a true blooded kiwi, I have trouble understanding the (apparent) complexity of US politics; the house, the senate and the electoral college are all just words I don’t really understand! But what I do understand are maps! Firstly, lets take a look at previous elections and their results – Interesting to see how some elections were almost a white wash. 

Strictly Spatial 28bMoving forward to this year’s Election there were many reports of long waits and voting machine problems. This web map has taken changes in Google searches to map out reported problems faced during voting. Another web map has been made that shows the counties where Trump swayed the vote. An informative blog post has been written on the matter which you can read here. Gerrymandering (drawing political boundaries to give a party numeric advantage) plays an important role in the US elections. The Washington Post has published a map showing the extent to which each Congressional district has been Gerrymandered along with a brief description of how the score was calculated.

That’s all for this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial, we hope you stay safe over the next few weeks. Remember to stay in touch through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email.

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Strictly Spatial #27

Posted by on 2 November 2016


November is finally here! That means long summer nights are oh so close. In this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial we look at a new craze sweeping across the world… well, our office at least (and maybe yours too). This new ‘craze’ is 3D building extrusion, made so simple with Mapbox’s new API. We also look at how GIS is being used in the medical world, and we finish off with an interesting piece on Christchurch aerial imagery!

Strictly Spatial 27a2Over the past few weeks, several of us in the office have been looking at 3D extrusion of building footprints. This was spurred on by Mapbox releasing their new vector tiles with building heights. Since then the idea of open source, building height data seems to have taken the wider GIS community by storm. Here you can see an example of the building height data, along with zoning being used to show the distribution of different building heights in different building zones.

This idea has begun to extend out to wider web 3D development with Mapbox. The new API also allows you to extrude your own data. Mapbox has created a demo of this using population data in San Francisco. It’s a nifty wee visualisation that shows the population of each census block. Take a look at it here.

Strictly Spatial 27bIt’s something that is (or should be) routine, that many of us don’t enjoy and something that can often add up to quite a hefty bill. What is it? A trip to dentist. Now how does dentistry relate to GIS? Using scanning technologies, dentists can create spatial-temporal maps of teeth. These can then be used to look for anomalies or to plan for fillings or crowns. You can read more about these techniques over at GIS Lounge.

Strictly Spatial 27cBusinesses in similar industries tend to group their offices together. You can often see this when you travel through areas and notice similar types of workplaces alongside each other. Ansoncfit has taken employment data for the city of Boston and mapped each entry as point on a map. This results in a wonderful display of colours which clearly identifies hotspots of various industries. Take a look!

As many of you are probably aware, Christchurch has some very high quality aerial imagery. Compiling and mosaicking this imagery is a technical challenge. This informative blog post from Lincoln University looks at one particular challenge faced with aerial imagery – tall objects.

That’s all for this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial, I hope you’ve found something interesting! Remember to keep in touch through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email.

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