Geo Message (July 2011)

Inside SSSI


Message from the Chair

As the GIS Program Management Workshop gets rolled out in different regions, it occurs to me that we ought to be practicing what we preach. The SIC commission has its role within the Institute's structure, a budget and a target audience within the larger spatial industry. We have international partnerships and local resources.


As we embark on a new financial year, this is a good opportunity to define a vision for the Spatial Information and Cartography commisison, to help shape our strategy and provide a goal to measure our progress against. I'm looking for a short, simple statement that describes our commission's purpose.


For a few years now the committee has been working at documenting our strategic direction and gathering feedback on what our members are looking for us to provide, and we already have a firm idea of what challenges we would like to undertake in the year ahead, but I would like to extend the opportunity for anyone to submit their idea for a vision statement for the SIC commission. This could be your chance to influence the direction of the commission for years to come.


I welcome your suggestions at


Tasmanian Workshop

A very successful pre-conference workshop was held on Friday 15th July at the Aspect Tamar Valley Resort in Launceston.  9 people attended the workshop from a variety of State and Local governments and private companies.  Feedback on the day was positive although everyone felt there was too much material to be covered in one day!  Sponsorship for the event was provided by InsightGIS who also provided a guest speaker – Rob Rowell – who spoke about Corporate Governance issues.


The workshop was one of a suite of certified workshops developed and produced by URISA (Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) The Spatial Information and Cartography Commission (SICC) of the SSSI purchased the licence to present this workshop across Australia and New Zealand for 18 months starting from September 2010. So far the workshop has been run in Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia, with members of the SICC trained to present it by Katherine Cargo, President of URISA in 2010.


The 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 a successful GIS program.  The discussions were lively and covered all the key aspects of managing a GIS program from staffing and budgeting to procuring technology and working with vendors. A variety of real world examples were presented showing a range of GIS programs and their implementations.

Specific topics included:

The next workshop will be held in Victoria as part of the Victorian Spatial Summit in September.




eCarto Newsletter

The July edition of the Mapping Science Institute of Australia's eCarto newsletter is now available to SSSI members.


Mapping the 42nd Parallel

Tasmania’s first political boundary used the 42nd parallel of latitude. From 1804 until 1812 Van Diemen's Land was divided into the northern county of Cornwall and the southern county of Buckinghamshire. To highlight the significance of this important political boundary, the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute is planning to trace and mark sections of the 42nd parallel using traditional (compass, sextant, theodolite etc) and modern (GPS) technology over a 30km section around the Ross district. As part of the process, Tasmanian students are being invited to join in this history making project.


Please check out and for more information. There is also a podcast of a recent ABC radio interview that Darren Llewellyn participated in, that describes the project.


Upcoming Events

Victorian Region - 13th September (day before the Victorian Regional Conference, refer to the events page)

New Zealand Region - 22nd November (refer to


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