Archives For GIS

Come behind the scenes and into the world of Belgium born, Christchurch based, DOC Geospatial Analyst, Ann De Schutter.

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Dozens of rarely seen historic conservation maps have been gathered in a new exhibition at Conservation House in Wellington.

The man behind Mapping the Land, DOC GIS Analyst Matt Grose.

Matt Grose

Mapping the Land, which runs until 31 January, acknowledges the past, and celebrates cartography and map making at all scales. 

Today, we’ve got the man behind the exhibition, DOC GIS Analyst Matt Grose, sharing with us…

Maps are evocative creatures. People love the detail; love tracing journeys of days across inches of paper; reliving moments, experiences; retelling stories.

Maps are born of survey and marking, measurement and defining; they are the story of New Zealand; they record history.

Topographical Plan of Waitangi Treaty House Grounds.

Topographical Plan of Waitangi Treaty House Grounds, Northland, 1993

Maps help us work, define extents and plot resources. They are critical in managing our partnerships, giving confidence to communities and illustrating progress.

Maps are politics and poetry, diplomacy and emergency, recreation and comfort.

Crop from a map of Tararua Mountain System, 1936

Tararua Mountain System, 1936

Maps are colourful, delicate, subtle, detailed, precise.

Maps promise truth but often lie – sometimes on purpose.

Maps are a lot of things to a lot of people.

Crop from map of Puketi. Credit: A.N. Sexton.

Puketi Forest, Northland, 1939

In the face of the overwhelming saturation of digital information into our lives, I wanted to just pause for a moment and acknowledge what came before, what drives us now, and what we would do well not to forget. Maps don’t make themselves.

Legend for the Puketi Forest map.

Legend for the Puketi Forest map, created by A.N. Sexton

This exhibition started out with a simple thought, “Why don’t we take some of the maps that DOC has stored away in cabinets, get them out and put them on display?”.

Despite everything that’s occurred between then and now, that is still the essence of this exhibition—just some maps that look nice. Any greater theme is up to you.

It’s only a little exhibition, but I hope you can come along and get a kick out of it.

As well as maps, you’ll find interpretation, navigation and cartographic objects, and the opportunity for you to draw your own map of the world.

Mapping the Land | Free entry | Until 31 January 2014 | Foyer of Conservation House | 16-32 Manners Street | Wellington

Duane Wilkins, DOC’s Geospatial Services Manager.

Duane Wilkins

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies are used every day and everywhere and help us manage our world.

GIS creates maps, layer upon layer (pizza style!), showing relationships between people, places, and the environment. It can also help make some very cool games.

My children and their friends are mad on Terraria, WorldCraft and Kerbal Space Program—and they all use the GIS technology called GeoDesign.

Main photo: Boy playing computer game. Photo: Rob Allen | flickr. Three smaller photos underneath:  Screen shots of Terraria, DOC Maps and Kerbal Space Program.

Terraria, DOC Maps, and Kerbal Space Program
all use GIS technology

I had been trying to think about how I could tap into that youthful enthusiasm for computer games and turn it into something meaningful for DOC. International GIS Day gave me the excuse I needed.

Celebrate International GIS Day

Together with the rest of the New Zealand Natural Resource GIS Group I set about creating an event for Wellington’s Year 5–10 students and their teachers.

It’s going to be held on Thursday 21 November 2013 (International GIS Day) and will give kids a chance to learn about GIS through an interactive, hands on GIS experience. We’ll have video, computers, GPS devices and other activities.

This year we’re looking at how imagery from satellites is used to discover change over many years. My son and I are even building a huge model satellite for the event—we’ve studied the various designs and even talked with a scientist from NASA!

Duane's son Gideon making the satellite.

My son Gideon putting the finishing touches on our replica Landsat 8 satellite

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit. (NASA).

Artist’s rendition of Landsat 8 in orbit (NASA)

There will be giveaways, a sausage sizzle and the chance to take a look at one of New Zealand’s most environmentally friendly buildings.

Learn more about the GIS Day event

We’re on the lookout for a satellite designer!

As part of the celebrations, we’re running a satellite design competition for kids.

Bob, Bill and Jeb from SQUAD.

Kerbal Space Program is one of many games that use GIS technology

The team from SQUAD (developers of Kerbal Space Program) will help us judge the most creative satellite design.

Learn more about the satellite design competition for kids

GIS Day is all about helping us understand the role geography plays in our lives and the technologies we use to keep the country running.

Duane’s job is to make sure people have access to maps, and other tools to help them do more conservation work both inside and outside of DOC.