Category Archives: Sydney

GeoRabble Sydney events, where it all started!

GeoRabble Sydney Wrap-Up

Last Thursday July 17th, a large crowd of Geo-enthusiasts gathered at the Occidental Hotel in Sydney for a long overdue evening of GeoRabble, Beer & Pizza (thanks to Hexagon Geospatial).

We had a great, eclectic and diverse line-up of speakers, under the capable and entertaining management of MC for the night Francisco Urbina.

GeoRabble Sydney crowd (photo: Maurits van der Vlugt)
GeoRabble Sydney crowd (photo: Maurits van der Vlugt)

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GeoRabble Sydney- July 17 – Additional Speakers announced!

GeoRabble is coming back to Sydney: Thursday 17 July at the Occidental Hotel in Wynyard.

Get ready for an evening of Geo talks, networking, (free) pizza and drinks.

Pizza courtesy of   Hexagon Geospatial Hexagon Geospatial

We are proud to announce additional speakers:

1. Charles Connell / Colin Goudie (Social Pinpoint):  Twitter  LinkedIn

Combining GIS and online mapping for effective community engagement tools


2. Andrew Goodwin  (Umwelt):     LinkedIn

Processing and Managing LiDAR:  LiDAR data can be utilized in environmental in the environmental consulting work, as well as wider applications.  This has included developing finite element meshes and building outlines from LiDAR for flood and noise modelling and numerous ecological applications such as detecting malleefowl mounds across expansive remote areas.    We have developed our own automated swathe alignment system and LiDAR classification system that form part of the Anditi processing suite.  We have also developed techniques to delineate infrastructure (powerlines, roads, bridges etc) using LiDAR.   We have designed using a plug in architecture and  a graphical interface that allows us to check data and outputs from analysis.  This enables us to develop and implement new solutions to spatial data challenges rapidly.


3. Andrew Harvey   websiteavatar250

Landsat 8:    Using Landsat 8 data to extract information, and to extend this further, for example what Mapbox did for their Cloudless Atlas.





4. David Whitfield (Geepers):   LinkedIn

The evolution of in-building mapping and navigation

  • “Can the Internet of Everything really happen without a central GNS (Geo-physical Naming System), and
  • “Seamless navigation from the external world to the built environment – the evolution of in-building mapping and navigation”


5. Amelia Loye (Engage2)     Twitter  Linked In    amelia

EngageTech and GIS data: engagement and interoperability:   Amelia will speak to the technologies being used for engagement and how and why     interoperability with    GIS software is increasingly being required. She’ll speak to both map-based engagement methods and the use of geolocation data to engage, identify and manage relationships and information collected from citizens and stakeholders.



6. Maurits van der Vlugt (Mercury Project Solutions):   Twitter  LinkedIn   download

Gerrymandering and the US government Shutdown:  Some analysts blame last year’s US political stalemate and subsequent government shutdown on the practice of ‘gerrymandering’: redrawing voting districts to manipulate election results. This talk will explain the history and concepts of the practice of gerrymandering, how it leads to polarisation and subsequent political stalemate.

Do you have an interesting start-up, idea, experience or ‘war story’ you’d like to share in 5-10 minutes? Then send us an email (, with a title, a short description, and why you think we should pick your talk!

Register for this  here, or join the Meetup group.

See you there!!!

Presentations announced for GeoRabble Melbourne (23rd April)

AAM Logo

We are less then a week away from the next GeoRabble Melbourne. Thanks to our sponsor AAM Group we are pleased to announce the following GeoRabblers who have volunteered their time to share their fantastic GeoStories.

Georgina Race

Georgina Race – Coronelli’s Globes: A view of the world

In the 17th century Vicenzo Coronelli’s made globes depicting the earth for Louis XIV and other royalty of the day. Georgina will take a look at the history of these famous globes and what they represented. She will review how effective were they for geographic representation and perspective and whether there are similar questions which can be asked of spatial information today.

Georgina is a spatial analyst specialising in water, coastal and environmental studies.  She attended the International Cartography Conference in Paris in 2011 where her interest in the globes was sparked during a cocktail party in their presence.

Chris Scott

Chris Scott – Free your GIS: A journey in open source

There are many myths around Open Source GIS and their usefulness to business. Chris will explain the fallacy of these many myths while also showing us the how Open Source can be of value within the GIS environment.

Chris has been involved with GIS  for 10 years, with interests in Spatial databases, Open Source technology & Web Mapping.

Lynnette Terrett

Lynnette Terrett – Destination Spatial, Skilling a Spatial Industry Workforce for the future

What is Destination Spatial and why does it exist. Lynn will provide a background of this initiative why it is important to the ongoing health and future of our industry.

Lynn is a strategic spatial technology consultant working across many Asset, Environmental, Disease, Weeds, Pest & Disaster Recovery Management projects for government and public sector. Her current passion is promoting Destination Spatial to ensure Australia grows the educational pathways to train and skill up the Geospatial workforce of tomorrow

David Parkington

David Parkinson – Identifying a mosquito in a crowd – a challenge.

The Eliminate Dengue research program is an international not-for-profit collaboration led from Monash University. The program is developing a natural approach to control the spread of dengue based on. The challenge is to introduce the Wolbachia bacteria into wild populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in dengue transmission areas.

David, like all geography graduates, has managed to be  employed in many roles – but in 17 years has never been “just a Geographer”.


Chris Pettit – The Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN)

AURIN is a $20 Million initiative funded by the Australian Government’s Super Science scheme. It is tasked with providing built environment and urban researchers, designers and planners with e-infrastructure to facilitate access to a distributed network of aggregated datasets and information services. Chris will provide a background on the initiative and where it is up to.

Chris is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne who has a passion for all things spatial. In his free time he is also the Chair of the Victorian Region SSSI and of the IPRS working group on Geographical Visualization and Virtual Reality.

Steve Bennett

Steve Bennett – Open Street Map Cycle Hack

Steve is a  software engineer, project manager, business analyst, technical writer, system administrator, technical analyst, project administrator and opinionateur in the Australian e-Research sector. He currently works at the Victorian e-Research Strategic Initiative, implementing data management systems for researchers.


If you haven’t registered yet to listen to these fantastic speakers and the opportunity to network with your fellow GeoRabblers then do so now at

Topics for GeoRabble Sydney (11th April)


Thanks to our sponsor Omnilink, following are the speakers for the next Sydney GeoRabble.

Llew Cain

Llew Cain – Are we 2D living in a 6D Future? A shed perspective.

Micromine, Surpac, Datamine, 3D Geomodeller, Vulcan, GoCAD, VRML, X3D, GIS, Vertical Mapper, Discover 3D, Target, Revit, BIM, ProjectWise, iModels, 3D PDF, Infrastructure Designer, CityEngine, WebGL, HTML5. Is it topology, clash detection or geodesign? Multi dimensional design has always been around in the mining industry, and more recently growing in engineering and architecture, what are the implications for GIS people? Is there is a paradigm shift just around the corner. Will the average GIS operator still be relevant in a future where analysis, understanding and communication are done in true 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D space? While taking a moment in the shed to ponder the big questions a comforting realisation is achieved. Or is it?


Matthew Smith – Fires near Me mobile app

Fires near Me was an experiment. An experiment first in whether the public had a taste for this type of information delivered through a mobile device. The information was short and to the point — much like a focused sound bite in modern mainstream media. Indentifying the audience correctly allows content, app and map interaction, and information presentation to be tailored more precisely, giving greater user satisfaction.

Mobile app interaction with available networks, back-end data servers, and onboard functions (e.g. GPS) needs careful design in order to develop a useable architecture. Architecture for a non-finite — and mostly uncontrollable — user base must be fundamental to the app design.

Developers of mobile apps — certainly in 2010 — were less experienced in application development than is the case for other, enterprise application development. This requires more involvement in the design phase and closer management of the development and support phases.

Executive support tends to come after success with a launched product, rather than before a research and development project, and also needs careful management.


Jody Garnett – Business Intelligence and Mapping (with cartoons and demo)

A quick look at business intelligence industry: who they are, their perspective on life, and why they are investing in mapping technologies. Illustrated (cartoons) with a demo of smashing maps into the open source BIRT project.


Stephen Lead – Esri’s 100-lines-or-less competition

In our industry we’re used to overblown and over-complicated mapping portals, which aim to solve every possible problem which could apply to every possible user.

In a refreshing twist, Esri launched a contest to design the exact opposite – a focussed mapping application built using a maximum of 100 lines of JavaScript code. Some of the entries were very simple, while some were extremely clever.

This talk will cover the best entries in the competition, plus some brief behind-the-scenes of the data scraping exercise in my own entry, which was a visualisation of the climate of Australia, using data obtained from 1,500 BOM weather stations.


Mark Warton – Mobile apps for the Easter Show

Building an geospatial type App for one of Australia’s largest Events should not be too hard? Right? Let me take you on a quick journey of the challenges of building an App in a short time frame, for a  large event where spatial content is only being confirmed just days before the event.


Narelle Irvine – Mapping Kosciuszko Huts

Narelle has been involved for many years with the Kosciuszko Huts Association – a group that maintains the old cattlemen’s huts scattered throughout the park. When a webmap  showing the huts became desirable, Narelle volunteered. She embarked on a self-education program to understand and use open source mapping tools.


Chris Broadfoot – Tracking with the Google Maps Android API

GeoRabble Perth & Sydney! – Have we started a GeoRiot or is it just GeoAwesomeness?

December 6 is the date you need to keep free, make sure the kids have a babysitter and be sure you have your Geo-wish list ready as it marks the 4th installment of GeoRabble in Perth. Why is this such an important event, well firstly:

1. It is Christmas time and I’m sure everyone wants to celebrate a little; and

2. GeoRabble goes national with consecutive GeoRabble Events to be held in Sydney (with Melbourne and Brisbane in the wings?).

The 4th installment is a celebration of all things spatial and what we want to achieve is to open the conversation to all participants (yep…an open mike night) to really get under the covers of what makes this industry tick. With consecutive Georabble events to be held around the country the tweet walls will be up so everyone can join in the conversation, link up with interesting ideas and sharing stories.

So, start thinking about what drives you to do what you do, how the world can embrace spatial better an importantly, what special Geo-present you want Father Christmas you bring you this year.

So, save the date, 6th of December 2012 as the GeoRabble is coming for you.

Announcing GeoRabble Sydney #5, and Call for Speakers

Join us for the fifth Sydney GeoRabble, with great (short!) talks, cool people and a few drinks. And: we’re bringing back the free pizza!

When: Thursday 23 August 2012

Where: Occidental Hotel, 43 York St, Sydney.

Doors open 5:30 PM, talks start 6PM. Please join our Meetup  Group, or RSVP here, so we can plan catering.

We will be announcing speakers soon.

If you would like to talk, send an email with the title and short description to Talks are limited to 10 minutes.

GeoRabble Sydney #4 – Final Speaker List

The speaker list for GeoRabble Sydney #4 has been finalised!

In keeping with the GeoRabble tradition – we’re once again presenting a great variety of excellent geo-related topics.

We are very proud to present the following awesome lineup:

Jack Zhao (Small Multiples) : Are casino operators targeting vulnerable community groups?

Gambling problems are more prevalent in Asians than other Australians.  Are casino operators targeting these vulnerable community groups by offering shuttle bus services?  Inspired by the SMH article “Casino buses in migrants who hope ‘to live beyond their means” (Heath Aston; December 11, 2011), we created a series of maps to show the influence of The Star casino on migrant communities in Sydney.

Bio: Jack is an interaction designer who specialises in data visualisation with keen interests in tactile interfaces and networked urbanism.  He loves tinkering and brainstorming ideas.  Jack graduated from the University of New South Wales as a Bioinformatician and completed a Masters degree in Interaction Design and Electronic Arts at the University of Sydney.

Andrew Cook : 10 Good Reasons to Share Data

We all need data, without data there would be nothing.  Is there a utopia where data is born, lives and dies?  If there is a data utopia, where is it?  How will we get there?  By sharing data!  Because sharing drives innovation.  If we all share data more, then the principles (and importance) of Good Data Management will proliferate and data can be perceived as an asset (or a tradable commodity).

Bio: Andrew is a Chartered Geographer and Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (so not a boffin).  Andrew started from the bottom, in a field with a stick and a notepad.  14 years later and having contributed to Spatial Analysis and Spatial Application Development teams for Desktop, Mobile and Web (including implementing Spatial Data Infrastructure) Andrew now works as Asia Pacific GIS Coordinator for ERM (environmental consultancy) – and it is all back to first principles of data management as he works across the Asia Pacific region.

Kathryn Howard (Bookcrossing) : Books Just Wanna Be Free!

What if the whole world was a library where books were free and travelled the world over?  Bookcrossing is a smart social networking site.  It’s a celebration of literature and a place where books take on a life of their own.  They assume a unique identity and their progress tracked as they pass from reader to reader.  The bookcrossing  community is changing the world, engaging and connecting people – touching lives one book at a time.

Bio: Kathryn’s day job is as an IT Service management consultant, improving the IT service support and delivery experience one step at a time.  In this fast paced social media networking world, work/life integration brings global conversations to a device near you.  Collaborative consumption and networking are the new norm and she believes it’s the way to engage people by sharing  and building both knowledge and experiences to make the world a better place.

Paul Wither : Set your data free from the typing pool

Standards in any form are an inherently stale topic, arguably more so when applied to GIS.  However, the future growth and mainstream use of geodata depends heavily on their wide spread adoption.  This presentation looks at what are standards?  And explores why they are important and how they can help free you from the typing pool.  Also my in-laws are in town and giving this presentation gets me out of the house for a night.

Bio: Paul is widely regarded by friends and colleagues as an insufferable geo-geek.  Having only recently returned from the UK, Paul has a very Euro-centric view and a strange hybrid accent but please don’t hold that against him.  Paul has spent the last 13 years designing spatial applications and GIS implementations for organisations around the world covering industries such as Government, Insurance, Military, Financial Services, Transport/Logistics and Emergency Services and will babble on about them unless plied with lots of free beer…

Natasha Rawlings, David Jones (Street Hawk) : Retail – The next tech roadkill or benefactor?

How SmartPhones are changing the way we shop in the real-world.

Bios: Natasha is a Direct Marketing specialist who has spent her career acquiring and keeping customers using data for a number of the world’s largest direct marketing companies including Harlequin Mills & Boon, International Masters Publishers, Guthy-Renker and News Corporation.  Natasha’s role at StreetHawk is to juggle the multiple hats  of CEO including shopper and retailer recruitment, and provide thought leadership in mobile marketing.  Mother of one and wife to a gadget loving Lego geek, she is thrilled she can now combine one of her biggest passions – shopping – with work. Natasha aims to revolutionise the shopping world by providing easy tools to retailers to acquire and keep customers, profitably, in the real world, in real time.

David is a serial internet company founder who previously started SurfControl Email Filter (now WebSENSE), SpamMATTERS and ThreatMetrix – now a Gartner “Visionary” company for Web Fraud Protection. Each of these companies  are distinguished by filtering large amounts of “big-data” as automated analytics engines. The results provided significant revenue generation and cost reduction value to customers.  David’s role as co-founder at StreetHawk is in driving the product development of the StreetHawk’s ‘RRR Engine’ and initial iPhone and Android StreetHawk apps.  In his copious spare time (not) David can be found freezing in Freshwater ocean pool, mangling mandarin and aiding the Australian Startup scene via initiatives like StartMate.

Sarah Pulis, Stewart Hay : Are your online maps really reaching everyone?

We’ll be taking a look at how online mapping solutions fail to consider people with accessibility difficulties, and what can be done about it.

Bios: Sarah is a web accessibility expert working for Media Access Australia, Australia’s only independent not-for-profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disabilities. Sarah is an active member of the accessibility community and representing Media Access Australia on a number of W3C accessibility working groups. She is also the organiser of OZeWAI, Australia’s only web accessibility conference.  Sarah has a Bachelor of Computer Science/Bachelor of Cognitive Science and has also completed a Master of Science entitled Interpreting the DCMI Abstract Model to support software development for Dublin Core Metadata. Her Master’s thesis was completed as part of an ARC-funded project to develop a semantic web application for cultural heritage management, during which she also worked as a developer on that project.

Stewart is the Principal Consultant for OneSphere and is an expert at designing, developing and implementing GIS solutions for organisations both large and small. His experience encompasses a range of industries from Environmental Management and Utilities to Emergency Services and all tiers of Government.  He has held key roles within the spatial industry including General Manager of the Spatial Sciences Institute/Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute and Manager GIS for the NSW Rural Fire Services.  Stewart has a BSc (Curtin) and MBA (UNSW) and sits on the Advisory board of the UNSW School of Surveying and Spatial Information Systems and the SIBA NSW Region Management Group.

Many thanks to our speakers, who are graciously offering their free time to share their passion, their experience, their stories with you!

Come and hear their great talks next Thursday March 29 at the Shelbourne Hotel (doors open 5.30pm, talks from 6.30pm).

Get your free tickets at

GeoRabble Sydney #4 – Tickets now Available!

GeoRabble returns to Sydney on Thursday March 29 at the Shelbourne Hotel (doors open 5.30pm, talks from 6.30pm).

If you’re suffering the post-GeoNext blues and need another serve of geospatial goodness, free of agendas and sales pitches, amongst your friends and colleagues;  or if you just want to find out about some of the great unsung work being done by passionate people working with location:  then grab yourself a free ticket!

We’ll let you know more about some of the great speakers we’ve got lined up shortly, but in the meantime we’ve still got a few speaking slots available – if you’ve got something new and exciting from the world of geo, please email us at