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Working on Spatial Data quality and pragmatic enterprise solutions.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bloody Big Deal: European Union extends Quality of Service regulations for Geodata Network Services

Last week, the EU issued a directive to extend its Quality of Service regulations for Geodata Services. This directive adds specifications for download and transformation services to the 'discovery' and 'view' services that were regulated in 2009.


Though this event earned little more than the odd footnote in the industry press and blogosphere, it is actually a bloody big deal. The directive sets specific minimum parameters for performance, capacity and availability of geospatial services published by EU governments. And these are binding.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More diversity needed at Spatial@Gov

Day three heralded the graveyard shift for the speakers at Spatial-at-gov 2010. It was a case of speaking in the morning, while delegates were still fuzzy after the night before, or speaking in the afternoon, when everyone's waiting to go home.

I had the morning slot, in the government 2.0 stream, to talk about Where 2.0 and Neogeography. Despite geo-beers the night before, the room was full, and the audience seemed attentive to hear about Paradigm shifts and Bushfire Connect. The slides can be found here.



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spatial@Gov - Day 2

The second day of the Spatial-at-gov conference was the first 'real' conference day. A morning of keynotes and an afternoon of parallel sessions, followed by the Conference Dinner, which doubled as the annual Spatial Excellence awards night.

To a large extent, it was business as usual for a typical spatial event: lots of inward looking observations, lamenting that our industry remains so misunderstood, and mild outrage if someone dares to mispronounce (or take the Mickey out of) our beloved SSSI. Oh, and death by PowerPoint. Slow and painful.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spatial@Gov - Day 1

Yesterday the 2nd spatial@gov conference kicked off in Canberra, with among other events, an open day, a series of workshops and presentations, and the highly anticipated launch of the Bureau of Meteorology's GeoFabric.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Random Hacks of Kindness" comes to Sydney


Last weekend, 40 committed volunteers came together at the University of New South Wales' Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to participate in what's geekily known as a 'Hack-a-thon'.


After a successful first event last year in the USA, Random Hacks of Kindness this year went global, organising hacking events with multiple global locations bringing together developers from all over the world to hack on real-world problems. Over the weekend, groups were working away in Washington DC, Jakarta, Nairobi, Sao Paolo, Porta Alegre, Santiago de Chile, and of course, Sydney.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Neo-geography by numbers


I've always believed life's a numbers game (OK, accuse me of being a left-brained rationalist) - look at it: elections, the economy, 'all good things come in threes', online poker, and the list goes on.
So, as a bit of entertainment, let's look at some topics in neo-geography by counting up. This post will go from two to four, and I'll be happy to take suggestions for topics for number five and further (though I have some wicked ideas already).  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Paradigm Shifts of Neo-Geography


Attending the world-wide Surveying and Spatial Information Conference FIG2010 this week in Sydney, I can't help but notice a growing divide between the traditional GIS and Surveying community and the rapidly evolving world of 'neo-geography', represented at the Where 2.0 conference just before Easter.

What sets these two apart, other than the average age of the delegates (about 60 and 30 respectively), is the way they approach the paradigm of computerised mapping.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Ignite Where" Rocks!


One of the many highlights of the Where 2.0 conference was definitely the "Ignite Where" evening.
If you have not heard about ignite before, check out this previous post.


Having attended a few Ignite events in Sydney and Perth, I thought it would be nice to try my hand at presenting here. It provided a comfortable and relatively neutral, opportunity to try out one of my favourite soap box topics: is the surveying industry stimulating or instead holding back innovation in spatial information in Australia? Judge for yourself here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Reverse Geocoding the Twitter Geo-Stream


I'm at O' Reilly's Where 2.0 2010 Conference in San Jose, California. It's a great event: absolute geo-geek heaven. There's a multitude of technologists around, and all the big players in online and social media(Google, Bing, Twitter, Foursquare etc.) have their 'Directors of Geo' present.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spatial Information is the key to Smart Infrastructure


Last Friday (12/3/2010) I had the pleasure of attending the "Smart Infrastructure Conference" in Canberra, hosted by the House Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. The conference was part of the parliamentary inquiry into Smart Infrastructure, which (in short) tells the government how best to implement and maximise the benefits from Smart Infrastructure, such as dynamic train management, smart utility grids or hydrological sensor networks.



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Awesome Ignite Sydney 4, and why is Spatial so un-cool?


Yesterday I was delighted, inspired and awed at Ignite Sydney 4 - Sydney's opening of Global Ignite Week.

For those of you who are not yet familiar with Ignite: it's like geek-speed-dating with PowerPoint.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Climate Change Mapping: Keep it Simple, Stupid!


In the previous post, I wrote about the challenges of presenting complex data on the risk from sea-level rise and climate change to people who are looking for 'simple' answers and guidance.

One of the main take-away messages that I got from day 2 of the National Climate Change Forum is that local authorities really are asking for (demanding!) a national, coordinated set of data and decision support tools to help them assess the risks coming from climate change, confirming the points made in the previous post.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mapping Climate Change and Sea-level Rise

Today (18 Feb 2010) and tomorrow, I am attending the National Climate Change Forum (http://www.nccf2010.eventplanners.com.au/) in Adelaide. The focus of this two-day forum is on coastal communities: how can they assess the risks from climate change and sea level rise, and how to develop priorities for adaptation strategies.


(Not a lot of Social Media activity here BTW. I seem to be the only one sending out updates on Twitter for now. Follow me or look for the #nccf hashtag)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

National Emergency Warning System still has some way to go

Partly in response to the Victoria Bushfires in February 2009, the Federal Government late last year launched the "National Emergency Warning System" (NEWS): http://www.alp.org.au/media/1209/msag040.php . It was immediately also trialled in NSW under the name 'Emergency Alert'.

The system works by sending voice and text (SMS) messages to phones in the threatened area.

Telstra and the government are quick to point out the obvious flaw in this system, that they say will be addressed in future versions: Messages go out according to phones with their billing address in the area under threat only, which is not guaranteed to be the phones' actual location, especially in case of mobiles. Furthermore, people may be interested in areas beyond their phone's location.