Printable 3D Terrain Models

Touch Terrain is a webservice developed by Chris Harding and Franek Hasiuk of Iowa State University’s GeoFabLab. The tagline of the site is:

Easily Create 3D-Printable Terrain Models

The tool uses a Google API to help you select your area of interest, so they aren’t joking about it being easy when it comes to finding the where for your model!

The rest of the interface is refreshingly straightforward too, providing heaps of options for customisation. Including three worldwide elevation models, hillshading options, and three export formats 🙂

I don’t have access to a 3D printer  😦
But! The image above is a model of Wollongong I created using TouchTerrain and the TouchTerrain for CAGEO viewing tool  😀

You can see one of Chris Harding’s models online here. There is more detailed elevation data available over the US, so US models are more detailed…

SALtech – March 2017

The first session of 2017 will be

Fieldwork Planning for Data Analysis
12 pm Tuesday 7th March
Map Collection & Collaboration Room

Topics up for discussion will include:

  • resources for exploring your study area from the desktop
  • identifying attributes to collect while in the field
  • Points, line or polygons?
    What’s the best way to capture your feature(s) of interest…?
  • Field based coordinates and map projections
  • Sampling Strategies –
    • can it be implemented in the field based on the planning you have done?
    • will it allow you to do the analysis you hope to do once back in the office?
    • should you pre-load your sampling strategy into a GPS?

If you are planning to join us, please let me know  🙂

[edit: registration form removed after event]

2017 SALtech Sessions

Planning for the 2017 SALtech Sessions is underway.
Subscribe to the blog to stay up-to-date


Session Times are expected to be the
First Tuesday of Every Month
from March to October in the
SEES Map Library and Collaboration Space

The topics for the 2017 sessions are still being settled, so, if you have something you’d like to see included, SPEAK UP  🙂

Read More

Share Drive Migration

IMTS has invested in a storage upgrade that requires all project shares to be migrated to a new system. The Shares (S:\Drives) are being migrated onto the new hardware out of hours so you can continue working as normally as possible.

Each migration will be done overnight, in a single night, over coming weeks.

If you will be working overnight at specific times, or have periods when you cannot afford any interruption in access to your project share, please let SAL Tech Staff or the IMTS team know via email as soon as possible.


Bld 41 Closure & Power Outages tomorrow

Due to mandatory service of the electrical sub-station that serves Building 41, there will be complete outage of all power tomorrow, 11th January, between 6am – 8am, and between 8pm – 10pm.

For safety reasons, the building will be closed to all occupants during these times.

You will not be able to work in TOL during these times, or leave jobs processing.

If you are using a TOL computer today or tomorrow, please shut it down when you are finished and turn off the monitors, rather than just logging off. Essential power will be provided by a generator, however a restricted load will help ensure that the building will be able to operate safely.

So, Jan 2017, what are you up to?

While the temperatures suggest that summer is in full swing, SAL is gearing up for another year of geospatial goodness  🙂 cat_wharf

We have returned from that mysterious week in which the university goes quiet and have started working on all the things that I alluded to last year. Before I launch into reviewing some of those details, I have some very exciting news! Read More

Service Interruption 21/12

There will be a brief service interruption lasting up to 5 minutes to all services this Wednesday 21 December between 6:30PM – 7:00PM (AEDT).

Local TOL services will be available but access to your shares and software that relies upon the network for licencing or data may be affected. You will also not be able to log on to TOL machine during the service interruption.

Please be patient while IMTS look after our computing infrastructure for us  🙂

ArcGIS upgrade for 2017

The time has come to move on from the current version of ArcGIS to ArcGIS 10.4.1keyboard with red enter button open revealing underpass and ladderThere is no cause for alarm however  😉
We have survived many an ArcGIS upgrade before!

ArcGIS users, read on for details about how this shall all unfold…. Read More

Sharing a Shapefile

People often become confused about what constitutes a shapefile, which is particularly problematic when attempting to share one. When trying to send a study area boundary across the internet for our recipient to examine or use, we can get caught in thinking that sending the *.shp file on its way will be sufficient. The other person will surely be able to see our boundary, won’t they? We did, after all, send the file that looked like it was logically named as the shapefile.  Unfortunately, this is not the case! A shapefile is made up of a number of related files that work together to draw your vector data (points, lines or polygons). Without each of these files, your data is useless and simply cannot be viewed. At the very least, a shapefile will need the .shp, .shx, .dbf, and .prj files in order to open and be correctly drawn in space. When we are trying to send a shapefile, then, it is essential that we make sure that all these files are included in a neat package. If you are wondering how to do this, follow the few simple steps below.

For computers on which 7-Zip is installed: Read More

Scheduled Maintenance this weekend

There will be a scheduled outage of core IT systems this Saturday (10 December) from 6pm to Sunday (11 December) at 8am. Local lab services will be available but access to your shares and software that relies upon the network for licencing or data may be affected at various times during the maintenance window.

Please plan your weekend lab work/processing accordingly   🙂