Strictly Spatial #8

12 February 2016

Strictly Spatial 8a


Hope you all had relaxing long weekend and have had a productive four day week! If you’re already hanging out for another long weekend, remember that Easters not far away! In this fortnights Strictly Spatial we head south to Antarctica to look at Esri’s new Antarctic Imagery. We then head north, and back in time, to New York to have a look at the original street layouts for the city. This edition also explores how geography is being pushed onto the world wide stage as well as looking at how drones (UAVs) and cars can work together in post disaster scenarios.

To follow up the release of an Antarctic Imagery Basemap (in WGS 1984 Antarctic Polar Stereographic) Esri has created a story map (pictured) on the Territorial Claims of the Antarctic. This story map is very informative and showcases the new basemap – 15m, true colour imagery. It gives a brief overview of countries historic claims on the frozen continent as well as their research centres. Reading the story map, I discovered that since the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1961, all territorial claims are invalid and that Antarctica is not to be used for any military activity! If you want to use the imagery, you can connect to the REST endpoint here.

The Museum of the City of New York has released a georeferenced, interactive map that allows for users to compare how (little) the original proposed layout of NYC has changed compared to its current state. The map, found here, allows for the user to alter the transparency of the original paper map and compare it to a current day basemap. I’ve never been to New York so I can’t fully appreciate this, but I imagine many of you will be impressed with how little the layout has changed.

I imagine the majority of us have backgrounds in Geography, and from that, we know just how variable and adaptable the subject is. This article by Joseph Kerski looks at five global trends that are transforming the audience for geography and the way it is taught and perceived. Kerski does a great job in explaining each of these and goes into an informative discussion towards the end.The five trends are:

  1. Geo-awareness,
  2. Geo-enablement,
  3. Geotechnologies,
  4. Citizen Science and
  5. Storytelling
 Ford and drone maker DJI are teaming up to integrate vehicles and drones. The ultimate outcome of the venture is a surveying system that can be used by the United Nations Development Program. What it plans to achieve is to allow for the control of drones from the cabin of a Ford F150. Users would be able to drive into (or as close as possible) a disaster zone and select a location using the cars touch screen. The drone would then fly to the location and take high resolution imagery. Pretty cool if you ask me, check out the article and a short video on the project here.


Finally, the FIG Working Week is coming to Christchurch. This international conference brings together surveying and spatial professionals. This year the overarching theme of the event is recovery from disaster. If this floats your boat, check out some more details here.

That’s all for this fortnights Strictly Spatial. If you or your company has any interesting GIS or Spatial news to share, let us know on Twitter, Facebook or email.