Lessons from a map of southern Africa’s rivers that went viral

Can you name the river closest to where you live? Have you ever seen that river, or others near you, on a map unlike others you have seen before? We have spent a lot of time considering these questions and others related particularly to maps since a map of southern Africa’s rivers that one of […]

A quick intro to geospatial standards and why they matter to you

There is a buzzword every year. We seem to have our pick of three letter acronyms and catch phrases in boardrooms in the same way we have top 20 music hits on the radio. “Geographical standards” have become one of those flavoured phrases.  Geographical standards, however, is a word we should become familiar with as […]

Insights and long-term value of the Notre-Dame Cathedral 3D project

In 2011, the late Prof. Andrew Tallon used 3D laser scanning to map the Notre-Dame Cathedral. On 15 April 2019 the conflagration of the cathedral’s spire highlight the cultural and historical value of a geospatial technologies such as 3D laser scanning, far beyond its initial value of understanding the construction of Gothic architecture. The advent […]

Online tool to simplify environmental sensitivity screening

The National Web based Environmental Screening Tool developed by the Department of Environmental Affairs aims is to provide users with readily available spatial datasets to fast track the environmental assessment process by providing timeous reports with less frustration. In November 2015 the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) embarked on the development of a “National Web […]

Using satellite imagery and machine learning to protect elephants

African elephants are at risk in the majority of the countries where they live because of poaching. To plan long-term sustainable solutions to the stresses elephants are experiencing, it is necessary to have accurate data on elephant numbers and their geographical range to identify high-risk areas. There are several methods used to conduct elephant surveys, […]

A crash course in AI-driven object detection

Almost every day we hear we can use the superpowers of artificial intelligence (AI) to make work easier, to automate routine tasks, to speed up workflows, increase accuracy and make more money. But what if you are not a machine learning expert? This quick guide outlines the basics of how AI-driven object detection works, and […]

Six considerations for choosing a machine control receiver

Looking for a GPS receiver for moving earth, mining or construction? Here are important things to bear in mind. GPS receivers can either assist operators in making better decisions by providing precise position information (indicate-only mode) or the GPS receiver, as part of a guidance system, can take over the operation of the machine’s implement […]

Measuring accurate heights across a country

A look at how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are changing the way heights is measured accurately across the United States. Scientists at NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) maintain a nationwide coordinate system that defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity, orientation, and the national shoreline throughout the United States. This reference system […]

Screening tool simplifies environmental authorisation process

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ Environmental Screening tool is a national online GIS-based tool which creates a centralised system for generating environmental sensitivity reports for areas of proposed development. The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is responsible for protecting, conserving and improving the South African environment and its natural resources. As part of its mandate, […]