This site is a resource for the Spatial Analysis Laboratories.
Here you will find a range of tools and information that may assist you with your application of spatial science in your research activities… Read More

Password Management 2021

We haven’t discussed password management on this blog since 2017, but the Verge Video shared in that post is still worth viewing if you are not sure why you need a password manager or what they do!

If you are looking for a password manager here in 2021 and do not know where to start, PC Mag released their summary of “The Best Password Managers for 2021” on April 2nd and “The Best Free Password Managers for 2021” on Feb 18th.

Passwords really do need to be longish and random.

You really do need to use a different password for every account you use.

Not being able to remember tens to hundreds of long and random passwords is completely normal.

Spend some time learning how to use a password manager – it’s a skill you will use almost every day for the rest of your life!

XKCD comic about password complexity vs password strength

Drone registration and operator accreditation – it’s the law

Mavic2 remotely piloted aircraft in the sky

If you fly a drone or remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) for business or as part of your job, it must now be registered and its operator accredited with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before you fly – it’s the law.

Drone registration and operator accreditation applies to all drones flown for anything other than sport or recreation. This includes all professional activities such as research, training, community and government services, or any work undertaken on behalf of your employer.

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Virtual Drop-In Sessions

Pictures of screens videoconferencing

Starting with once a week in February, I will be available in the SAL Virtual Room at a regular time each week. These sessions are open in a number of ways and are part of making SAL COVID-safe.

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NSW Spatial Services Outage

NSW Spatial Services has advised that they are experiencing network connectivity issues that are affecting many of their services today. If you are trying to use their hosted aerial imagery or CORS services your work is likely to be impacted.

They are working on the problem and will advise their service contacts once the problem has been resolved. If you are being affected by this outage and need more information, contact SAL for the latest update on any SAL facilitated services.

Data Backups – What’s your strategy?

I was recently reminded of the 3-2-1 Backup rule – in theory, it sounds very straightforward!

  • 3 copies of your data
  • on at least 2 DIFFERENT media types
  • 1 of those being stored in a different physical location to the other two

If you have ever sat down and tried to work out WHAT you need to back up and how often, I am sure you have found that trying to DO regular data backups can get a little complicated. There are strategies and tools to help you, but getting started is always the hardest part.

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RTK GPS Equipment – Loans and Advice

green and yellow darts on brown black green and red board

The school’s Trimble R10 RTK/RTX has now been added and is available for borrowing. For new users of this RTK system as well as the other RTK units the school owns, please contact SEALS-fieldequipment or SAL prior to booking to discuss what the gear can do, and which setup will be most useful for your fieldwork.

Remember that there are numerous aspects that go into planning your spatial data capture and choosing your GPS gear is only part of the equation!

Bldg 41: Rolling Restricted Access tomorrow

Sections of Building 41 will be closed due to power outages tomorrow (Sat 6th July, 2019).

Closed, but still awesome - Door SignThe work will be done between 6.30 am and 6.30 pm and while TOL will not be affected for the entire duration on the outage, it is probably wise to plan to work elsewhere for the day. The lab will be unavailable not only while it is without power but also while surrounding areas are undergoing work.

New RPA/Drone registration and accreditation scheme is coming

RPA/drone registration and accrediation requirements for

  • all drones more than 250 grams operated recreationally
  • all drones operated commercially

are likely to be introduced via a staged process from the 1st of July this year (2019) by CASA. It follows a consultation process that began in Jan, with key parts of the proposal that are likely to impact SAL users including: Read More

Are you using Basemaps in ArcGIS 10.x?

Spinning Earth with Cloud Cover Basemaps are an ArcGIS Online Service and the technology that underpins this is undergoing a security upgrade on April 16th that will result in your version 10.x ArcGIS Desktop Software no longer being able to connect correctly if you do not patch your installation.

Short version?
No Action = No Basemaps, from April 16th US time.

The main campus labs (STL, Central Student Labs and TOL) will taken care of, and there will be no downtime as a result of this change.

If you are using a student edition of the software, or have it installed on a personal machine, you will have to patch your own software. There is no official Technical Support available for student edition software, here is a link to the “How To” page for installing the TLS 1.2 patch on ArcGIS Desktop. This is not a hard thing for a competent GIS person to do!
Ensure you get the correct patch for your version and if you are truly terrified, talk to SAL. We cannot do it for you, but we can provide additional guidance/reassurance. You will be fine  🙂

If you are using ArcGIS on an University-managed computer – you know how to contact SAL 🙂

Remember, feel free to contact SAL with any questions about this patch or any other geospatial issues or technical conundrums! We are down a staff member at the moment so be sure to check our availability on the Service Updates page if we seem hard to find.