Strictly Spatial #30

21 April 2017

After a bit of a break Strictly Spatial is back! In this fortnight’s issue, we review some innovative ways that both past and future data can be displayed interactively through 3D mapping.  We look at a new method of measuring and presenting climate change data and with winter fast approaching, we find a means for you to explore some of the great wonders of the world without leaving the comfort (and warmth) of your own living room.

4With ongoing advancements in geospatial software, 3D GIS is growing rapidly in popularity and potential application. Another area of growing importance within GIS in recent times is the mapping of crime statistics as a tool for both the combatting of crime and informing residents of potential danger areas. This web map visualises the prevalence of crime in New York City for each month of 2016. It allows the user to enter a location and view an animation of the peaks and troughs of all crime within a buffer of 500 to 1000 metres.

2Looking forward to the future is something that fosters immense creativity and imagination among humans. This futuristic application from Kaspersky collates predictions about social and technological advancements until the year 2050. 360o views of locations in major cities detail the advancements that are expected on a backdrop of futuristic artist expressions. Users can also review points of interest and submit their opinion on whether they expect the predictions will come true. 


3This story map takes users on a global tour of major mountains and canyons from the comfort of their own homes. Scrolling through the map generates 3D views of tall peaks and low valleys with a collection of the world’s famous mountains and well known canyons and inland seas. It gives users the ability to explore by adjusting the perspective of the natural feature that they are looking at. In addition, useful facts are supplied in the left pane with information about the height and the history of human exploration at each location.

Climate change is a topic of growing importance both in New Zealand and around the world. Damaging weather events and the contentious views of certain global leaders have heightened its profile in the media, presenting a need for data to be produced in a way that is easy for the public to understand. Scientists in Finland have developed methodologies for measuring and visualizing the amount of carbon stored in forests to a resolution of 10 metres. They used interpreted satellite and drone imagery to measure photosynthesis levels and emissions from decomposing plant matter in the soil, indicating areas where carbon was being stored and released. You can read more here.

Lastly, we would like to celebrate kiwi success at the recent Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards. Congratulations to LINZ who were highly commended on their NZVD2016 work, the New Zealand Transport Agency who won the spatial enablement award and Wellington City Council for taking out the JK Barrie award for overall excellence and the 2016 People and Community Award.