March 31, 2011

Introduction to Mashups and ad hoc mapping 13th April

Posted by josediacono @ 8:36 pm under Uncategorized

On Wednesday 13th April at the Institute of NSW office in Surry Hills, Sydney 5.30-7.30 pm. A joint SSSI – IS-NSW event.

Click for more info

Click for more info

What are Mashups?

Why should I be creating them? 

How do I get started?

An entertaining and educational evening specially designed for surveyors and spatial professionals. Absolutely no prior web development knowledge needed.

Lots of lively examples, step by step guide and tips for creating good mashups. I’m really looking forward to  co-presenting with Matt Robinson of Lagen Spatial and Cameron Shorter of Lisasoft.

Seminar information Mashups with SSSI 13 April 2011

Download Registration Form (ISNSW don’t have online registration yet)

November 26, 2010

Spatial speed networking with free beer

Posted by josediacono @ 10:40 am under Uncategorized

I went to a spatial speed networking evening last night in Sydney (my daughter reckons it was speed dating but the ratio of males to females wouldn’t have worked too well!). It was very enjoyable. About 30 people in a private bar area in the CBD 6-8pm, we sat 3-4 at a table for 7 minutes and introduced ourselves and chatted, then a bell rang and we all swapped. After about 5 swaps we just mingled and ate finger food. Met interesting people from surveying (it was co-hosted by BOSSI the Board of Surveying and Spatial information and SSSI but you didn’t have to be affiliated to any association to attend), utilities, students, consulting engineers, developers, people looking for jobs and Wendy Chapman (former publisher of Position) who is back in town after a long holiday. It was a chance to ask people how they use (or don’t use) social media for my upcoming article in Position magazine.

It was free and a nice opportunity to see all christmas lights in Martin Place. I hope we will have more. Thanks to Heidi Brown for organising it.

October 21, 2010

the perils of geolocation with social media

Posted by josediacono @ 8:40 am under Uncategorized

Radio National’s Futuretense show this morning. podcast How social networking like foursquare and twitter is using geolocation – the upside means you can find out if friends and colleagues are close by to catch up with them or find out what interesting places are close by if you have a few minutes to kill, but the downside is that if you enable geolocating and forget about it, you can be revealing your location inadvertently to the world. Interesting take on terminology, ‘geolocating’ sounds ok, but ‘geotracking’ sounds sinister.  Interviews with social media experts and a lawyer (who is actually very enthusiastic about sharing his location.

Website in Holland ‘’ Raising awareness about oversharing. Shows how the devious could stalk you or identify when your house is empty to rob me. The gist of the program is “it has huge benefits, but use it wisely”.

August 8, 2010

Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide

Posted by josediacono @ 9:53 am under Uncategorized

Talks in less than 6 minutes. My daughter’s Design and Technology teacher put me on to this one. Thanks Kate.

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He leads the World Wide Web Consortium, overseeing the Web’s standards and development.

go to the TED website

June 8, 2010

The lights go on!

Posted by josediacono @ 11:50 am under Uncategorized

The lights go on when people see their data in a mashup

I have just been reading an article “Learning to Share”  in Position Magazine about the implications to GIS people of Council amalgamations. It mentions that old problem: people don’t understand the benefits of GIS so how do you get them to give it a priority? I think the answer lies in Mashups because they let you  show your colleagues and masters their data mashed up with other people’s data and in a familiar, user friendly environment such as Google Maps or Bing Maps. Then the lights go on!  It doesn’t cost the earth and you can quickly change things when your users come with all sorts of new needs.

This has made me hugely excited about a Mashups workshop I am jointly hosting at the GITA Conference in August. More about the workshop

May 17, 2010

Spatial jargon buster

Posted by josediacono @ 8:42 pm under Uncategorized

Ross Johnson just sent me this useful link from the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping. A very handy guide to Acronyms, Initialism and Jargon.

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March 2, 2010

Good documentation in 15 minutes

Posted by josediacono @ 4:33 pm under Uncategorized

While the technicalities of metadata confound me I am interested in the people side and  processes required to create it – since it seems to be such a vexed area. Ross Johnson sent me this link. It took about 15 minutes to read and is well worth it.

My browser warned me that this site had a dodgy security certificate but I figured that if it is part of the US government it should be ok.

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a US government agency. It is a veritable goldmine about the processes we should use to write documentation including metadata and the different types of people who need to be involved ie.

  • Users (current and future)
  • Data Collectors/Providers who collect and processing data. (the wiki talks about observations but I think we can substitute data)
  • Data Stewards who take long-term responsibility for sharing data often long after the Data Collector/Provider has moved on.  Chief communicators with users
  • Standards Experts who assist the above

I get the impression that in many jurisdictions it is the standards experts who dominate the discussion rather than playing a supporting role.

The wiki makes the point that all the above must be involved in an iterative process of collecting documentation, formulating it according to standards, checking back with data collectors that it is accurate and then with users that it is meaningful. It even weights how the tasks are split between the groups (60%/30%/10% etc ).   It also emphasizes the importance of consulting future users – don’t just assume that everyone will have the same level of knowledge as current ones – so important as we attempt to widen the use of spatial data.

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