Speakers confirmed for GeoRabble Sydney #6

We have a great line up for our next Sydney GeoRabble, with another burst of interesting talks about all aspects of geo, guaranteed to be free of sales pitches. Confirmed speakers are:

  • Llew Cain – Are we 2D living in a 6D future?
  • Jody Garnett – Business intelligence and mapping
  • Mark Warton – Mobile apps for the Easter Show
  • Matthew Smith – About the Fires Near Me mobile app
  • Stephen Lead – Esri’s 100-lines-or-less competition
  • Chris Broadfoot – What’s new in the Google Maps API

Date: Thursday 11th April
Time: 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm start
Location: Occidental Hotel, 43 York St
Grab your tickets from georabblesydney6.eventbrite.com – as always it’s free, with no membership fees.

See you there!

Brisbane GeoRabble #3 Speaker #4 – Ben Somerville

ImageWhen not sailing himself, or maintaining a web map devoted to the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race, Ben Somerville is well known to ArcGIS users as an early adopter and advocate of Esri’s developer and server technologies.

As Spatial Systems Manager at Thiess, Ben is responsible for the management of a GIS that supports many projects across multiple disciplines and platforms. Ben currently spends most of his time supporting the Silcar Thiess Services joint venture which is designing and constructing the NBN in Qld, NSW and the ACT.

For GeoRabble Brisbane #3 Ben is planning to share his thoughts on managing large field work forces and the impact the NBN could have on the GIS industry.

Remaining FREE tickets available from http://georabblebrisbane3.eventbrite.com.au

GeoRabble Perth 5 – Event Review

A Return to Yesteryear Thunder and Lightning and Storms, Oh My!
14th March 2013, Leederville Hotel

The evening kicked off to the tune of a slightly tempestuous weather machination and some sixty-odd slightly damp GeoRabblers bunked down to listen, drinks in hand, as the yarns of geospatial speakers unravelled to the sound of rain against the Leedy’s tin roof.

Or something akin to that!GR5

The master of ceremonies Damian Shepherd led the keen GeoRabblers through the dark and stormy night, and kicked off the presentations by introducing Mike Bradford, CEO of Landgate. Onwards on a journey through time and space, Mike explored the evolutionary steps of spatial technology and glimpsed at the possibilities and trends for the future of the industry. From quasi prehistoric GPS receivers approaching the size of the MARS Curiosity Rover, to preparing for the influence of a predicted 1200 satellites going up in the next 10 years, the emphasis was on the fact that the future of GIS is coming at us harder and faster than ever before – and adaptation is the key to surviving and thriving in this (r)evolutionary world of all things spatial.

Next up, Roman Trubka and Cole from Curtin University flew us through some 3D urban planning scenario models, illustrating the inherent potential of spatial tools to explore, analyse and communicate the viability of development proposals and plans. Emphasis was on the intrinsic spatial nature of planning and how spatial tools of today can better inform and progress location-appropriate development.

Leading us into the fray of what it means to be a professional in the geospatial industry, Jen Hogan of Spatial Solutions started with the question that bubbles up at so many a social gathering and yet so frequently stumps many a geospatial professional: “So, what do you do?”. Between the blank look you get on saying something like ‘GIS’ to mumbling the ‘yes, something like Google Maps’ answer, the truth more often than not gets stuck in translation. Cue ‘Captain GIS’ to the rescue! Jen encouraged us speak out about all the things we love about spatial and not to hide away behind answers that make the awkward question go away. And, that when it comes down to it, emphasise that what we do is solve problems in a way that no one else can.

Tom Gardiner from ESRI took to the stage from there and further searched, queried and unravelled the meaning of what geospatial means in the context of world today. Leading us through an analysis done by high-school students at Hale School on finding the best location(s) for a sustainable community in Western Australia (as part of Spatial Technology in Schools Competition), on to consuming BoM data of cyclonic pathways in the context of the student’s analysis, Tom highlighted the ever expanding kaleidoscopic nature of spatial questions, data, technology and analytical approaches that sit at our fingertips.

With the tantalizing smell of hot pizza starting to waft through the air, the last speaker of the evening Charlie Gunningham from REIWA took to the stage and enraptured GeoRabblers with a tale of success, entrepreneurship and geospatial history. From mad Saturday morning rushes navigating the cityscape streets with nothing more than a street map-book and a handwritten trajectory in hand, was born the idea of placing real-estate sale advertisements onto an online map. It was an idea that then set the stage for real-estate websites across the world today. For some GeoRabblers the tale was a fond trip down memory lane, for others a unique chance to hear the history first-hand of the technology that is standard of the day. (Charlie reviews his first GeoRabble here)

The #democracysausage dataset made it into a GeoRabble side. Data collected on Twitter 9 March, 2013. Image/Data courtesy of @bogurk, @davecorgillous and @kevin_rudds_cat

And onwards into the stormy night did the GeoRabblers talk, eat and enjoy many a conversation.

Many thanks to the speakers of the night, to WaterCorp for supplying the projector and to the sponsors SSSI WA Region.

GeoRabble happens in various locations around Australia, is free and open to anyone, but frequently sells out. If you would like to talk at a future Perth GeoRabble event, please send an email with the title and a short description to perth@georabble.org.

Speaker #3 for GeoRabble Brisbane #3 – Deb Polson

ImageDungeon Masters of the Real World

Our streets and cities are being transformed into fictional worlds, through the imagination and tools of mobile game designers.  They see your surroundings as the new arena for play, and your pocket device as the new interface for adventure.  This presentation will show some of the latest innovations in location-aware games, and how you can participate in this emerging practice as both a player and a developer.

Deb Polson is a lecturer in Communication Design at Qld University of Technology.  She is also the Director of Newish Media, and an independent game designer.

At last count only 13 tickets left at http://www.eventbrite.com.au/event/5434396426#

Speaker #2 for GeoRabble Brisbane #3 – Bill Kitson

Photo from http://caboolture-shire-herald.whereilive.com.au/news/story/kitson-wins-prestigious-award/

GeoRabble Brisbane is honoured to welcome Bill Kitson to our spatial gathering!

Bill Kitson is one of Queensland’s best known surveyors and a highly respected spatial historian.

Following a 1974 Survey Office investigation of the surviving markers along the Queensland State borders, Bill became ‘hooked on history’ researching the lives and work of the men that mapped Queensland. This interest in heritage became his vocation in 1980 when he was appointed as curator of the then newly established Lands, Mapping and Surveying Museum.

Even in retirement Bill continues to be a prolific and highly effective communicator. His passion for preserving surveying heritage and his generosity in sharing his unsurpassed knowledge of the spatial industry have become legendary.

His talk will be titled ‘Surveying Heritage, Our Glorious Past’.

At last count only 16 tickets left at http://www.eventbrite.com.au/event/5434396426#

Registrations Open for GeoRabble Melbourne #4

GeoRabble is back in Melbourne on Tuesday 23rd April at the European Bier Cafe (120 Exhibition St) with drinks, free food and geo-talks. Doors open 5:30pm, presentations start 6:30pm.

The line up of guest speakers are being finalised and we still have room for 1-2 more speakers, so let us know if you have a geo-story that you would like share. We are looking for interesting, entertaining or downright geeky presenters. If you fit that category, and have a geo-story to tell us then email your ideas to melbourne@georabble.org

Registration is now open and attendance is free so RSVP at  georabble-melb.eventbrite.com.au

A very special thanks to our GeoAwesome AAM Sponsor without whom we couldn’t run this event and provide food to everyone …


Esri’s 100-lines-or-less competition

Esri are running a coding competition, with the challenge being to write a fully-functional JavaScript map using a maximum of 100 lines of code.

I love this idea, as it’s the functional equivalent of a good GeoRabble talk – cut the crap and get straight to the point. Even better, they’re using GitHub to manage the entries, which makes each entry public so other people can learn from it. The full details of the competition are at https://github.com/Esri/100-lines-or-less-js

I decided to give it a go – my entry is available here.

Climate Explorer

In order to make it Australian-focussed, I wanted to use the BOM’s climate datasets. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s an easy way to obtain this data, so I wrote a Python script to scrape the data from the site. I’m not sure of the legality of this, but my conscience is clear as it’s just an automated way of getting to publicly accessible information. Hopefully they feel the same way…

Once I had downloaded the information, I made a point featureclass from it, and served it out via ArcGIS Server. My entry is basically a wrapper to make it easy to find weather stations and see their historical records. A link underneath the charts takes your directly to that weather station’s data feed. This is arguably easier and more intuitive than having to look up a station number, as at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data

I’d love to add more functionality, but I’m already dangerously close to the 100 line limit. Please let me know of any feedback.

Steve (@stephenlead)

GeoRabble Perth #6 – Big Data, Big Ideas

cyber_a“Imagine if the whole human race had been looking through one eye for all of our existence and, all of a sudden, scientists gave us the ability to open up a second eye. You’re not just getting more information, more data; you’re literally getting a whole new dimension. You’re getting depth and perspective, 3D vision. That’s what Big Data is, not simply more information but a new way to see or extract meaning from a sea of information. Simply put, Big Data is giving us a brand new way to see things.”

A Very Big Data Rabble
Coinciding with Big Data Week we’ve arranged a line up of speakers like never before.  Big Data Week is one of the most unique global platforms of interconnected community events focusing on the social, political, technological and commercial impacts of Big Data. It brings together a global community of data scientists, data technologies, data visualisers and data businesses spanning six major commercial, financial, social and technological sectors.


  • Gary Casham – Microsoft
  • Ian McCleod – WA Museum
  • Tim Heighfield – Researcher
  • Kevin Vinsen – SKA Project
  • Bryan Boruff – UWA
  • Paul Farrell – NGIS

Date: 23 April, 2013
Time: Doors open 5:30pm, Presentations from 6:00 pm

Rubix Bar & Cafe
334 Murray Street

Format: A handful speakers, 10 mins each, usual rules.


Registration: Attendance is free, but for catering purposes we need you to register!

We can’t hold these events without the help of the greater Geocommunity, so if you want to get involved let us know! This event brought to you by the Perth GeoRabble team and Landgate