Geo Message (Feb 2011)

Inside SSSI

Committee news:

Your ACT Executive has met for the first time in 2011 and is dealing with a number of issues on your behalf. Included among these are proposing replacement nominees for the government’s Survey Practice Advisory Committee, developing options for utilising the funds available to the Region resulting from the merger, member communications, YP events and support, CPD etc. The Executive will meet again on 17 March and then the whole Committee will meet in mid April.


Your Committee also has a vacancy in the position of Regional Spatial Information and Cartography Commission representative. If this is your area of special interest and you would like to make your contribution to the Region and shape its CPD events then please contact Robert Twin at


Special funding opportunity:

The winding up of the Canberra Division of ISA and the incorporation of its previous responsibilities into the SSSI ACT Region has provided the opportunity of special project funding for the Region. Your Committee is putting out a call for ideas as to how these funds can be utilised to benefit SSSI ACT objectives. The Board has given us a window of 2 years to commit this special funding and your Committee will be reviewing proposals at its April meeting. This is a unique opportunity which can kick start a number of programs to benefit the ACT spatial community. Please forward your ideas to Robert Twin at


A special message from Maree Wilson – Coordinator of SSC2013

In 2013 the ACT Region will host SSSC2013, the biennial conference for the SSSI. Planning is now underway for this conference, and we would like to offer you the opportunity to be a part of the organising committee for this event. There are a number of positions available on the committee, including assisting with planning the pre-conference workshops, identifying Keynote Speakers, collating papers for the conference program, coordinating social events and organising the map competition. By joining the organising committee you can:

If you are interested, please send your name, email and phone contacts to me at , along with any preferred roles you wish to undertake.



ACT Region spatial professionals have once again been called upon to assist with emergencies, this time in Queensland.



The Mapping and Planning Support Group (MAPS) deployed four people to the Red Cross emergency operations centre (EOC) in Brisbane on 30 December to provide mapping support to the Red Cross during the flood emergency in central Queensland. As we all know that emergency spread to south eastern Queensland and MAPS continued to provide support throughout. MAPS deployed groups of between two and four people to Brisbane for periods of 5 days at a time. During this period the Red Cross EOC at Milton itself came under threat of flood and the MAPS team were temporarily relocated to Fortitude Valley. Using Red Cross’ own GIS, which had been hastily put together just before the floods, the MAPS team provided a variety of map products to assist the Red Cross with planning of evacuation and recovery centres and with their field outreach programs.


In the first week of February, just when the operation was winding down, of course along came Tropical Cyclone Yasi. MAPS continued to deploy people to Brisbane to assist the Red Cross through this additional crisis. The last MAPS deployment, number 13, returned to Canberra on 21 February. In all, MAPS deployed 37 spatial professionals to Red Cross Brisbane over a 7 week period, each team spending 5 days on deployment before being replaced by a new team. This has been MAPS largest deployment since the Victorian fires in 2009 where we supported the Vic Police in the aftermath of the fires.



MAPS is a volunteer group established in 2005 under the auspices of the ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA). Its 70 plus members are all spatial information professionals who provide mapping support to the ESA and other emergency management agencies during major events. While MAPS is not affiliated with the SSSI many of its volunteers are also SSSI members, including several Young Professionals.


As MAPS is an ESA volunteer group its membership is only open to spatial professionals living in or around Canberra. Anyone wishing to join MAPS can contact or go to


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