Aerial Photos are not Maps.

More precisely, UNCORRECTED aerial photos are not maps; an uncorrected aerial photo provides only a single-point perspective of the surface of the Earth. It also contains a range of distortions, some of which include the imperfections in the camera lens/sensor, platform ephemeris conditions (altitude, position, the velocity of the camera or sensor and the timing of the data capture), the atmosphere and the topography of the terrain (relief dostortion).

Forest Road

To transform an aerial photo from an “image” into a “map”, these need to be corrected. This can be done in numerous ways that fall into one of these  three categories:

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SALtech – Making Maps & Spatial Data Citations

The Good, The Bad, and the What the?!?


Have you looked at a map recently and not been entirely sure what you were looking at?

Are those two objects the same type of feature?
And what’s that thing? Is it important? Or more important than the other one, that might be a slightly different colour, maybe?

Are you putting together your own maps for a paper or your thesis and would like to talk mapping tips and tricks?

Join us in the Map Library
on Tuesday, Sept 4th at 12.30

Bring your favourite maps (good, bad, or spectacular for other reasons!) or a map you are working on, and join us in discussing all things cartography and spatial data visualisation for an hour. Maps tell great stories, make sure yours is telling the one you want it to 😉

RSVP Closed

TOL Computer Refresh

The computer refresh is about to begin in the Toni O’Neill Spatial Research Lab.

If you have any data stored on the hard drives of ANY of the TOL computers that are NOT backed up somewhere go and make a backup.

The hard drives of these machines are “scratch space” so nothing will be saved from them as part of the refresh process – if you don’t rescue your data, it will be gone. Forever.

The ten computers up for refresh are:typewriter-keys

  • TOL01
  • TOL03
  • TOL04
  • TOL06
  • TOL07
  • TOL08
  • TOL09
  • TOL10 (Adobe Computer)
  • TOL11 (Adobe Computer)
  • TOL12 (Geology Computer)

Not all the upgrades will occur at once; only a few machines will be out of service at any one time.

If you need access to a particular computer at a specific time over the next few weeks, please contact me as soon as possible with your requirements.

I will provide as much notice as possible regarding the replacement of each computer.

Each computer up for refresh will be booked out using the TOL booking system as soon as its refresh period is confirmed.

Digital Globe 2018 Hackathon Challenge

Propose your ideas and how you would leverage Digital Globe’s GBDX and high-resolution satellite imagery to extract critical insights for your solution for a chance to compete in the 2018 Australia Sustainability Hackathon.

InvertedGlobeViewSuccessful submissions will be determined by the following criteria:

  • Does this directly support the Australian Mining, Agriculture and Environmental goals?
  • Does this contribute to open derivatives and/or open algorithms?
  • Is this an innovative use of machine learning and high-resolution imagery?
  • Does the team have the necessary skills and expertise to successfully deliver on their idea?

Hackathon Application form is online here.

This Hackathon Challenge is only applicable to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Read More

World Back Up Day

This March 31st, back up your important files!

According to

  • 30% of people have never backed up
  • 29% of disasters are caused by accident
  • 113 phones are lost every minute

One small accident or hard drive failure could destroy all the important stuff you care about – it’s not a happy though 😦

Don’t be an April Fool -> Take the Pledge

Weekend IT Outage (17th-18th March)

Scheduled maintenance will take place this weekend the 17th-18th March from 6pm Saturday to 8am Sunday. There will be intermittent outages to the majority of services during this time, some of which may affect TOL users.

Please take this work into consideration if you are planning on using TOL over the weekend.

Planned Power Outage

There is a planned power outage for scheduled building maintenance that will affect the TOL happening on

Wednesday 21st March
between 5am and 8am

Do not schedule any long jobs over this period or plan to work in the lab over this time. If you come in the evening before, please shut down the computer you are working on and turn off the monitors.

Thank you HatTip

SALtech: February 2018

The first SALtech Session of 2018 will be starting next Wednesday at 12.30.

Fieldwork Planning for Data Analysis

How to make sure you have what you need when you get back to the office!

I have some resources that may help with your fieldwork trip planning and spatial data capture techniques. A little bit of pre-work can help you identify how best to capture your features of interest (points/lines/polygons?) and work out whether you have defined all the attributes you need, in a format that you will be able to use for the broadest variety of analysis options later.

RSVP under the cut – thanks  🙂


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2018 Scheduled Maintenance Dates

pexels-photo-273026The Scheduled Maintenance Dates affect after-hours work in SAL, so it is worth paying attention to when they are. The 2018 timetable has been released, and the dates are now up on the website.

Depending on the type of outage and what you need to use, you may be able to continue working over an outage period. Do not just assume everything will be fine though. Services will come and go as various phases of the maintenance are performed. Some users have made the mistake of thinking that because what they want is working “whenever now is” they will be ok for the rest of the maintenance period – only to find that is not the case… 😥

These times are provided well in advance to help you to schedule your work around them. If you are not sure whether you may be able to work through a particular outage, or you have a specific need to be able to work through an outage, please speak to one of the SAL tech staff at least a week in advance. With enough notice, we may be able to find a solution that will enable you to keep working  🙂