The next occurrence of Australia’s favourite casual geo-event, Georabble, will occur on 20 June at the Leederville Hotel in Leederville, Perth.
Speakers so far include:
In addition to this line up, the night will feature a mystery speaker, who will remain shrouded in secrecy, wrapped in a riddle, and enclosed in an enigma until a grand revelation on the night. Or something like that.
If you’ve not attended a Georabble before, it’s a fantastic casual night, filled with short, pithy presentations from like-minded geo-types that are free from sales pitches. With 85 tickets snapped up the remaining 65 FREE tickets have 6 days until the event to find owners. Click Here to get your ticket!
We’re pleased that AAMGroup have come on board to sponsor the next Perth Georabble, and expect this event with its pizza, beer and awesome will be just as great as all the others.
The Perth committee have been busy, and the next Rabble will be occurring on Thursday June 20, 2013. If you’d like to be involved in organising, sponsoring or speaking at a future rabble, please contact them via the details on the Perth page. Early tickets are now available at http://georabble-per7.eventbrite.com/
Leaving yesteryear to the yesteryears, this byte of GeoRabble was synced with the worldwide event that was Big Data Week – a “global community and festival of data”. Yes, the puns were international(ly bad)!
The MC of the night, Nicholas Flett kicked off the sold-out event by introducing us to Ian McCleod, who led us on a colourful subsea tour of the how’s and what’s of data collection from wreckages, artefacts and other curiosities resting on the seabed; including what to do when you encounter a Japanese tank at 38m below surface when you’re only licensed to dive 30m (you go the extra 8m to capture that data!). Emphasised was the importance of keeping pace with ever evolving technology to capture data – and that despite the challenges it might present, data capture is always worth the effort.
Catapulting us from an underwater world to the twittersphere, Nicholas introduced the next speaker, Tim Highfield, who gave us an insight into the how the thoughts and voices of people around world become Big Data through Twitter. Using a combination of open-source and in-house tools and methods, Tim described how Twitter data is captured and some of the analyses that can be done by examining hashtags. GeoRabblers were walked through fascinating examples, including on Australian politics (eg #auspol, #ausvotes), the Queensland Floods, Arab Spring, Eurovision, Tour De France and Occupy Oakland. It would seem that that the very nature of Big Data coming out of Twitter lends itself to a plethora of analytical dimensions, limited only by creativity of the researcher. Tim left the audience with a sobering question of how to determine whether we have too much data or not enough, and a poignant statement – that while media represents the first draft of history, Twitter is the first draft of the present. Tim’s slides and presentation are available online here.
Next up, blasting from the twittersphere to outer reaches of space and time, we were introduced to Kevin Vinsen who gave us a thrilling insight into the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. After a short and sweet introduction to space, light-years, the Big Bang and telescopes, GeoRabblers were presented with the enormity of the project data itself: enough raw data to fill 15million 64GB iPods every day! That’s almost 1 exabyte a day! The processing power required is estimated at 100 petaflops per second, about 50 times more powerful than the most powerful computer in 2010 (about equivalent to the processing power of 100 million PCs). If that’s not Big Data, I’m not sure what is! Based on development trends it is expected that a supercomputer with processing power required will exist by 2018. The aim of the radio telescope is to address fundamental questions about the Universe (how did stars and galaxies form after the Big Bang? Is there life beyond Earth?). To help out with processing all this data, Kevin made mention of SkyNet (vaguely ominous name!), an initiative to pool together the processing power of personal computers connected to the internet to mimic the abilities of a supercomputer. What a wonderful opportunity for everyday citizens to contribute to a scientific endeavour of this calibre!
Onwards with the next speaker, Bryan Boruff, who delved into the semantic nature of this new buzz word that is ‘Big Data’, addressing the elephantine question of “What exactly is ‘Big Data’?”. Bryan suggests that Big Data is data that is beyond the conventional or current methods of storing and handling. He went on to describe the dimensions in which Big Data increasingly presents itself – ‘four ‘V’s’: volume, variety, velocity and veracity. So how does one manage this situation? Bryan presented the paradigms of the familiar sequential ‘capture, store, analyse’ method of data handling and that of ‘automated epistemologies’, where data streams are analysed on the fly and not stored. But this presents a troublesome conundrum by contravening a basic scientific principle – that analyses/experiments must be able to be replicated, so therefore the data must be available. Tricky situation – will technology and people keep pace with data? Or will scientific method be challenged?
Wrapping up the presentations of the evening, Paul Farrell introduced GeoRabblers to “Big D”, the cool way to refer to Big Data, and kicked off with the interesting factoid that Big Data is apparently now the number one buzzword since ‘Y2K’, back when everyone thought the world would grind to a halt when the calendar ticked over to 2000. Paul went on to describe that the word ‘data’ is related to the Latin word for ‘fact’, and that it is not necessarily equivalent to information (DIKW Pyramid, anyone?), and that part of the phenomenon that is Big D, is the increasing ‘datafying’ of world – the metrication of more and more aspects of life into data, trying to address the ‘unknown knowns’. Adding to this is the increasing ability of science to not just acquire a sample of data, but the entire ‘population’ of it. Paul goes on to describe that increasingly, Big Data is more about distribution rather than analytical products – and that, in some respect, people’s own minds are the supercomputers. Returning to the seas, Paul left GeoRabblers of the night with an delightful anecdote of life of the sailor Matthew (Fontaine) Maury, “Pathfinder of the Seas” in the 1800s; under whose direction hundreds of ships’ logs were turned into data and locations charted (at least 1.2 million points!) to create Wind and Current Charts, which became an indispensable tool to mariners of all kinds. And that apparently, coincidently, the job title of those people going through the logs to capture the points was….. ‘Computer’.
Many thanks to Darren Mottolini for his time and efforts in organising the event, especially coinciding it with the birth of his 2nd child – Congrats!, to the speakers of the night, to the talented MC Nicholas Flett and to the event sponsor Landgate.
And in the words of Ian McLeod, “keep logging, keep mapping and good luck to you”.
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 email@example.com.
“Imagine if the whole human race had been looking through one eye for all of our existence and, all of a sudden, scientists gave us the ability to open up a second eye. You’re not just getting more information, more data; you’re literally getting a whole new dimension. You’re getting depth and perspective, 3D vision. That’s what Big Data is, not simply more information but a new way to see or extract meaning from a sea of information. Simply put, Big Data is giving us a brand new way to see things.”
Coinciding with Big Data Week we’ve arranged a line up of speakers like never before. Big Data Week is one of the most unique global platforms of interconnected community events focusing on the social, political, technological and commercial impacts of Big Data. It brings together a global community of data scientists, data technologies, data visualisers and data businesses spanning six major commercial, financial, social and technological sectors.
Gary Casham – Microsoft
Ian McCleod – WA Museum
Tim Heighfield – Researcher
Kevin Vinsen – SKA Project
Bryan Boruff – UWA
Paul Farrell – NGIS
Date: 23 April, 2013 Time: Doors open 5:30pm, Presentations from 6:00 pm Location:
Rubix Bar & Cafe
334 Murray Street
Format: A handful speakers, 10 mins each, usual rules.
Registration: Attendance is free, but for catering purposes we need you to register!
We can’t hold these events without the help of the greater Geocommunity, so if you want to get involved let us know! This event brought to you by the Perth GeoRabble team and Landgate
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.
We’re lining up the awesome speakers for GeoRabble Brisbane #1 (5.30 pm Tuesday April 17th at the Pig N Whistle! Order your free tickets )
GeoRabble Welcome from Stewart Hay, OneSphere
Dr Ben Guy, UrbanCircus 3D
Damon Oehlman, Sidelab
Simon Elvery, Web Developer, Left, Right & Centre
Megan Cope, Artist
Dr Ben Guy – Insights into virtual 3d planning
Dr Ben Guy, founder of Brisbane-based infrastructure visualisation company Urban Circus 3D, has demonstrated the power of 3D visuals to express the narrative of design and data in a clear and compelling manner, to expidites process and “sell the story”. Ben is an urbanist and environmental psychologist who has worked in the design industry for over 10 years. Ben’s doctorate is from the UK in place-based urbanism and regenerative planning.
” The problem with planning and managing precincts – from projects to places like cities – can be the fundamental difficulty in common understanding of what everyone is talking about quickly and easily. This is the cause of so many misunderstandings, errors, reworks, redesigns, disappointments, anxieties and construction errors! One of the main reasons is the limitations is using words and line drawings to describe an organic, complex spatial world. When we change that by using tools to help people understand through seeing projects and results move thrice as fast.”
Megan Cope – Maps, aboriginal art & place names
Megan Cope’s work explores notions of environment, identity, geomorphology and mapping; decolonizing methodologies and toponymy are a primary aspect of her practice. A descendant from the Quandamooka region (North Stradbroke Island) in South East QLD, Megan is a member of proppaNOW, the Queensland collective of urban Aboriginal Artists who are making waves in Australia and internationally with their intelligent brash art. Megan has exhibited her works at Australian Embassy in Washington DC, the Koori Heritage Trust in Melbourne, City Gallery in Wellington NZ, Cairns regional art gallery and the 2009 ARC Biennial in Brisbane.
Megan will take us to an unusual place, melding cartography, toponomy, aboriginal art & place names.
“Toponyms – Place names are an important aspect of culture and identity as they provide location where history, events, landscapes and people are remembered, celebrated and continued. The use of language and basic cartographic symbology reveal a multilayered fluid landscape with dual histories & dual identities.
Damon founded a company called Sidelab which offers solutions and services in the area of location based web applications. Damon is a very well known and vocal member of the Brisbane open source and mobile web development community. He has a number of very interesting projects and is a very engaging speaker. He adds a passion and experience for mobile web applications and experience in diverse communities.
GeoRabble #1 arrives in Brisbane on Tuesday April 17 (doors open 5.30pm, talks from 6.30pm). Then grab yourself a free ticket!
Hungry for a tasty serve of Brisbane geospatial goodness, free of agendas and sales pitches, amongst your friends and colleagues? Want to find out about some of the great unsung work being done by passionate people working with location? We’re lining up some great speakers and topics and there are a few speaking slots available – if you’ve got something new and exciting from the world of geo, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stimulating the geo minded people in Western Australia is not a hard thing. We are blessed with great weather, fantastic opportunities and a community that is strong and vibrant. One might say that there isn’t a geo-person who isn’t more than 1 or 2 links away from another geo person. In recent years a foreshadow has crept into the community where too often we hear comments stating it is the same people, the same technologies always presenting and promoting the industry.
GeoRabble aims to challenge that concept where like minded people (geo or other) can get together and celebrate the ideas, the innovations and yes even the ‘weird’ where corporations, brands are not the highlight of the show. It is perhaps with this last thought the reason why the inaugural GeoRabble for Perth sold out in record time.
Short, sharp interesting presentations is the name of the game for GeoRabble and the first Georabble (only a few days away now) has organised a great line-up of speakers.
Maurits van der Vlugt (The origins of GeoRabble)
Nicholas Flett (Imposing Order Onto Chaos – human beings perceiving a living world)
John Roberts (Mapping Land Disturbance in Rangelands via Photogrammetry)
Tom Brownlie (GIS is dead)
Drew France (The Cholera Epidemic – A spatial review)
Steve Snow (Looking at LiDAR)
GeoRabble Perth looks to be a fantastic night on the 8th of November (the Generous Squire, Perth) with a full house and food proudly put on by Gaia Resources we look forward to seeing you there.
p.s. There will be a door prize of a free ticket to the first GeoRabble Melbourne event scheduled for the 9th of November (you have to make your own way there). After all, we in Western Australia have never shied away from helping other states with their events. 🙂