GeoRabble #10 – It’s a wrap!
Happy 10th Birthday to GeoRabble Perth!
The evening kicked off with mirth to the sounds of a downpour or two as wet GeoRabblers braved the weather and trundled into the warmth and a welcome drink to celebrate all that is geo goodness.
The MC of the night Nic Flett started off the evening by thanking the sponsors for the event (Department of Planning) and introduced our first speaker of the night: Ross Currie. With a presentation titled “Piggy Bank Bootstrapping: How to start a business with no time or money” any GeoRabblers with a start-up idea in their bonnet would have had their ears pricked up instantly. And the presentation didn’t disappoint! Springing off an introduction involving pillow forts and a South Park reference, Ross’s presentation got underway, and candidly stepped the ‘rabblers through a no frills process of bringing that bright light-bulb idea into start-up fruition. Citing the Lean Startup (Eric Ries) as a guiding source, Ross walked us through how he started up a t-shirt business for people in start-ups (funny that), and the six step process he used (including counting your millions). Ross wrapped up his talk with explaining the importance of the idea itself – that it should be innovative, something that no one has done before; or target a saturated market with a new spin.
Following on, Nic introduced us to Rob Freeth who seamlessly interwove spatial topics and timelines. Starting off with Fra Mauro’s Mappa Mundi (exhibited in Canberra earlier this year), Rob enlightened us to the origins of the words ‘orient’ and ‘map’ before pointing out the detail and wealth of information inscribed and stored on the Mappa Mundi – over 3000 pieces of text! Rob emphasized the importance of the information component in geospatial systems, and how mapping and spatial technologies are a framework within which to gain knowledge from the information. Rob went on to describe the current rich diversity of data across disciplines, including those outside a spatial domain (nanotechnology, genetics etc) and the importance of cross disciplinary networking – not just to share knowledge, but to identify, pool and share our ‘ignorances’ in order to progress and learn. Leading on from this, Rob talked about Big Data and importance of skills and expertise in the management, analysis and abstraction of ‘mega data’; and went on to talk about mega data clusters and the challenges faced and work currently being carried out in this exciting area.
Up next were a series of speakers from SSSI (Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute) and SIBA (Spatial Industries Business Association) presenting on and encouraging participation of the geospatial community in the Western Australian Spatial Excellence Awards (WASEA). Kerry Smyth and Julia Spark took us through the range of award categories, from individual to industry/project level and encouraged all and sundry to nominate fellow peers. Linda Morgan, recipient of the WASEA and APSEA Professional of the Year gave a wonderful account of her experiences and highlighted the importance of participation and recognition of the outstanding work done by geospatial professionals. Paul Farrell went on to describe the origins and roots of the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) and detailed their exciting evolution from an idea over drinks at a bar to an internationally recognized institution. Nominations for the 2014 awards close on the 8th August and there is an upcoming workshop on how to write submissions on the 18th July. More information on WASEA is available on the SSSI website.
Following on from a scintillating raffle for a ticket for the WASEA Gala Dinner later this year, Nic introduced us to our next and final speaker of the night, Nigel King who wove a wonderful tale of his experiences in asset management. Starting off with a description of one of his first jobs involving data collection of footpath conditions (with GPS unit and clipboard in hand) Nigel explained the progression of the technology to what it is today; where one can kit out all manner of vehicles with location-enabled equipment to seamlessly capture high definition video imagery of assets (both natural and anthropogenic) which can then be used and managed in geospatial systems. Nigel spoke of a particularly exciting application of the technology to the Swan/Canning Rivers and how to the nature of the assets (environmental, cultural and shoreline sensitivities, shallow water and so forth) the vehicle of choice ended up being a hovercraft! Nigel wrapped up his presentation highlighting how even in a seemingly mundane task, creativity can shine (and ultimately lead you to hitching a ride on a hovercraft!).
On that hovering note – that’s a wrap for GeoRabble Perth #10! It was a pleasure to see you all there and a big thank you the sponsors of the night, the Department of Planning.
Thank you to the organizing team, in particular to Nicholas Flett, Damian Shepherd, Darren Mottolini, Chelsea Samuel and Maya Dominice. Until next time fellow GeoRabblers, may your spatial analyses and data collection activities be good ones.