When 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.
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!
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.