GeoRabble Tas #2 – Post-Event Wrapup

GeoRabble Tas #2 was a another success. Feedback received after the event was very positive: great food, great presenters and a great venue (thanks, Republic Bar).

On the presenters, it was a diverse bunch of folks. The evening started with Peter Boyer, who writes about climate change from a Tasmanian perspective. Peter gave us an excerpt from the latest IPCC report, which was a timely reminder that this issue is not going away and that we need to continue planning for it.

Next Steven Harvey and Ryan Anthony spoke about transforming a map drawn in 1826 into a modern interactive web-map. They spent last summer digitising the Sharland map, including information and images relating to buildings and property owners that were present on the old map.

Rob Rowell, from Insight GIS, then got us all excited about visualisation with a presentation entitled ‘If Visualising Information is Beautiful – is GIS the Ugly Sister?’ which contained many examples of beautiful non-maps, spatial information presented in innovative ways.

Buy my highlight of the evening was John Corbett and his ‘virtual sandpit’, which is difficult to give justice to in words. Here’s what it does:

  • It’s got a Kinect sensor and a projector, both pointed at a 1 m x 2 m area of terrain (composed of bean bags and tubes with a white sheet over it all)
  • An attached laptop models the surface in real time and projects snow-capped mountain peaks in the high bits and leafy green forests that grow over the low bits
  • Then there’s a water source , which is powered by an ‘industrial strength fluid model’, and which creates streams and lakes all while reacting to changes to the landscape and your hands
  • There’s a little toy Humvee, which you can drive through the landscape splashing through the water and leaving tire tracks behind it
  • For the grand finale, if you push the top of the mountain in, a vol lava flows out the top of the newly created volcano!

We have photos, but really you had to be there…


Terrain in the Virtual Sandbox
Terrain in the Virtual Sandbox
Terrain and truck in the Virtual Sandbox
Terrain and truck in the Virtual Sandbox
Terrain, water, lava and chaos in the Virtual Sandbox
Terrain, water, lava and chaos in the Virtual Sandbox

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