GIS, BIM, surveying & spatial applications in Southern Africa
Issue 104, May 2019
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Editor's note: Assessing geotech's underlying value

Fast-paced tech-driven sectors such as the geospatial sector seldom pause for reflection to assess and measure its progress and value. Not change detection or even financial value, but geotech’s deeper value – disproportionate to most sectors – to society. The Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in France offered one such moment of reflection. Dating back to 1160, the medieval, gothic cathedral suffered structural damage after its spire caught fire in April 2019. Fortunately, the pioneering late Prof. Andrew Tallon (an architectural historian) conducted several 3D laser scans of the cathedral several years prior. These scans are now immeasurable valuable, starting with the reconstruction project.

Considering the increasingly impressive capabilities of geotech, it is worth remembering the geospatial industry’s underlying value to people, to society, in real-world terms, and not as mere cool digital datasets on screens. This Norte-Dame case further serves as a reminder of the importance for our sector to remain open-minded and taking a multi-disciplinary approach, one that welcomes other professionals rather than excludes them. Geotech is not an independent domain, and those charting its future are often outsiders. Lastly, it emphasises the importance of sharing knowledge through documented case studies and making it accessible, without which its value will be forever lost.
Long-tem 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 highlighted the cultural and historical value of a geospatial technologies...

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New projection & cartesian coordinate system put on hold

Following a call for comments on the proposed new projection and new cartesian coordinate system for the South African spatial referencing system, the Chief Directorate: National Geospatial Information (NGI) said comments has not resulted in a...

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Release of ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI

In April, the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence presented their ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence. This follows the publication of the guidelines' first draft in December 2018 on...

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Workshop discusses National Spatial Development Framework

The Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the National Spatial Development Framework Indaba during April 2019 under the theme: "Moving South Africa forward...

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Upcoming events

SA GeoTech 2019
22 – 23 July 2019
The recently announced SA GeoTech 2019 programme features a great speaker line-up. This year's conference incorporates DesignTech, ArchiTech, MeasureTech, PositionTech, MineTech and ConstrucTech, under the theme "Geo-tech to drive new business opportunities and economic growth”. Taking place at Emperors Palace on 22 and 23 July 2019, the event will focus on cutting-edge hardware and software technologies, information systems and solutions for all sectors.

StartTech Meetup
29 May 2019

Esri South Africa’s StartTech Meetup provides an environment for developers to learn from each other, connect and socialise to build successful companies. The meetups are free events happening regularly at the company’s Midrand offices.

RICS Summit Africa
30 May 2019
The annual Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Summit Africa 2019 takes place at Sun International’s Maslow Hotel Conference Centre in Sandton. It will focus on how collaborative partnerships and impactful investment is shaping the future of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa Drone Conference
6 – 7 June 2019

The fourth Africa Drone Conference 2019 takes place at Emperors Palace, with topics including the dynamic use of security drones in mining environment, the importance of drones use in municipalities and more.

IMSSA Free Sate Branch Meeting
7 June 2019

The next IMSSA Free Sate Branch meeting will take place at the Western Deep Level Village Club, and will feature technical presentations and a demonstrations.

More details in Events Diary
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