Author Archive

Awarding Excellence in GI

October 28, 2013 Leave a comment

The deadline for submissions for the AGI awards is this week (31 Oct). There is still time to enter and the nomination form is really straight forward.

Earlier this year I was delighted to be invited to attend the inaugural Holyrood ICT Connect Awards in Glasgow. Among the nominees were The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), listed in two categories for their innovative project using mobile GIS to transform their data collection methods, developed by Edinburgh based company Sigma Seven.

It was a fantastic evening and even more so as SEPA won the Connect Innovate Award. My congratulations go to all of the team involved and it was fantastic to see a geospatial project recognised at the event.

Connect ICT Awards 2013

SEPA & Sigma Seven Team – Holyrood ICT Connect Award Winners

So, why are awards valuable? We all carry out our projects in the workplace, sometimes in challenging circumstances, difficult deadlines, or resource issues. We do our projects as part of our day jobs, to support our organisations and colleagues. Thinking about them as award-worthy or industry exemplars doesn’t really come into it.

However, at the end of a successful project when you have over come hurdles and have proven the value of your team and expertise then it is time to look back and celebrate. Sharing your success with the wider community benefits us all on a number of levels.

Recognition for the importance of GI –  In difficult economic circumstances many are trying to make the case for why investment in GI is so important, including the AGI on behalf of our members. We need your stories and excellent case studies of exemplar projects to sell this to a wide audience.

Recognition for your own organisation – Being presented with a national award can demonstrate your own organisation as being forward thinking and innovative. Recognition as a company that innovates and supports the use of GI can be useful for attracting good people who want to work for you and generate valuable publicity.

Recognition for your team & individuals – Recently an AGI member told me of the increased internal profile of their team following an award nomination and the support that followed. Being recognised for an award also is a boost to your own profile (within your own organisation and externally) and continual professional development. Finally, there is the chance to take some time out of the office with your team and celebrate your achievements at the Annual Awards Event at the wonderful RGS building in London.

thinkWhere – 2012 AGI Award Winners

At the 2012 AGI Awards,  Scottish based company thinkWhere (formerly Forth Valley GIS) received the “Innovation and Achievement (Private Sector) 2012” award for their work with Millar & Bryce on the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project (EGIP). At this year’s award ceremony, the winner of best paper from GeoCommunity, Glasgow’s Future Cities project, will be receiving an award. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have even more Scottish winners in 2013?

There are a number of award categories and I hope you will consider putting one of your own projects forward – but be quick to make sure you meet that deadline. Good luck everyone!

PS – The nominations for AGI Council also close on the same date, there is more information here and I have written a guest blog about being an AGI Council member if you want some additional information on what is involved.

Categories: AGI Scotland, Awards, Events

See you in Maptember?

August 5, 2013 Leave a comment
maptember image

See you in Maptember?

Our AGI Scotland programme has been quiet over the Summer, but we are having a little bit of breathing space before the Autumn Geo Extravaganza being badged as “Maptember”.

At the centre of maptember, from the 16 – 18 September is our AGI GeoCommunity conference. The event has a wide draw from across the UK and beyond, a diverse range of speakers and some great keynotes. Congratulations to Registers of Scotland and Glasgow City Council for both having papers selected this year as part of the event. Of course in addition to the excellent programme, GeoCommunity is a great opportunity to make connections with GI professionals and companies across the UK , furthering your own and business networks.

Early bird is still open and attendance including accommodation and catering is from only £275, but be quick! Early bird closes on Wednesday and then the regular booking price will apply.

In the same venue, the international conference FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geo), is being held from 17-21 September. The conference is the annual gathering for users, developers and leaders in open geospatial software. It features presentations suitable for all levels from those who are new to open and want to find out more to those who are already fully immersed in open geo. A number of packages and day passes are still available and there are also opportunities for volunteers for the event – again be quick!

There are also a range of events in Scotland linked on the maptember page, as well as many more across the UK. AGI Scotland Committee members will be at the events noted above as well as some of the others – so will we see you in Maptember?  Comment on the blog and let us know and come and say hello!

Categories: Events

AGI Social Events and GeoDrinks Stirling on 25 April

April 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Bartholomew's Exhibition AGI VisitReview of Members Tour of “Putting Scotland on the Map”

Last week members attended a guided tour of  “Putting Scotland on the Map”. The exhibition is currently on display at the National Library of Scotland and celebrates the work of the Bartholomew’s family and mapping company.

We would like to thank the staff from NLS who very kindly arranged this visit for AGI Scotland members. The Bartholomew's Exhibition Poster AGI Scotland visitexhibition features a wide collection of articles from the NLS Bartholomew archive and not only focuses on the history of the family and company from 1820 – 2002 but also tells the story of the staff who worked for Bartholomew’s and the techniques used in their cartography. It is a must-see if you are within reach of Edinburgh before it ends on the 7 May.

The event allowed members to meet for the visit with time afterwards for networking drinks. This style of social event is a great opportunity to meet with local members and enjoy a shared interest while also making valuable professional connections. We are keen to organise more events like this in Scotland and would welcome any members with ideas for events or with the capacity to assist in organising these to please get in touch.

GeoDrinks Stirling

Our next AGI Scotland Social event is a drinks event on the 25 April. The event follows the One Scotland Mapping Agreement seminar in Stirling that we know many of you in the public sector will be attending, however the event is open to anyone who is interested in geographic information and you will be made more than welcome to join us for a coffee, soft drink (or something stronger..).

The event is being held at the Corn Exchange in Stirling and will start from 3.30pm onwards. we would anticipate being at the venue for a couple of hours, if you are planning to attend later on then please do get in touch and let us know. We are grateful to Forth Valley GIS for sponsoring this event.  If you are interested in attending then please register online to give us an idea of numbers using the link below.
Eventbrite -  AGI Scotland Social Event: Geodrinks Stirling

Reminder: Guided Tour on Wednesday “Putting Scotland On the Map”

April 8, 2013 Leave a comment

There are still a few tickets available for the AGI Member event which is being held this week, please make sure you book before 5pm on Tuesday 9 April  if you would like to join us.

Advertising poster with Edinburgh Castle and a car

Join AGI Members for a guided tour of the National Library of Scotland exhibition “Putting Scotland On the Map”. Staff from the library will guide members around this fantastic exhibition which tells the story of one of Scotland’s most influential map-making firms, John Bartholomew & Son.

This event will be a great opportunity to visit the exhibition with like-minded geo-enthusiasts and meet other AGI members.

National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh – 10 April 2013 from 6pm

The event is free for AGI members and you can book online now:

Following the tour, we will move onto Doctors bar (32 Forrest Road) for networking drinks. If you cannot make it along to the tour, or you are not an AGI member but are interested in joining us for the networking, you will be made more than welcome. We will be at Doctors from approximately 7.15pm onwards.

Categories: Uncategorized

New Directions in Geo – Networking

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment

We have now updated the programme for the event with the very latest line-up for the Glasgow Showcase on the 27 February. We are delighted to be welcoming some additional speakers into our Technical Stream for these more informal “How To” sessions, we are now have a full programme for all streams. You are going to need to make some difficult choices on the day!

Programme as of 19 Feb

Programme as of 19 Feb

Remember, the full booking information and the very lastest programme are on the main AGI website. If you haven’t booked yet, please don’t leave it much longer as we want to make sure you have a badge!

Post – event Networking at the Curler’s Rest

We now have our networking plans in place – following the event we will be moving onto the Curler’s Rest, on Byres Road to discuss the day and carry on putting names to faces. The venue is described as “comfy with a cultural edge”, you will find us upstairs relaxing after a packed programme.

If you can’t make it along for the full day, please do still join us for a drink afterwards – we will be at the Curler’s shortly after 4.30pm. As usual this is open to anyone with an interest in Geospatial, we would love to see you.

Please register online to give us an idea of numbers attending the drinks – it is free to attend.

Categories: Events Tags: , ,

New Directions in Geo – 27 Feb 2013

February 15, 2013 2 comments

There are less than 2 weeks to go until the AGI Scotland Showcase Event on the 27 February at the University of Glasgow.

The AGI Scotland conference volunteers have been working hard to put together a strong line-up for this event, which will kick off the first in the AGI Showcase series.

Hunter Halls, University of Glasgow

Hunter Halls, University of Glasgow

A number of high profile plenary speakers will be attending on the day, all representing a different view on the theme  “New Directions in Geo”.

Mike Neilson is Digital Director for the Scottish Government, working to ensure Scotland benefits fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution. Mike is a lifelong public servant, having worked for the UK Treasury, the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels and for the European Commission before moving to the Scottish Government. Now chairing the Spatial Information Board as part of his role, it will be very interesting to hear Mike’s perceptions of digital in Scotland going forward.

Anne Kemp, Director of BIM Strategy and Development for Atkins, is also the current chair of the AGI. Anne will provide an overview of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and in particular the role in infrastructure projects. For those who have had little insight into BIM, this presentation will be a must-see. We are delighted that Anne will be attending this event and also in her capacity as AGI Chair will be able to engage with Scottish AGI members face to face.

Andy McDonald, Director of Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, will be setting the scene for the new opportunities for GI in the Scottish private sector. The growth of renewable, marine and low carbon technology have offered a wealth of GI positions in Scotland but have not often been considered at previous AGI events. Andy will provide an expert oversight into this side of the Scottish private sector.

Mike Saunt, chair of the AGI Technical Special Interest Group and managing director of Astun Technology Ltd, will be highlighting the opportunities for utilising Open Data in Scotland. Mike is an advocate of Open Source UK and writes regularly on why Open Source and Open Data are so important in Geo:Connexion UK magazine. Mike is also on the committee of the international FOSS4G conference which will be held in the UK in 2013.

In addition to this excellent line-up of plenary speakers, we have 3 streams of parallel sessions running throughout the rest of the day. Organisations have put forward their best case studies to demonstrate the wealth of expertise and innovation that is underway in Scotland. In addition to 2 streams of presentations, a third workshop stream offers the opportunity to find out “how-to” from a range of technical presenters.

Delegates at the event will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite paper, which will be put forward to the annual AGI Awards event.

The exhibitors space will let you spend time viewing the latest that the industry has to offer, while networking over coffee or lunch. Exhibitors for this showcase event include:

In addition to a really packed programme, we are delighted to be able to say that we have been able to reduce the delegate fee from previous years, offering excellent value to our members.

AGI Student Member – £24.50+VAT
AGI Non Practicing Member – £24.50+VAT
AGI Individual Member – £49+VAT
AGI Non Member – £127+VAT (This rate includes 1 year free membership*)

The full programme and booking details are online at the AGI website – but be quick, there isn’t long to go now!

Categories: Events
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