Starting us off for the night was Tracy Jin Cui, with a fast-moving slide deck (47 slides!) on spatial in China; and one thing was astonishingly clear -not only is the spatial industry growing – it’s booming; and is now worth about 42 billion (US) dollars. Demand for location products and services continues to grow at a fast pace, and predominantly the platform of demand/use is mobile.
Bringing us back to more local extents, Marcia Schneider walked us through the ‘Historical Panoramas: Perth and Fremantle’ project which was borne out of a collaboration between Curtin University’s HIVE and the State Library of Western Australia. The project sourced historical images dating as far back as 1860, and stitched these into seamless panoramas. A sample set was then selected and georeferenced; and a task then set to capture modern-day panoramas of the same locations. Challenges faced included trying to access locations that were no longer accessible (but luckily drone technology was on hand). The resulting product was a beautiful virtual tour of the selected locations with the ability to fade/time-slide the panoramas. The tour can be accessed online here; and more locations are in the pipeline.
Next up, we had Voon Li Chung speaking to the keen georabblers about a possible method to optimise database queries involving GPS coordinates. The kernel of the issue is when performing a proximity search for coordinates stored as part of a larger database/dataset, there generally is no spatial relationship or index component to speed up the search. Either you go row-by-row or store all coordinates in memory…. Not particularly desirable when your computational device is a smartphone (and a cheap one at that). The aim was to devise a solution that could use the at-hand, off-the-shelf smartphone database technology (sqlite3), which already had desirable features – it’s fast, simple and taps into inherent database qualities – such as integer searches. The solution proposed would allow one to set a point of reference (of a certain distance from an interest point) and pre-calculate distances of other points from this reference point; and then perform search for those points falling within a certain (pre-calculated) distance range. This concept was further refined upon by introducing bearing values between a point and the reference point. These combined heuristics reduced a sample search set of coordinates from 133354 points to just 98 points! Impressive stuff!
Carrying on from Voon Li, we had Onno Benschop talking to us about his experiences participating in this year’s GovHack; and he walked us through his team’s hack on public housing in WA. They attempted to answer the ‘flipside’ of the more commonly known/asked question of ‘where should we not build public housing’ in order to address the ‘where should we build public housing?’ question. To do this, they tried to ascertain housing demand and accessibility to key services (in areas such as health & education) in order to rank areas by their desirability for public housing; and then produced visualisation of this in a geographical format – a map. Onno also spoke to us about experiences in the hackerspace environment and what it’s like to be a part of such an event. The link to their project page is here.
To conclude the evening, we had John Bryant speaking to us about a wonderful local initiative called ‘GeoGeeks’ which is an open-source based geospatial hack group that brings together an inspiring bunch of people fortnightly to tackle geospatial projects. John talked us through a couple of projects on the go: the ‘Maps for Lost Towns’, a venture aiming to bring 6000 historical map images to keen georeferencers through crowdsourcing technology; and the ‘WA Media Statements’ project which seeks to geocode all existing media statements to enable location-based searching/viewing. And many more projects are on the books – such as spatially tracking food trucks through tweets, or solar panel crowdsourcing. John also touched on the reasons to become involved as geospatial professional, regardless of your level of experience. You can learn new geo skills and improve problem solving abilities; it’s also an opportunity to give yourself the time/space to actually work on your own ideas, network and build meaningful connections with other industry professionals. And, because people from all industry-walks of life are welcome, you might even have the opportunity to open your mind to new ways of tackling age-old geospatial problems. To find out more, head this way.
A huge thanks also to our sponsor – Survey Results. Cheers! We couldn’t run events like this without the generous support of organisations in our industry.
We’re also making a call-out for some new organisers to join the local Georabble team. If you have ideas for topics, even if that means dobbing someone else in, or can help us with some drinks and nibbles for next time, we’d love to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned via #georabbleper for news about our next event coming up soon.
Spring in Perth brought a record local crowd of 120 Georabblers together to talk about “The Rise of the Machines”. For the first time we were joined by a few more via a (more or less) live telecast on Periscope.
The always original David Brady dusted-off his MC hat for the night to introduce the speaker line-up to talk about life in a post Lake Maid drone world, and the reality of training computer algorithms as well as humans. The Georabble Perth team give a call out to NGIS Australia and Landgate – WALIS for feeding and watering a hungry group of Rabblers.
We kicked-off with Matt Barrett with a “Game of Drones” – covering a lot of ground as you can with drones for utilities. That got the Rabblers and friends talking about everything drone –from piloting to farming.
Piers Higgs, resplendent in a (way too) clean and crisp Maps WA uniform talked about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly drone pilots. Piers had plenty of material to work with on why mixing amateur model plane pilots, drones and fires are such a bad idea. The Georabble Perth team give a second call out to get involved in the Maps WA volunteer team – ping email@example.com to get in touch.
Fedja Hadzic, the guy with the best job title in the room – Inventor – walked us through about how he’s training computer algorithms to explore big data, including coming-up with the right questions to ask so we don’t wait centuries to get “42”.
Robert Lednor picked-up the Drones thread again – attempting to explore “not just the cool stuff”. Lucky for our Rabblers it’s hard to make geo un-cool – so Robert just kept exploring.
We wrapped up Georabble #14 with Mark Taylor on the Certainty of Uncertainty – kicking off with a visual geo-quiz on some pretty ancient hardware and challenging us to think about who uses what we create and what they really need.
A couple of newbies discovered us via Twitter on #georabbleper. We hope see you all again, with your friends at Georabble Perth #15 on GIS Day – Wednesday, November 18, 2015. Stay tuned via #georabbleper for more info soon.
GeoRabble once again proved that interesting stories can come from anywhere and it isn’t all about maps and GIS. The 13th instalment of GeoRabble came on a cold, wet night yet for the over 80 strong crowd they were entertained and amazed by a handful of interesting speakers. The gender balance was certainly in favour of the women speakers with 5 out of the 6 showing that this certainly isn’t a boys club. Maya Dominice kicked off proceedings as our MC for the night and a special thanks to Ajilon for sponsoring the event.
First up, Helen Ensikat (a now pro on the Georabble talking circuit) provided an interesting insight into the http://thelostfestival.org/, a view Perth through the ages. This is a cultural history of Perth lands hacked up during the recent Festival of Perth events and a smart use of mapping for interactive with our historical past.
Grace Yun proved that Health Services are fundamentally linked to location and people and provided the audience with an insight into the detail and complex nature of health mapping. I certainly feel much better for hearing this talk, knowing that so much goes into ensuring that the health of the state has so much rich data supporting the activities of our dedicated health staff. Cecilia from Curtin University took a look into how we travel from day to day and apply this to our surroundings showing mobility and walkability. How to build a walk-able community based on knowing landmarks and people, an interesting research project, one that I’m sure will be used for planning in years to come.
Eun-Jung from UWA delved into our own backyard (literally) and talked about how automation in mineral detection (let’s face it, WA is a resources state) is now starting to break through by combining smart people and smart technology saving $$ in the meantime. I know that a number of resource companies would be well placed if they engaged with EJ’s work!
Elizabeth-Kate was next up and talked about how we are data rich but discovery poor and how her work can change how we search for data in the future. Taking common language queries into the spatial data searching world is almost a mythical legend although EK is forging a path here and by the looks of her talk it is being well researched and will make data searching much easier in the future.
Finally – last but certainly not least was Andrew (in support with Petra) oversaw the team at Curtin University whom recently surveyed (in amazing high detail) the HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran and treated us with a world first view into the data and imagery captured. An innovative use of surveying and imaging technology, preserving our history and a tribute to the lives lost in that fateful encounter. Read more about this fascinating survey here: http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/sydney/videos/hmas-sydney-ii-and-hsk-kormoran-survey-expedition-4-may-2015
And with that, we are pleased to announce the next Georabble for Perth will be on the 9th of September and this is the only hint I will give to the event “Rise of the machines”. We hope to see you there. Event details will be on-line soon so please keep an eye on this space.
An open and inclusive forum for GeoGeeks to share, inspire and have fun.