Edinburgh University announces new Professional Development Initiative

June 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

EDINA and the School of GeoSciences in the University of Edinburgh is launching a new geospatial continuous professional development programme, which builds on existing strengths in GIS training and education.  With a pedigree established through its internationally renowned GIS Masters programme (begun in 1985) and many years of offering CPD opportunities to government and industry, this new initiative kicks off with a one-day course on the popular OpenSource GIS software QGIS on 30th June 2017.  Many organisations are looking to complement their commercial GIS with QGIS to help drive down costs and unlock the extra functionality and time savings it can provide.   This initial course is designed for those who already have a good grounding in GIS but want to take the skills they have in a commercial GIS package and use them in the OpenSource software. Bruce Gittings, GIS Programmes Director in the School of GeoSciences, said “We…

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Edinburgh GIS Student takes prize in Story Maps competition

June 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

Image1Charlie Moriarty, currently undertaking the GIS MSc in Edinburgh, has taken second prize in an international competition run by software vendors ESRI to showcase their storymaps feature.  Charlie’s storymap involves a virtual trip across the longest highway in his native Australia. The map highlights how long it would take to drive around the Australian coast compared to travelling through Europe and Asia, and Charlie’s project is illustrated with dynamic maps and photographs.

The storymap was prepared as an assessment within the Geovisualisation course and course leader William Mackaness commented “This is great news. I am delighted for Charlie”

Charlie’s storymap can be found here

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Tories plans for GeoSpatial

May 19, 2017 1 comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

Its not often that political manifestos get into the specifics of the GeoSpatial industry, but the British Conservative party seem to have decided there is political gain in terms of spatial data.  Under the heading “Digital Land”, they say:

And we will use digital technology to release massive value from our land that currently is simply not realised, introducing greater specialisation in the property development industry and far greater transparency for buyers. To make this happen, we will combine the relevant parts of HM Land Registry, Ordnance Survey, the Valuation Office Agency, the Hydrographic Office and Geological Survey to create a comprehensive geospatial data body within government, the largest repository of open land data in the world. This new body will set the standards to digitise the planning process and help create the most comprehensive digital map of Britain to date. In doing so, it will support a vibrant and…

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EEO-AGI Scotland Seminar Review : Prof. Jonathan Silvertown: 28th Apr

May 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

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Edinburgh offers its inhabitants and visitors a large range of sights and events to occupy and entertain throughout the year, notably its annual festivals. As a stroll through many Edinburgh bookshops confirms, much interest also exists in investigations of the city’s rich heritage and natural environments.

In close proximity to the Drummond Street location of the seminar lies St. John’s Hill, where James Hutton (1726-1797), later billed the ‘father of modern geology’, once lived. It was here, in sight of the Salisbury Crags, that Hutton’s early geological observations were made. To this day, Hutton’s profound statement Image1 ‘…we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end’ – can be found etched into a large Clashach stone at the spot where Hutton’s house and garden once lay.

It was in this context – and that of other lauded figures of the Scottish Enlightenment such as Adam Smith and David…

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EEO-AGI Scotland Seminar Review :

April 19, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

The Edinburgh Earth Observatory (EEO) AGI-Scotland seminar series were delighted to host Stephen Cragg, transport planner for Transport Scotland on Friday the 31st of March, 2017. Stephen’s talk formed part of the seminar series’ ‘Future’ theme, in which GI professionals across a range of fields and disciplines examine the pervasive nature of technology, and the ways in which it is changing our world for the better (or for the worse).

The seminar was intriguingly entitled ‘Future Transport: I know where you were last night!”. Steven stated that the title was, in itself, a technique to garner curiosity from among the audience, and a question which he sought to answer in the concluding remarks of his talk.

Steven amusingly began his discussions on the premise that he knew his left from his right, but not necessarily his east from his west, setting the scene for a spatially-minded audience. He followed-up…

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AGI(S) – EEO Seminars Update

March 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

February 2017 witnessed the first Festival of Creative Learning at the University of Edinburgh.  To mark this, Friday 24th saw a pairing of the first and second seminars in a special ‘Future Techniques’ trilogy held as part of this year’s EEO-AGI(S) Seminar Series.

Dr. Paul Chapman of Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualization (SimViz) first asked: “Virtual Reality. Temporary distraction or real opportunity?”

For those of us old enough to remember some of the mixed efforts of the early 1990s (cumbersome games console add-ons and some questionable movies! – all discussed) this was an interesting update and a reminder of how the Computer Games industry has developed at enormous pace over the last few decades.  For those new to VR this was a comprehensive coverage of hardware and software platforms (such as Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR and the HTC Vive offering – tipped as one VR…

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Amazon Outage makes for a Dark Cloud

March 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Earth Observation and Spatial Analysis

image1For some years now we have been led to believe that The Cloud gives us a  robust solution to providing software services (including GIS) which avoids the dangers of being dependent on individual servers, which risk loss of hardware, power supply, cooling and other points-of-failure.  This is a solution which has become increasing popular, with many organisations and services now dependent on it.  In theory, the Cloud spreads the risk over thousands of individual servers, physically located in different data centres at different sites spread across the different countries and continents.

Or that’s the theory.  The 28th Feb saw a failure of saw an outage of the US-EAST node of Amazon’s S3 service which has caused chaos across the web.  Amazon’s web services have grown from an infrastructure built to support their own online shopping business to underpin around 150,000 other web sites, services and smartphone apps around the world…

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