Elections, transmission lines, and spatial data in the spotlight

December 12th, 2014, Published in Articles: PositionIT


GISSA Gauteng December 2014-12

Roger Blewett, Michelle Bester, Marius Burger (back), Slindi Mhlongo, and Gerhard Brits.

GISSA Gauteng held their general meeting on 5 December 2014 at the Lonmin Conference Centre in Mooinooi. The event consisted of a series of presentations and provided GISSA members with the opportunity to network with fellow colleagues from different organisations across the geospatial sector.

Speaking about the latest technology trends, Roger Blewett from AAM said that big data is set to be the next frontier for innovation and productivity.  Analysts, he said, are predicting that the GIS market will reach $10,5-billion by 2017, and that the Internet of Things may account for $2.7-trillion of spending in 2015. He also spoke the services provided by his company which include mobile laser scanning, airborne surveying, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and terrestrial laser scanning, and provided some examples of work carried out in Johannesburg including shadow analysis for building construction and 3D laser scans of the Rissik Street Post Office building.

Esri South Africa’s Marius Burger spoke about the work that he carried out for Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission during the October 2014 elections. He explained how data was captured, processed and served via ArcGIS online maps in order to display polling district and constituency results for both official and public consumption. The results were published on Botswana’s IEC website as well as on Facebook. All in all, six different information products were created from the map data which facilitated detailed performance analysis of the two political parties involved in the elections, the Botswana Democratic Party and the Botswana Congress Party.

Michelle Bester gave an interesting presentation on lidar-based analysis of vegetation encroaching on the Apollo-Cahora Bassa Transmission line. She detailed how she is developing a methodology, using remote sensing and GIS data, to detect and map woody plants or trees which could potentially interfere with and pose a risk to Eskom’s high voltage transmission line. She explained how the lidar data is processed and used to create a digital elevation model (DEM), which is then used to develop a vegetation fault risk model from which risk maps depicting the vulnerability of the transmission lines are created. Bester says she hopes to incorporate other factors into the fault risk model, and to ultimately automate the model.

The last talk of the day was given by Eskom’s Gerhard Brits who spoke  about how the planning and GIS department created a platform that to provide a reliable, “open” access repository of GIS data in a well-managed environment in order to improve  data access, and to facilitate effective and efficient use of resources across the company.

Following the presentations, the delegates were divided into groups for a feedback session and asked to provide answers to a series of questions relating to what they require of GISSA as members, new ideas for raising funds and recruiting new members, and what members would like from Gematics Indaba 2015 which is being held from 11 to 13 August at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg. Chairperson of GISSA Gauteng, Slindi Mhlongo, thanked the delegates for their feedback and said their comments would be noted and used to further the development of GISSA Gauteng, and GISSA National.

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