Meeting of spatial and survey experts at National Conference of Spatial and Surveying Industries of Australia and New Zealand

The National Conference of the Spatial and Surveying Industries of Australia and New Zealand - Locate17 Conference, was held in Sydney in April 2017, in conjunction with the 10th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE). ISDE principally promotes academic exchange, science and technology innovation, education, and international collaboration towards Digital Earth.

During the plenary session on Thursday 6 April 2017, Dr Victor Khoo and AAM's Brian Nicholls jointly delivered a keynote address on ‘Singapore Smart Nation: Measuring from the ground up’. The presentation generated much interest amongst over 600 delegates.

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Plenary session keynote address – standing from left to right: Brian Nicholls (AAM) and Dr Victor Khoo (SLA)

Prior to the Locate17 Conference, the SLA delegation led by Chief Executive Mr Tan Boon Khai visited AAM’s Sydney office and met their management team (AAM’s Chairman, CEO, Executive Director, Account and Technical Managers).

Discussions focused on the economic values and applications of 3D map data and possible data maintenance strategies; AAM also shared on their business development approach and showcased their technical strengths and capabilities through live demos of projects that were implemented using technologies such as sharing/processing of data via web services or on cloud platform, applications of 3D, satellite and aerial imageries, subscription-based charging model for applications/software licences, etc.

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SLA CE presenting a token of appreciation to AAM Chairman Scott Ramag

AAM was also awarded the highly esteemed Export Award for industry leading works at the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) & Recognition event for generating a nationwide 3D mapping data to support Singapore’s Smart Nation programme.

The delegation also met up with the Australia and New Zealand Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) executive management to network and learn about their activities and roles, and latest developments to drive the spatial and surveying arena in Australia and New Zealand. CRCSI is a collaborative research centre that pushes the frontiers of spatial science in partnership with university researchers, government agencies, the private sector and international organisations.

Dr Woodgate (CEO of CRCSI) shared that the Australian spatial industry has come together to develop a ten-year spatial industry transformation and growth agenda named 2026 Agenda, a road map with about 30 transformative initiatives covering numerous topics from research and development, innovation and others. This would help the industry benefit from forecasted growth opportunities locally and abroad.

Dr Woodgate also shared that government funding for a new initiative for enabling high-accuracy spatial data promises to improve the accuracy of Global Positioning System from several metres down to one metre, and maybe even to decimetre.

In the area of capacity building, CRCSI has an education program which focuses on funding PhD and Master students and helping them integrate into the spatial and surveying industries. CRCSI is tasked to invest in a targeted number of such students by 2018.

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From left: Dr Graeme Kernich (CRCSI), Dr Zaffar (CRCSI), Dr Peter Woodgate (CRCSI), Tan Boon Khai (SLA), Dr Victor Khoo (SLA)

Due to their tight schedules and commitments, impromptu meetings within the premise of the conference venue were arranged with the following key industry leaders to benefit from their insightful sharing from their recent endeavours

  • Mr. Bruce Thomson (Executive Director of NSW Spatial Services) shared on the restructuring of Land Property Information (LPI) and the creation of Spatial Services, its focus and key initiatives.
  • Prof Abbas (University of Melbourne) shared on his works in the area of Smart Cities.
  • Prof Chris Rizos) shared on the background of the university and the research works that he is involved in.

In the two-day Locate17 conference, there were eight different sharing tracks covering various themes, including an exhibition hall filled by about 20 local and global exhibitors showcasing their niche areas, professional services and/or products. More notably,

  • Using existing and emerging air and ground imaging technologies to provide full aerial mapping services and products; extracting features from high-resolution satellite imagery; full toolset for 3D virtual reality of urban spaces, roads, traffic, and rail.
  • Democratising geospatial data – anywhere, anytime and to anyone via the rapid growth in acquisition technologies; automating data QC; streaming from clouds; and supporting evidence-based decision making.