GISSA Gauteng puts spotlight on data quality

April 5th, 2017, Published in Articles: PositionIT


The Gauteng branch of the Geo-information Society of South Africa (GISSA) held its first meeting for the year at the Sorex Estate in Centurion. Chairperson Sam Osei opened the meeting and outlined the branch’s plans for the year. The issues of job reservation and professional fees are still being reviewed, he said, with the intention being to finalise the process in the near future. The branch would continue to hold their preparatory classes for the South African Geomatics Council (previously PLATO) examinations and would work to ensure that nominations were received for the GISSA awards which were announced at the end of 2016. He stated that the branch would be holding four general meetings over the course of 2017, and presented delegates with a list of possible topics.

Osei further advised the delegates that government was embarking on a single public service system to harmonise conditions of service across government and that Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) would only be implemented in municipalities once this system is in place. GISSA would be monitoring this process on behalf of its members, he added.

The presentations for the day kicked off with consultant Fritz van der Merwe demonstrating how to set and change map projections in QGIS and SAGA GIS. This was followed by a series of data-focused talks, starting with Kendall James (Leica) who spoke on data integrity and data value in organisations, and the role that GIS plays in projects and building information modelling (BIM). Pieter Otto (Aciel Geomatics) explained the difference between positional accuracy and attribute accuracy, and advised the audience on how to acquire accurate GPS data. He outlined the different accuracies of commercial grade and differential grade handheld GPSs, and stressed the importance of checking accuracies. Mobile specialist, Deon Lengton from Esri South Africa, then explained the importance of matching requirements with the appropriate solution, followed by Kendall James  again who spoke about data acquisition and the project lifecycle, emphasising to the audience the necessity of using data to create value for their organisations.

After lunch, Adrian Roos from Smollan detailed how his company implemented the URISA Capability Maturity Model and ITIL Service Management principles to drive ongoing quality improvement, and to ensure alignment between GIS and the business’s requirements. This was followed by an innovative presentation from Helena Fourie of the National Spatial Information Framework, who used the background of the Spatzendreck wine to practically illustrate the various properties of metadata. She reminded the audience that in terms of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act it is compulsory to capture metadata, and encouraged the delegates to think of metadata as the story of their data, and to always hand over the story of their data along with the data itself.

Gallery: Click here to see more photos from the day

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