3D laser scanning workflow overview for newbies

This article looks at  point cloud basics and a workflow which will enable capturing and processing of a 3D laser scan. Laser scanners collect surface data about an object or structure by beaming a laser repeatedly off its surface and plotting points (equivalent to each beam that is emitted) into what is known as a […]

Developing an integrated data service ecosystem

For the past year, SAEON’s uLwazi Node has been developing a data services ecosystem and websites for climate change adaptation for the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). Each service serves as an individual component for a different aspect of climate adaptation, including adaptation monitoring and evaluation, climate change response, and detailing disaster impact along with […]

How satellites help explain earth’s magnetic behaviour

The earth’s protective magnetic field is always restless, but every now and then something weird happens – it jerks. Although scientists have known about these rapid shifts for about 40 years, the reason why they occur has remained a frustrating mystery, until now. Since geomagnetic jerks were discovered in 1978, scientists have been trying to […]

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 […]