Meet our new team members and check out the great work we are doing on road safety in the latest Strictly Spatial newsletter.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the Interpret team!
Todd has recently joined Interpret as a Principal Consultant. Todd most recently worked as the Technical GIS lead at the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), the alliance rebuilding Christchurch’s underground services after the 2010/2011 earthquakes. One of Todd’s greatest success stories, is the GIS system he developed for staff and management at SCIRT. Todd was awarded the ESRI International award for Special Achievement in GIS in 2012, was a finalist at the 2013 New Zealand Engineering Excellence awards, and took out the inaugural NZSEA Young Professional of the Year in 2014.
Todd has been working in the industry for 14 years and has a vast array of project experience behind him, including extensive survey and title projects, asset management, as well as some one-off challenges. These include an automated feature creation for an Antarctic glacier, and an automated creation of front and back panels for the LINZ topo50 and topo250 hard-copy map series for their initial release. As well as having experience in a range of GIS software, Todd has a good understanding of formats from other disciplines and is one of four Certified Professionals in Safe’s FME within New Zealand. FME is a Desktop and Server software with a growing reputation, used to analyse, transform and construct data between 300 plus formats.
Outside of work, Todd dedicates his time to his young and growing family.
The staff at Interpret relish the opportunity to demonstrate innovation and technical brilliance in their work. They find it a privilege to have the opportunity to embark on projects and solve problems for clients that test their geospatial capabilities, and it is an absolute thrill to be recognised by the GIS community for the results they are getting. The NZ Spatial Awards held at Te Papa in Wellington in November 2015, was another opportunity to showcase Interpret’s capabilities.
Interpret’s Dale Harris won the Technical Excellence Award and the Overall Supreme Award for her work on 'Road safety risk prediction methodology for low volume rural roads'. Traditional risk assessment techniques rely on crash history which make it difficult to predict risk in low traffic volume areas. This groundbreaking research uses geospatial data and innovative techniques to identify road curvature risk, independent of road crash history. The results of this new research have been shared with road controlling authorities to support road safety improvements.
At the same conference Hamish Kingsbury’s work in the road safety space was also recognised. He won the Undergraduate of the Year Award for his presentation on ‘Journey optimisation by safest route’ (featured in our last newsletter). He and his team developed a website to help road users identify the safest, shortest and fastest route to get to their destination. To date there has been little research into the integration of routing and safety. This innovative research will be particularly useful for businesses reliant on driving, who want to optimise the safety of their drivers.
Featured is a photo of Natalie Scott receiving the award for Young Professional of the Year for her outstanding performance in the geospatial industry. Throughout her many roles, she has shown exceptional leadership and technical innovation. She is frequently called upon by both clients and colleagues to provide solutions, and enjoys the challenges she is asked to solve. She also contributed to the success of NZ Scouts winning the People and Community category, and Enable Services Limited winning the Spatial Enablement category for her outstanding GIS work with these clients.
Environment Canterbury (ECAN) regularly visits consent locations throughout the Canterbury Region. Often multiple consents are visited in one trip. ECAN would like to accurately and fairly split the costs of visiting these consents to each consent holder. Interpret has developed a custom widget, the Trip Distance Calculator, using ESRI’s WebApp Builder. This allows consent officers at ECAN to input consent locations and their start/end locations before or after a trip to visits consent holders. The widget will then return a number of values which can be used to accurately and fairly calculate what to charge each consent holder. By building the Trip Distance Calculator Interpret was able to ensure cross-platform and cross-browser reliability and scalability. The WebApp Builder allows developers to use either preconfigured widgets in their web applications or to build their own. Due to the uniqueness of ECAN’s problem, Interpret decided to build a custom widget. ECAN is then able to incorporate the widget into their existing web applications.
Due to the complexity of some scenarios, three separate routing functions are required to ensure the correct results are returned. The first routing function calculates the shortest route from the start location, to the selected consents or addresses, and on to the selected destination. The second routing function determines which depot each consent (or address) is closest to and calculates that distance. The third routing function sorts each consent into their respective zones. It then calculates the shortest route, starting and ending at the respective depot, between all consents in that zone. The distances are summed and returned.
All these distances help ECAN to effectively and fairly manage their costs associated with consent visits. From the values returned by the web application built by Interpret, ECAN is able to divide the costs between each consent holder and easily identify mileage costs that ECAN will write off.
Interpret recently presented their recent work on ‘Journey Optimisation by Safest Route’ at the 2015 ACRS Conference in the Gold Coast. The research was undertaken as part of a Callaghan Innovation Student Experience Grant and explored the feasibility of incorporating safety data into a vehicle routing network. Dale Harris, Paul Durdin and student intern Hamish Kingsbury developed the website to help users identify the safest, shortest and fastest route to get to their destination. To date there has been little research into the integration of routing and safety – allowing road users to choose the safest, as well as the shortest and quickest routes.
Industries and businesses reliant on driving (such as logistics and distribution, tradespeople and taxi drivers) would benefit from a routing system designed to inform the relative risk of different route options while maintaining efficiency. With increasing dependence of fast, reliable and safe transport, the idea of taking safety into account is of interest to companies looking to reduce risk while minimizing distance and time costs. It also helps employers meet their workplace health and safety obligations.
The project used ARcGIS Network Analyst to develop the output. The Auckland region was the study area for the project as the region has sufficient data and urban and rural roads to feed into the project guidelines. The project outcome was the development of an interactive website that allows users to choose and weight three routing variables that best meets their needs (travel time; distance and safety). The route that best meets their chosen priorities is then displayed on the screen. The sample output from the routing website displays the shortest (dashed red), the quickest (dotted blue) against the preferred route (solid green). Based on safety, distance and time priorities, the safest route (in green) is:
- 69% safer than the shortest route (in red);
- 88% safer then the quickest route (in blue);
- 6% longer then the shortest route;
- 15% slower than the quickest route.
The project demonstrates that there is potential for safety based vehicle routing systems. It supports a safe system approach to managing road safety risk associated with work related driving. The next step is to explore commercial opportunities including partnerships with interested public bodies and commercial vehicle routing services.
Interpret has a new staff member - Santosh Seshadri. Santosh hails from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas where he has had eight years of professional and academic experience as a GIS Research Associate. Santosh has expertise in GIS work-flow analyses, cartography and web application development. Santosh is a welcome addition to the Interpret team.
Jana started with Interpret as a student intern in early 2014, before becoming a permanent staff member in April of that year. Jana is a graduate of the University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic, where she graduated with a Masters of Science in Physical Geography. This adds to the multi-cultural mix we have in the Interpret team. Jana’s experience includes georeferencing and managing historical aerial imagery for ECAN, generating high resolution contours, carrying out accessibility modelling, publishing and editing web based maps and developing an automatic mapping solution using python. Jana is responsible for looking after all things Esri GIS at Solid Energy. In addition she has recently developed an app for Fulton Hogan, allowing their staff to access mapping and GIS functions offsite and offline. This innovative work was recently acknowledged with the ‘Excellence in GIS’ award at the 2015 NZ Esri User Group Conference. Jana loves travel and has backpacked extensively throughout New Zealand and the world.
Interpret achieved considerable success at this year’s Esri User Conference held in Auckland. Jana won the ‘Excellence in GIS’ poster competition with a prize to the International Esri User Conference 2016 in San Diego. The poster describes the customised mapping application she designed for Fulton Hogan which allows staff to use mapping functions, view their GPS location and use basemaps on their touch screen devices in an offline environment. This new application is particularly useful to Fulton Hogan as much of their work is conducted in remote locations. It is also much faster, has a user-friendly interface and provides a simpler workflow for the end user. Implementing this new approach has also made the processing of field data more efficient as data collected by the app is easily integrated into systems back at the office.
Next month is the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards where Interpret is excited to support our finalists. These include Natalie Scott as Young Professional of the Year. Dale Harris for Technical Excellence with a submission titled “Vehicle speed and curve risk modelling for road safety”. Hamish Kingsbury for Student of the year with a submission titled “Incorporating Road Safety into a Vehicle Routing Network”. We are also attending in support of our clients with the following award entries selected as finalists. Andy Cullen from Enable Networks (Network Delivery Alliance) with a submission titled “Enabling an Integrated System”. Interpret have also worked with Scouts New Zealand. Julie Reynolds will be in attendance with a submission titled “Putting Scouts on the Map”. A massive congratulations to all finalists and we look forward to seeing you at the dinner on Thursday 19th November at Te Papa.
Over the summer, Interpret hosted Hamish Kingsbury, a masters student from the University of Canterbury. Interpret secured a Callaghan Innovation research grant, which allowed Hamish to join the team at Interpret over the summer break. He spent this time developing a methodology to integrate Interpret’s existing road safety analysis work into a routing algorithm. This research culminated in a network where users can choose to optimise their route by time, distance or safety. As a result of this work, Hamish was the winner of the 2015 NZ Esri Young Scholar award, which has earned him a trip to the Esri User Conference in San Diego in July – a well-deserved prize!
You can view Hamish’s poster here.
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