Strictly Spatial #16

1 June 2016

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Auckland, we're hiring!

Strictly Spatial 16a4It’s with great excitement we can announce that we’re about to open an office in Auckland.  We’ll be based in the heart of the CBD at 57 Fort Street and leading the team is Principal consultant Chris Morris.  Chris will be known to many of you having a particular expertise in Geocortex essentials and infrastructure assets.  If that wasn’t newsworthy enough, New Zealand’s 2015 Spatial Excellence - Young Professional of the Year award winner, Natalie Scott (pictured) will be returning to us and working from our new premises.  Our growth plans mean we’re actively recruiting in Auckland so if you’re keen to work for 2015’s most awarded geospatial consultancy, have a look at the roles we’re currently looking to fill here.  You can read more about this exciting development here.  See you soon Auckland.

Doesn’t time fly, it’s been a fortnight since the last Strictly Spatial! With winter well and truly now on our doorstep I suggest you rug up warm for this fortnight's edition.

Strictly Spatial 16b2Satellite and remotely sensed imagery is often shown as the poster-boy of GIS. It is flashy, instantly recognisable and without much explaining it shows the power of GIS. Mainstream uses for remotely sensed imagery tend to be basemaps; something we put our own data on. More often than not this is the extent of remotely sensed imagery in your typical commercial environment.  Remotely sensed imagery really comes into its own when you use it for research. Remotely sensed imagery has high spatial and temporal resolution and can come in panchromatic, multispectral and hyperspectral formats. What puts the icing on the cake is that this imagery is often freely available. Data extracted from this imagery can be used to discover a lot about our planet such as how it changes and how we use its resources. One such example is using landsat imagery to generate evapotranspiration water-use maps to show changing water use patterns.

Strictly Spatial 16c2Following in similar fashion, a group funded by the Knight Foundation have developed a visual search tool that can be used to search for features in satellite imagery. This tool, called Terrapattern, uses advanced machine learning to analyse satellite imagery and identify features. These include and are not limited to boat wakes, shipping containers and cul-de-sacs. Pretty impressive! The tool Is currently in alpha, and is limited to Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New York City and Detroit. The team is currently working on expanding the tool to more cities. Give it a go!

Over the past few years, geography and GIS has taken off and embedded itself into a huge range of industries and technologies. This quote highlights such growth; Uber is the world’s largest taxi company yet owns no vehicles, Facebook is the world’s most popular media owner yet creates no content, Alibaba is the world’s most valuable retailer yet has no inventory and Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation provider yet owns no real estate. What do these four companies have in common? They all, somewhere along the line need spatial information. This article by Anusuya Datta, opens with a variation on the previously mentioned quote. It is a fascinating article that looks into just how GIS is taking off and wiggling its way into (almost) everything. Well worth a read.

GIS is a tool that can help give a greater, wider reaching understanding of natural processes. This is highlighted in this short overview by Carmela Buono. The paper it proceeds looks at how GIS has been used to understand how manmade structures have affected the stability of soils during road and tunnel construction. It is a technical, yet interesting read which uses a number of different GIS processes. You can find the full paper here.

That’s all for this fortnights edition, like always, feel free to get in touch through Facebook, @InterpretGS (Twitter), LinkedIn or email. Don’t forgot to check out our vacancies if you are interested in joining our award winning team in Auckland.