Strictly Spatial #27

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.