The value and viability of Mapcodes using local tools

Eleven years after being one of the first grid-based spatial reference systems, Mapcodes was donated to the public domain. Most South Africans remain oblivious to its existence and benefits as a more efficient and accurate alternative to conventional addresses. This article aims to improve public awareness and uptake through a number of practical tools, integrated […]

Understanding the applications and benefits of ground penetrating radar

The ground penetrating radar market in South Africa is gaining popularity. This paper will look at what it is, explore its complementing technologies, where it is used, some examples and case studies from around the world and what is happening in this market in South Africa. Group penetrating radar (GPR) is a non-destructive geophysical method […]

Surveying remote areas with precision for bird conservation effort

How a new approach to precise positioning is helping solve a century-old problem on an isolated island. John Houston is not a surveyor. He’d be the first to tell you that. He’s not a keen traveller, either. So what was he doing on a speck of an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, knee deep […]

Machine learning for road width capture from aerial photography

In this proof of concept, the use of feature extraction through machine learning using convolutional neural networks to classify aerial photography pixels as either road or non-road, and produce a basis for a polygon feature representing the road surface (and therefore road width) is demonstrated. Aurecon received a brief from a client to build a […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Geomatics, land reform and big data: Where to from here?

The geomatics profession is changing. It is no longer all about position, as technological advancements have made it easier for non-professionals to do this. It is now also about big data management and the ability to deal with complexity. Talks at AfricaGEO 2018 and a GISSA Western Cape meeting gave some directions to the future. […]