Geo Message (October 2011)

Events coming up

SSSC2011 Open day - 22 November - Wellington

SSSC2011 is the first conference of its kind to hold a public open day in addition to the conference and workshops. Tuesday the 22nd November will see the exhibition space at the Wellington Convention Centre open all day to showcase what’s happening in the spatial industry. Consumers are continuously using more location-based services, and demanding greater innovation and enterprise. Applications that use location based information are advancing rapidly and nobody thinks twice about using interactive maps and services that use location as their basis. The open day is an opportunity for colleagues, managers, decision makers and clients to see the entire industry in one place. You will get hands-on demonstrations of technology and services. On display wil be Terralink's StreetCam vehicle, Hawkeye's UAV and St. Johns ambulance.


Meet the future of the profession as the open day hosts teachers and students promoting careers and education opportunities - ending with a mini geocaching event around the Wellington CBD. Wellington is an ideal place to hold a public open day. The Convention Centre is within a short walk of New Zealand's major business and government agencies. It is well worth the trip to Wellington to get a free look at what’s on offer. For more information on SSSC2011, or to register for the conference, visit


SSSC2011 Conference

Register now for SSSC2011.

In addition to the conference programme, there are 11 pre-conference workshops to choose from that offer unprecedented access to training and professional development. Enjoy a public expo/open day where we showcase our industry and profession to the public. Don't forget the fantastic social programme with the highlight being the conference dinner at Te Papa - tickets are selling fast for this - register now so you don't miss out.

Recent Events

Quakes bring people together

On Thursday 6th October, 35 spatial professionals gathered at the impressive offices of Solid Energy NZ (SENZ) in Christchurch to discuss the theme "Working Together - Are we getting better?"  After a motivating introduction by Christine Dormaar the Information Systems Manager at SENZ, six speakers shared their views. Ryan Elley from Environment Canterbury explained how his organisation had responded to the earthquake, and their aims for a Canterbury Regional Viewer in the future to display data from all local TA's. He touched on many ideas that would be repeated throughout the afternoon such as data accessibility, metadata and the importance of terms and conditions when sharing data. 


Our second speaker was Keri Niven from Aurecon, currently working in the Port Hills GeoTech group.  She gave us a live demonstration of the field technology she'd set up for the teams to map rocks and hazardous areas. This consisted of an iPad running a mobile application leveraging ArcGIS Server software connected via Telecom 3G.  She stressed the need for efficiency and pointed out that "quick and dirty is OK sometimes". Peter Elliott from Orion treated us to Orion's full history along "the road to sharing spatial information" right from neatly recorded hand written field notes from early last century, through to current web mapping services.


Veronika Frank from the Christchurch City Council compared the council perspective relating to the topic of the day against 4 defined time periods: before Sep 2010, during the first earthquake response in September, during the second earthquake response in February, and going into the future.  She explained the use of Web Feature Services to overcome software specific file formats and provide a central source of truth. Martin Erasmuson from Explorer Graphics Limited (GIS provider to Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA)) talked about silos, building relationships, breaking down barriers, and new technology such as WFS and REST.


And finally the perspective of surveyors was clearly conveyed by Todd Airey from the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors.  Todd described some of the work he had been undertaking in the red zone, challenged us to strive to ask better questions, and stressed the need for a common operating picture such as Landonline. Healthy discussions and networking then followed and continued on in a nearby drinking establishment. It was clear from all the presenters that we have improved enormously in terms of working together and moving forward with a more unified approach. Thank you again to Solid Energy for sharing their fantastic venue with us, it was the nicest building I have been inside since the earthquakes!


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