My brilliant geospatial career 6 dec 2011


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this is a presentation I gave to 200 high school girls to explain what the geospatial industry is about and to encourage them to study geospatial or surveying, or to include it as a subject in their other studies. It lasts about 20 minutes. Very well received by girls and teachers.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • note, the images on slide 11 do not link to the video and TED talk. Go to and scroll down for the video. for the TED talk just google TED talk deforestaction and you will find it.
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  • Some background for International viewers

    My Brilliant Career is a novel by Miles Franklin, widely studied in Australian Schools.

    Rush is a very gripping Police show based in Melbourne, Australia
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  • Leon from Rush analyses intelligence and tracks suspects. Police intelligence officers use maps to spot trends not just by location but by time – combining information about break ins between 3 and 4pm on Thursdays with car thefts and the homes of known drug dealers. Not as glamorous as rescuing kidnap victims, but someone has to make sure they kick the right door down. They track suspects and prisoners on bail through electronic bracelets. They collect far too much information to analyse manually – same thing with medicine, plotting outbreaks of disease – huge issue these days with air travel, you can have an outbreak of bird flu in Hong Kong and it spreads like wildfire around the globe with international travellers. By looking at different types of data on a map you can make a connection you might not otherwise make. Similarly for environmental damage – where did a pollutant come from, incidence of cancer.
  • If you watch NCIS you will have seen a lot of geospatial systems as they assess threats or have suspects under surveillance. McGee and GibbsThe number of sectors using geospatial skills is mind-boggling, including satellite systems, agriculture, climate, disaster response, urban planning, car satnav (satellite navigation – Tom Toms ) and mobile devices, telecommunications, environment, mining, manufacturing, construction and global security
  • It’s maps but it’s much more than just mapsIt is smartphone apps that tell you where the best markets and stalls are to buy vintage clothes, or where your friends are having a coffee so you can meet up. How to get there on foot or what bus you can catch and when the next one is coming or warn you if there may be delaysIt is websites that tell you what sort of people live in Bondi, are they mostly young people between 20 and 30, while out in Windsor there are much more young families and older people. All this information comes from the census – which records people’s religion, average income, whether they have a computer at home. All the data is what they call depersonalised so you cannot identify the characterisics of any’s on suburb by suburb basis
  • the key to the future management of our worldClimate changeDisaster managementEnvironmental managementGetting to a party
  • The dark grey area is the path of a hurricane. All the red and green dots are insurance policies, coloured according to their value. An insurance company can see how many claims they are likely to have and also spot if a fraudulent claim comes in from well outside the area.
  • This is tripview which is available on iPhone, Android or windows 7 phone. The paid version has been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times on Android plus all the Apple ones but Apple doesn’t tell you how many downloads an app has had. There is a free version too with less functions and ads. If the creator is getting $2 for every sale, he is doing very nicely.
  • It’s maps but it’s much more than just mapsIt is smartphone apps that tell you where the best markets and stalls are to buy vintage clothes developed for a competition in Victoria
  • CrossCountry is an app which we (my son, daughter and I) launched two months ago. CrossCountry creates a course map with jumps overlaid on a Google satellite map. It measures the course with GPS tracking and automatically calculates minute markers and beeps when it reaches one. You can add photos, videos, comments and striding for each jump. If you go the wrong way on your course walk, simply use the eraser to retrace your steps.   Riders quickly browse the course on their iPhone to remind themselves how to ride each jump before starting out. CrossCountry is helping riders of all levels measure and memorise their courses. It is used by Olympic Gold Medalist Stuart Tinney and Silver Medalists Shane Rose and Clayton Fredericks.
  • Not a typo, the name of the group is Deforestaction – Action against Deforestation An initiative supported by Microsoft and Intermap Technologies75% of deforestation in Indonesia is illegal but the problem is knowing where it is happening. Thousands of schoolchildren around the world are playing a part by monitoring the rainforest with satellite images. They each get a hexagon 1.6km in area which they check every week and if they see something has changed, they check with the students who are monitoring the surrounding areas, then inform the Deforestaction team so they and Indonesian authoritie can take actionWatch the videos – they will make you emotional but they are very uplifting and the important thing is there is something practical you can do to help them.
  • Stills from the video. When they hear of illegal logging they jump into power boats, tear up the river, jump onto trail bikes and head into the jungle
  • They were too late to save this forest
  • But they have saved over 1000 orangutans. This is the leader of the group who did a fantastic TED talk
  • Craig Roberts of UNSW wants to hear from you if you are interested, even if you don’t think you will get the official ATAR. This is Katherine Power who I met at a conference a couple of weeks ago. Katherine studied Computer Games programming in Queensland. She was the only girl on her course and loved it. She said don’t let it deter you. Yes some of the boys were very quiet and hard to get to know but lots were perfectly normal. She moved into Geographic Information Systems working for Hedloc who are a distributor of Google Maps. Katherine sells mostly to large companies and government. She is based in Canberra. She recently completed a Masters in Information Technology from the University of New England. The last subject on the list, design is especially important. We don’t have enough good user interface designers in the geospatial world. This is an example of a geospatial website designed by a non-designer.
  • It is very unintuitive and you need a degree in GIS to work out what it does. The icons down the left are superfluous and ugly. Compare that with google maps.
  • Google the kings of clean design
  • What about you as a person? You have to like analysing and solving problems. These might be business problems, IT problems or scientific problems – like how do we divided up the water in the Murray Darling Basin between farmers and the environment and leave some flowing down to Adelaide. You need to be able to document and present your ideas and findings. If you are doing research you need to be able to describe what you do to get a grant. Above all you have to be eager to learn because this is a very fast changing industry. Full of new technology and ideas so an employer is not so much looking at what you know now but what you are capable of doing. This is my daughter Helen. She isn’t studying geospatial or surveying but I have dragged her and her brother in the geospatial world through a family project to develop the CrossCountryiPhone mapping app for horse riders. Helen is on a gap year and will study Industrial Design at UTS next year. She designed the app and is our social media person running our facebook page and youtube channel. Helen did Design and Technology and Business Studies for HSC which are proving very useful. She is going to write our business expansion plan. She also designs websites.
  • Surveyors map and measure the natural and built environment. They are the people you see out on the roads with reflective vests and tripods. Their job is very precise and legalistic. As you can imagine your property boundaries have to be exact or you might find your neighbour moving his fence into your gardenGeo information systems is all about data – from databases, satellites or photographs, gathered in all ways. Data is processed and analysed to draw conclusions about climate change, the spread of disease or where to put the next McDonalds restaurant. At TAFE you can do a two year diploma or certificate 3. People often do this part time while they are working. Quite a few TAFE students go on to do a University degree. Their 2 year TAFE certificate gives them a year off their uni degree. I will give Miss van Es more information about courses. These two young women are sisters from Victoria. They were at the conference too, promoting a new portable surveying device that you put on the front of any vehicle and it takes 3D photos every 20 meters. Councils use it to register the state of footpaths or what they call street furniture which is road signs or seats at bus stops. It has also been used in France on canals to record everything on the banks. Edita on the right studied IT, Anna studied business. They were orginally from Latvia. WHAT IS SURVEYING?Surveying is the measurement and mapping of our surrounding environment using mathematics, specialised technology and equipment. Surveyors measure just about anything on the land, in the sky or on the ocean bed. They even measure polar ice-caps.WHAT DO SURVEYORS DO?Surveyors can be found in the office or out in the field, in suits and boots. Out in the field, they use the latest technology to map and measure a field site such as a new housing development or mine site, making computations and taking photos. In the office, Surveyors use GPS and mapping software to draft plans and map the onsite measurements; they may also be found liaising and meeting with clients, engineers and architects about their site or project.Surveyors work on a diverse variety of projects from land subdivision and mining exploration, to tunnel building and major construction, meaning no two days are the same.
  • Whatever you decide to study, look out for a GIS module (Geographic Information systems). It will be very interesting and useful. Also called geomatics, geointelligenceAll sorts of disciplines use geospatial data. They may go to a very specialist analyst for answers, but increasingly they are doing their own analysis as the software gets easier to use. (we have google to thank for that)A vet student may map an outbreak of hendra virus, overlaying it on flying fox flight paths or vegetation (since flying foxes go where the native trees are in flower). A lawyer may have a case (and this happened) where a demolition company demolished the wrong house because they had the wrong GPS coordinates. A geographer may be mapping population changes and were immigrants move to.A Politician looks at where the swinging voters are. If you watch the geospatial revolution videos you will hear all about the Obama campaign. There is a dictate within the federal government to link all budgetary expenditure to a point on a map so it will be very easy to see where the money is being spent and then assess whether it is doing any good. One of the strengths of the Barack Obama presidential campaign was their use of geospatial analysis. They knew where the key voters were so they could concentrate on getting them to the polls and voting Democrat. One really interesting example of spatial technology is the Digital Atlas of NSW – allows you to analyse census data – who lives where – lots more young people in Bondi, more old people and young families in Windsor. Helps government decide where to put services, planning. New hospitals take years. The atlas also shows you historical views of where people lived. This is another young woman who gave a paper at the conference. Denise works for the Victorian Government as a project manager for a very exciting new computer mapping system. She has a small child and works 3 days a week. Government employees often are able to work part time but what is noteworthy about Denise is she has a very interesting and challenging job. Very often, if as a mother you want to work part time you get shuffled into a rather dull job but because there is such a skill shortage in our industry it is a lot easier to dictate your own terms. Private companies short of skilled people are also more amenable to part time, flexible work hours.
  • This is very well designed geospatial website for the public. It gives you a window into population data from the census and other sources such as healthJust Google ‘Atlas NSW’ to find it.
  • If you were the Heart foundation it would be very clear where your work would be most effective
  • There is a website called Atlas NSW which tells you what sort of people live in Bondi. They are mostly young people between 20 and 30, while out in Windsor there are much more young families and older people. All this information comes from the census – which records people’s religion, average income, whether they have a computer at home. All the data is what they call depersonalised so you cannot identify the characterisics of any’s on suburb by suburb basis
  • If you were a company selling products for mostly 25-35 year olds you have a much bigger market in Waverley (Bondi Beach) than Hornsby
  • As I mentioned, Dr Craig Roberts in the red shirt wants to hear from you whatever ATAR you think you might get if you interested in studying Geospatial IT or Surveying.
  • This is well worth watching, especially episode 4
  • There are video interviews with young surveyors. Click on study surveying to find links to courses
  • More videos and honest pros and cons of the job. This is a great careers site run by the ABC
  • Google maps was developed in Sydney and there are 50 engineers working on it.
  • Geospatial professionals are well paid: Starting salaries for graduates from $45-60,000+ per annum. Can rise quickly. Our 2011 women in spatial salary survey found 4 women aged 20 and 25 yrs earning 75-85K and 1 earning between 85-95KSurveying graduates tend to earn more than Geospatial IT (the above salaries are for geospatial IT)Salaries can also increase significantly depending on the industry and where you work.Companies wanting to have gender balance either just for their own satisfaction or to tick the boxes on government tender documents snap women upGeospatial professionals might work for the United Nations in disaster mitigation, with Google (on a high salary with great working conditions), in mining, private or government mapping, or you may invent a high-selling app and focus on expanding your own business.This photo is a bit of a cheat because it was a women in engineering meeting I attended to get ideas for women in spatial. All the reasons for a career in spatial apply to engineering too.
  • My brilliant geospatial career 6 dec 2011

    1. 1. My Brilliant Geospatial Career Why you should have one too Jose Diacono Cheltenham Girls High
    2. 2. It’s all about where• Where is the illegal logging of orangutan habitat?• Where is the criminal?• Where is the nearest ATM?• Where is the high voltage electricity cable?• Where can I buy vintage fashion?• Where are the flood victims?• Where is the water being used or wasted?• Where is the party this Saturday night?
    3. 3. Geospatial TechnologiesA specialised form of information technologySatellite technologiesAerial photographyMeasuringMappingAnalysingIndoors and outdoors
    4. 4. Geospatial technologies used inIN  Marketing  Town Planning  Banking Insurance Weather Forecasting Mining Precision Agriculture 3D Simulation and games
    5. 5. Insurance
    6. 6. Transport
    7. 7. Markets
    8. 8. SportiPhone App
    9. 9. DeforestactionState of the artTechnology + humaningenuity
    10. 10. State of the art Technology + human ingenuity
    11. 11. What subjects?• Maths 3 unit (required)• Physics (preferred)• Software Design and Development• Information Technology• Geography• Design* Don’t be put off by the ATAR of 91
    12. 12. We need designers!
    13. 13. Other skills• Good written and verbal communications• Problem solving• Eager to learn
    14. 14. Courses• Surveying• Geo Information Systems• TAFE Diploma/Certificate
    15. 15. Courses• Subjects within another degree – Engineering, Geography, Environmental, History, Science, Vet, Medicine, Marketing Politics, Law….. – Postgraduate
    16. 16. Atlas NSW
    17. 17. Atlas NSW
    18. 18. Population
    19. 19. Population
    20. 20. Where to Study?• University of NSW• UTS, Newcastle (subject within engineering etc)• TAFE (Ultimo, Wollongong , Newcastle
    21. 21. Find out more…
    22. 22. Find out more… Study Pathways Where to study
    23. 23. spatialAce Day Jobs survey
    24. 24. Why a career in spatial?
    25. 25. Why a career in spatial?• Skills shortage = career opportunities + $• Women are popular!• Interesting and satisfying• Flexibility• Travel• Work in – Government – Large or small private sector – Own business/self employed