GIS: From Kerbal to conservation

Conservation blog

By Duane Wilkins, DOC’s Geospatial Services Manager

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.

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…

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Mapping Historical Places

Elizabeth Miron

Another week in Digital History and another new tool has been learned. This week we had a workshop with Don Lafreniere who taught us the basic of using ArcGIS and how this can be used for historical mapping. I have been familiar with GIS technology for a few years but honestly it never occurred to me that this could be used for anything other than contemporary maps and comparisons. However I learned this week that there is a whole field of historical GIS which opens up many new avenues of historical research!

Although the database of information had already been created for us (would have been way over my head for my first workshop), we did get to play around with the layering of maps on top of one another and georeferencing tools. I especially enjoyed latter, there was something oddly satisfying when you lined up your map perfectly in…

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Flower power

The Chennai Chapter

A handful of city floriculturists have made it big in the business. The writer visits some farms now waiting for the seasonal full bloom

Step out of Sanil KMP’s home in Perumbavoor and you step into a happy profusion of flowers and foliage. At his Ecofarms floriculture venture, bright red heliconias hang overhead amid teak and mahogany trees. From beneath rise wide leaves of alpinias, slender shoots of bamboo and bright pink flowers of torch ginger. Beside, under gentle shade, sit pretty anthuriums and potted orchids in neat rows, some with white petals, others more wild and exotic in yellow and purple.

September marks the close of lean months in the business, and the handful of long-time floriculturists in the city is gearing up for a season of full bloom.

For George Philip, his fancy for flowers began during his college days when he collected unusual varieties of roses on…

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Flower Power: Story of Nusrat Jehan

Ek Sparsh

Kashmir is  a paradise that has been lost in the clash of terrorism, and the callousness of our politicians. Kashmir’s youth have struggled to find a footing in their home state. Though educated, and resilient, the limited opportunities available in the ravaged state has not helped their cause. However, there appears to be an oasis of hope.

Take the example of Nusrat Jahan.  Nusrat  is from Dadoora village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. She graduated in computer applications in 1999. She worked as community organizer in Jammu Development Authority. Not satisfied with her job, she decided to quit and start her own business.

The cut-flower business attracted her. For Kashmiris, who suffered from militancy and resulting violence, purchasing flowers was the last thing on their minds. To start something where the returns are not assured required a lot of courage.

Nusrat’s persistence was paid off when she bagged her first…

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Flash Flooding

SEEing Miracles

English: Flash flood in the Gobi of Mongolia, 2004

 

We have had a lot of rain this last month.  A lot of rain for our area anyway, and with that has come multiple flash flood warnings, and many flash floods in our town.  Mostly it is just large amounts of water that wash through the waterways, overflow them and pull large quantities of topsoil downhill with it.  We have had some basements flooded, some driveways washed away, and many streets and parking lots under several inches of mud.  I am very grateful that despite flooding to both the east and west of us that we have been unaffected.

 

 

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Using GIS- Mapping Software to Chart European Travels in Wales

widah

Felix Mendelssohn, the famous German composer, on his visit to Wales in the 1820’s once flippantly remarked the day had been ‘good, as I only got wet three times.’ Aside from savouring the delights of the local climate, Europeans have travelled to Wales for numerous reasons over the last two and a half centuries. The ‘European Travellers to Wales 1750-2010‘ project is a collaboration between researchers at Bangor and Swansea Universities and the University of Wales’ Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies that is investigating Europeans’ reactions to Wales. It is a three-year venture funded by the AHRC which is researching European travel writing on Wales. Looking into an array of sources ranging from travelogues to guidebooks, diaries to blogs the project will highlight the role of travel writing in forming perceptions of Wales both at home and abroad.

The project has a range of output including a co-authored…

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