EnviroGoodness

Good Job City of Cockburn

It’s been a long time now since I worked there, but they were always looking for ways to innovate & take better care of the community when I was an employee, and it seems little has changed in the last 15 years!

Whatever plastics this bin pulls out of the Port Coogee Marina is a win for everyone.

The ABC News Article published today provides more information on this awesome initiative. I hope I get to see one (or more!) of these appear in appropriate places along our beautiful Wollongong coast🤞🏻

And how cool would it be to see a map of Australia’s Coastline populate with these bins, with little tickers for each location showing how much non-organic waste they have each pulled from their locations since installation 💕

Plastic sea creatures

thinking out loud

You’re a whatnow?

I’ve just seen the question “What’s the BEST way to explain being a GIS person?” or some variant of it appear on one of the many GIS&T discussion boards on which I lurk come up again.confusionIt both saddens and frustrates me that people cannot seem to realise that there are so many ways to ‘be a GIS person’ that this question is simply either extremely naive or somewhat disingenuous. Continue reading “You’re a whatnow?”

observation

Dear Australian Census Designers

Firstly, congrats on our first online census. That was awesome. I’ve heard there’s been some moaning but, humans + change = complaining, so no surprises there really! Being able to complete my submission on my phone after getting home from work filled me with respect for all the peeps involved.

There was just this one question, and maybe it’s a legacy issue, Continue reading “Dear Australian Census Designers”

spatial resources

NSW State Library #DigitiseMySuburb

The NSW State Library is digitising their historic subdivision plans!

image: Vertical Map Cabinet

A news release posted yesterday has invited people to use social media to get their suburb to the top of the list by tweeting @StateLibraryNSW using  #DigitiseMySuburb

Over 250 NSW towns and suburbs are included in the collection and the most tweeted suburb over the period 6th Jan to 17th Feb 2015 will move to the next in line for digitisation.

Subdivision plans from Alexandria are already available online if you are interested in that neck of Sydney.

teaching and learning

Need some Button Clicking monkeys? Anyone?

There’s a great post (My GIS is Better Than Yours (and other Lies)) by John G. Van Hoesen yesterday over at the Directions Magazine website. He has hit upon a topic close to my own heart, which is this:

  • The Geographic Information Software product(s) you use are not an indication of your knowledge and ability in the arts of Geographic Information Science

It’s really very unfortunate that ‘science’, ‘systems’ and ‘software’ all start with an S! Continue reading “Need some Button Clicking monkeys? Anyone?”

linketylink · observation

Undiscovering an Island

Hat Tip to arstechnica for this article

This is a classic example of why we need to question where our data comes from. Once you stop to think about it, there are a number of possible explanations as to how this island came to be on charts and maps when it most likely never was. Effective spatial data analysis needs people’s brains to actually check out any anomalies thrown up when combining datasets. Algorithms can alert us to there being something that ‘needs a closer look’ but the actual looking is probably best done by someone who understands geographic information.

oceanSimilarly, any response to a spatial data anomaly must be informed by a number of factors, including things such as:

  • where the data was sourced from
  • who collected it and why
  • what we are using it to do

In some instances a conservative response is the best way to go, in others, we may get away with ignoring the fact that an anomaly was even found. What we shouldn’t do is assume that there is a “correct response” that will then apply for all possible instances – real life just doesn’t work that way.

Unless you happened to be, or know, an oceanic vulcanologist, ‘floating pumice islands‘ are probably not the explanation that comes to mind!