As Australasia’s biggest annual spatial event, the Locate Conference and Digital Earth Symposium (Locate17 and ISDE) can be an intimidating affair. Not only does it combine two events, it spans four days, features eight separate subject streams, offers four free workshops, features an awards night, networking functions and exclusive international assemblies.
It’s safe to say that you won’t be able to experience everything that Locate17 and Digital Earth has to offer, but you can at least learn something new, find a new opportunity, or perhaps create some lasting connections with fellow attendees. Here’s your simplified guide to making the most of Locate17 and Digital Earth Symposium.
Locate17 and ISDE Must do’s:
- Learn something new: It’s highly unlikely you’re familiarised with each of the multiple program streams on offer, so why not learn about Virtual Globes, Crowd-sorting or Data lakes?
- Find out how ‘real’ reality modelling is: Speak to the likes of Nearmap, Spookfish, PSMA Australia, AEROMetrex to discover the amazing things being done with spatial data.
- Watch out for ministers: Big-wigs of Australian parliament have been known to attend Locate. In 2015, we saw Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (then minister for communications) and last year Assistant Minister Angus Young appeared ahead of launching the Smart cities initiative. Who might it be this year?
- Keep tabs on up-and-comers: Attend the APSEA awards dinner on 5 April to mingle with the best in the business and see who you will be hearing a lot more about over the coming years.
- Attend the plenaries: There are more than ever this year, and just as many not to be missed. The plenaries take place on the morning of Wednesday 5 April as well as the morning and afternoon of the Thursday 6 April.
- Consult with an expert (for free): Many exhibitors and delegates are specialist consultants or academics that could be very expensive to speak to otherwise. Take the opportunity to make a valuable connection and learn from these industry leaders. Market Day on Tuesday 4 April is open to all.
- Use the app: Plan ahead, choose which presentations will interest you and share your discoveries onsocial media. The App can be downloaded from the Google Play and the App Store.
- Take part in a demo: Position Partners have got a hold of one of the first Z+F 5016 laser scanners and will be using it to scan the new conference venue and the overpass bridge. The resulting 3D model will be shown at their stand.
- Experience the latest in VR: Many exhibitors such as Forum8 are expected to have the latest virtual reality headsets for attendees to use to explore immersive 3D spatial data.
- Learn from the best there’s nothing like putting what you’ve learned into practice, and starting from Monday 3 April, there are free workshops throughout the conference offering just that. Learn from the likes of NASA, OGC, Geoscience Australia, Cofluence, Jacobs and WA’s SPUR initiative.
- Enjoy free pizza over a laugh: Geospatial Meetup group GeoRabble will be hosting their free event during the free Locate Market Day on 5 April. Georabble involves sharing short, sharp, commercial free stories from a range of presenters, as well as quizzes, a treasure hunt, prizes and networking opportunities.
- Introduce yourself: There will be all types of people at Locate and just as many opportunities. Speak up and you might find your next client, employee or just make a new friend.
Spatial jargon to expect you will hear at Locate17 and ISDE
Every sector has their jargon, but surveying and spatial is a special case. Depending on your vocation, experience and proclivities, you will know many acronyms, buzzwords and technical terms. It is also quite likely, however, you may be assuming the literal definition of each new word you encounter, which is oftentimes fraught with misinterpretation. The meaning of words change over time; depending on the context; depending on the sector you are dealing with; or on the first language spoken by the user.
This year at Locate17 and Digital Earth you are sure to encounter many of the following terms, thrown into sentences as if you are expected to know the meaning. While we have not been able to include the full etymology and definition of the terms here, it is worthwhile considering whether you have understood (or even have heard of) each of the following terms:
- Digital Earth: the name given to a concept by former US vice president Al Gore in 1998, describing a virtual representation of the Earth that is georeferenced and connected to the world’s digital knowledge archives.
- Virtual Globe: a three-dimensional software model or representation of the Earth or another world.
- SDGs: The Sustainable Development Goals spearheaded by the United Nations as a set of seventeen aspirational “Global Goals”, and officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- Location Intelligence: a spin-off of Business Intelligence, which relates geographic contexts to business data. It uses software to turn data into insight for a host of business purposes.
- RPAS: Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, the official term used by governments and international bodies for what are more commonly known as drones, UAV or UAS.
- BVLOS: Beyond Visual Line of Sight operation of RPAS, whereby the flight goes beyond the distance stipulated in standard operation guidelines. Special approval from the likes of CASA is normally required.
- BIM: Building Information Modelling, a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility, used for sharing data and knowledge to various stakeholders during an asset’s life-cycle. Has been expanded to include all types of infrastructure and now has various standards and levels.
- VR: Virtual Reality, technologies that use software to generate the realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment, and simulate a user’s physical presence in this environment.
- AR: Augmented Reality, a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.
- Machine Learning: the ability for computerised systems to learn without being explicitly programmed. This is established by the input of ‘training’ data, which is used to establish predictions or aid decision making.
- Deep Learning: unsupervised machine learning of multiple levels of features or representations of the data to establish patterns, classification or abstraction.
- Crowdsourcing: the practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.
- VGI: Volunteered Geographic Information, the harnessing of tools to create, assemble, and disseminate geographic data provided voluntarily by individuals.
- Crowd-sorting: removing bias and establishing patterns by examining how a large number of people interact with information.
- Spatial Data Infrastructure: a framework of geographic data, metadata, users and tools that are interactively connected in order to use spatial data in an efficient and flexible way.
- Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure: a framework enhancing users’ abilities to contribute, find and use geographic information.
- Data Lake: storage of vast amounts of data within a system or repository in its natural format to facilitate the collocation of data in various schemata and structural forms.
- SBAS: Satellite-Based Augmentation System, a system that enables wide-area or regional improvements to satellite positioning through the use of additional satellite-broadcast messages.
- Reality Modelling: a method of visualising spatial data that closely resembles its real-world appearance for intuitive comprehension by various stakeholders.
- Geoscape: a mapping initiative led by PSMA Australia to capture the built environment as an accurate spatial dataset across vast regions or continents, such as the Australian continent.
- DBAR: The Digital Belt and Road program, part of the One Belt One Road initiative proposed by the Chinese Government to boost connectivity and cooperation primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia.
- Cloud Computing: often used mistakenly to mean cloud storage, cloud computing is actually the broader term of using a network of remote servers to store, manage, and—significantly—process data. Processing with cloud computing allows for processing tasks to be completed orders of magnitude more quickly compared to ordinary processing with a local computer.
The Locate17 and Digital Earth Symposium will take place over four days from 3-6 April at the newly re-opened Sydney Convention Centre. On Monday 3 April, there will be a number of workshops to attend, on Tuesday the free market day and on Wednesday and Thursday the main conference proceedings will take place.