We've all heard about the vitally important role the spatial sciences has to play in disaster response and emergency management. How important decisions require the latest geographical information presented in an easily-understood form. How the latest technologies in satellite imaging, wireless networks, hand-held GPS units and touchscreen tablets all enable the flow of geo-coded information to those who are in a position to act. But it was very recently brought to my attention that our profession has another role to play.
Simply put, our technological toys that can place a dynamically updating map in the palm of anyone's hand are ... cool. We now have gadgets and devices that were restricted to the movie screen not so very long ago. And when placed in the hands of a fire fighter or SES volunteer, they bring a sense of cutting-edge sophistication to an established, respected profession.
Whatever challenges our institute faces in promoting our profession to the latest crop of university graduates, we should never forget what attracted many of us to this line of work in the first place. We get to play with toys that are smart and cool and fun, and now as Moore's law marches on, our clients get to share in that experience. And if our deployments of spatial technology make working in disaster response just that bit more attractive, it can only be a good thing.
The latest GIS Program Management Workshop was held in Victoria on the 13th of September, as a lead up to the Victorian Spatial Summit. Seventeen attendees representing State government, Local government and private firms came together to learn about and discuss experiences with:
The GIS Program Management Workshop is designed to provide guidelines for managing a GIS program. It looks at the various organisational and technical issues program managers must address in order to develop and run a successful GIS program. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Chris Pettit (The University of Melbourne), Dr Jessica Davies (Geomatic Technologies), Dr Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed-Ghouse (Sinclair Knight Merz) and Georgina Race (Water Technology) and was enhanced by an insightful presentation from Peter Woodgate from the CRC-SI on governance best practice. This Workshop is one of a suite of certified workshops developed and produced by URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) http://urisa.org/workshops. The Spatial Information and Cartography Commission SSSI are licensed (and trained) to deliver this workshop for another six months and will be undertaking a review of its success. If you haven't yet attended the Workshop but are interested, it is running in New Zealand as part of the SSSC.
The September edition of the Mapping Science Institute of Australia's eCarto newsletter is now available to SSSI members.
Following release of the interim report by the Queensland Flood Commission, the Queensland Division of Engineers Australia (EA) formed a special sub-committee specifically for the purpose of reviewing the Commission’s report and to provide Engineers Australia Queensland Division with advice for constructive comment. Subcommittee membership was selected from EA members to give representation covering a wide range of relevant experience. A submission was prepared that presents the outcomes of the sub-committee’s review of the interim report and comments related to the issues that Engineers Australia Queensland Division sees as important for the final report. It is intended that these outcomes assist the commission in its further deliberations and also assist the government in implementation of the commission’s findings. Engineers Australia Queensland Division and its members are available for further input as required and would welcome further discussion. The submission makes recommendations about a GIS being developed from which maps are made available to the public. Refer to the Engineers Australia site for more details.
GIS Program Management Workshop 22nd November (refer to http://www.sssc2011.com/workshops/)