October 15, 2010

spatial@gov news

Posted by josediacono @ 9:17 pm under Uncategorized

Wow, Maurits and my presentations have been viewed 84 times each now. That is pretty good going.  No comment yet though. All the presentations have been uploaded to a private page on slideshare for the eyes of conference delegates only. This is a bit frustrating since speakers were urged to publish their presentations under creative commons (most did).  But because some speakers didn’t want to, now none of the them are being shared freely. I would urge speakers who want to share their presentations more widely to upload them to slideshare themselves and put spatial@gov in the title so they are easy to find.

Welcome news. OSDM are looking into a blog for spatial@gov.

October 11, 2010

spatial@gov and social media

Posted by josediacono @ 9:30 pm under Uncategorized

Having urged the organisers to enable ongoing discussion and collaboration in the spirit of government 2.0 I offered my services to assist – followed up with Ben Searle today. Ben will look into slideshare for sharing presentations – this would allow discussion and comment on specific presentations. Maurits v/d Vlugt and I have uploaded ours already – has anyone else? (Search slideshare for spatial@gov). Ben is also looking at what sort of forum/wiki his current platform with support so watch this space. Maurits was blogging very eloquently last week so until we have a general forum do comment on our blogs.

spatial@gov snippets

Posted by josediacono @ 8:46 pm under Uncategorized

Peter Kinne and I share maps on the touchy feely Surface

Back on deck after a huge week at what must have been the largest national spatial conference ever held in Australia (FIG was bigger but that was international).  The government 2.0 sessions threw up some very interesting papers. Check out Maurits vd Vlugt’s presentation and blog I got some very positive feedback on Mashup Competitions and Data Portals, especially from those who found it refreshingly untechnical.  Memorable things for me were playing with the Microsoft Surface  on the Geomatic Technologies stand, Neat Streets (a production equivalent of itsbuggeredmate)  and Colin McDonald, the head of Land information New Zealand on the aftermath of the New Zealand earthquake (3 metre land shifts in all directions).

While in past years, we have bemoaned the fact that “outsiders” didn’t understand the power of spatial, they are now throwing down the gauntlet, telling us clearly what they want.

Outsiders are starting to throw down the gauntlet to the spatial industry

Michael Haines of Westgate Ports wants a Virtual Australia, starting with the Port of Melbourne (shades of James Bangay and his SIM city model of the power network). Barry Sandison of Centrelink has phenomenal amounts of data that his staff only use a tiny part of. He said  “Tell me something I didn’t know” rather than confirming what policy advisers and case workers already know. Sounds like the serendipity of mashups to me. “Data snobs” are inhibiting the flow of information.

October 1, 2010

New data.gov.au in November

Posted by josediacono @ 3:43 pm under Uncategorized

I asked Peter Alexander, Assistant Secretary at AGIMO (Australian Government Information Management Office)  about the future of the data.gov.au data portal used to supply data the MashupAustralia competition. This portal also has the url data.australia.gov.au.

I’m speaking on data portals and lessons learned from around the world on Wednesday afternoon  in the government 2.0 spatial@gov conference.

The data.gov.au  beta portal will be replaced by a  production version next month,  hosted in the cloud. First priority is discoverability because it doesn’t matter how good it is if you cannot find it.

Second priority is format.   The philosophy is to go with whatever is possible (it may be a table in a pdf initially), then improve on it  e.g. with web services.  AGIMO will be working very hard with agencies to get their data published.  Agencies are a lot more comfortable about sharing now they know the sky did not fall with Mashup Australia, on the contrary they saw  the benefits.

Agencies will self publish. There will be 5-10 attributes for every dataset, then links through to specialist portals for statistical or geospatial data (eg. Geoscience Australia). These will have more and different metadata.

We agreed on the  importance of resourcing the admin, blog etc. But there will be a ‘lag response policy’. If you jump in straight away with an answer it can kill the conversation. Better to encourage comments on comments and let conversation blossom.  That’s an interesting take.

Peter has had some discussions with ANZLIC and states. The same technology platform can be used by states.

September 1, 2010

Irrigation myths busted at GITA conference

Posted by josediacono @ 9:35 am under Uncategorized

I have covered a couple of conferences recently for Asian Survey and Mapping e-zine, most recently GITA in Brisbane.

Irrigation Myths Busted


I’ll be writing about the CRC and some new products in coming editions.   There were some inspiring presentations on business and strategic directions at GITA. Terrey Effeney from Energex about the challenges of how to make an electricity grid built for the 20th century handle our 21st century lifestyle of airconditioners,Wii, solar panels feeding into the grid and electric cars.  Also Peter Woodgate of the CRC gave a very encouraging picture of how the CRC will take spatial to industries like health and energy and how to achieve James Bangay’s vision of a SimCity-like model of the electricity network.

May 26, 2010

Neogeographers and paleogeographers

Posted by josediacono @ 2:09 pm under Uncategorized

http://vimeo.com/11540899 Not your fathers approach to geodata creation and sharing posted by moderator Peter Batty.  This is quite a long video and I do plan to make a summary of the key points sometime,but for a start there is a very good explanation of openstreetmap as an example of neogeography and powerful pictures from post earth quake Haiti (the building housing the goverment GIS was destroyed in the earthquake so over a matter of days volunteers created new maps from old paper base maps, high res satellite imagery, even Maps from the CIA if I heard correctly – which made a huge difference to the emergency response and saved lives.

Some amusing banter between neogeographers and traditional GIS people cheekily referred to as paleogeographers.

May 24, 2010

Metadata conference

Posted by josediacono @ 12:32 pm under Uncategorized

I just heard Metadata 2010 is on this week in Canberra.

Sharing Data, Sharing Ideas

Canberra | 26-27 May 2010

This conference on metadata management brings together practitioners and managers to discuss issues related to metadata management, with particular emphasis on public sector data and metadata.

I followed the links and found another event on Friday (an “unconference”) covering the wider Information access policy side. Not a lot of notice but you may be able to get copies of the papers or follow the blog. At first I thought it was an online conference but then found it is at ANU


October 4, 2009

SSSI conference

Posted by josediacono @ 8:52 pm under Uncategorized

At the Surveying and spatial Sciences conference in Adelaide last week we had a fascinating plenary session in which we were addressed by three people with their roots outside the spatial industry. The Governor General of South Australia, His excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, OGC representative and lawyer Kevin Pomfret and Andrew Campbell who heads up a sustainability consultancy.  All three presentations shared a common theme that we need to look outside our narrow spatial field and engage with the wide world