News Items


Python 3.5.0 released

Programming Open Source

Among the new major new features and changes in the 3.5 release series include the following: 

  • improved Python zip application supportadditional unpacking generalisations
  • "%-formatting" for bytes and bytearray objects
  • a new operator (@) for matrix multiplication
  • os.scandir(), a fast new directory traversal function
  • adding support for automatic retries of interrupted system calls
  • change StopIteration handling inside generators
  • the typing module, a new standard for type annotations
  • math.isclose(), a function for testing approximate equality
  • making the Windows Python launcher aware of virtual environments
  • eliminating .pyo filesa new and improved mechanism for loading extension modules
  • coroutines with async and await syntax

For more detailed information, please read What's New In Python 3.5.

Date September 14, 2015

Esri Sales Manager


Esri Sales Manager

Esri has a new vacancy for the role of Sales Manager with the Internal Sales Team in Aylesbury. Reporting to the Head of Internal Sales, the focus will be on building on-going sales relationships with new customers, and delivering the sales target.

About You

You should have experience of:

• Building and developing new business relationships.
• Telephone selling.
• GIS and its applications in a business context.
• Managing a forecast and pipeline to achieve sales targets.

It would also be ideal for you to have gained experience of IT software sales, particularly in a target-based environment. However we will consider exceptional candidates who can demonstrate their desire, potential and ability to start their IT sales career.

In order to succeed in this post it is essential that you:

• Have a broad range of transferable IT sales experiences and skills
• Are a self-starter with the ability to focus on and achieve sales target
• Are able quickly to learn the Esri product stack, and then to be able to identify customer needs and opportunities
• Have good interpersonal skills with clients and colleagues, with the ability to communicate clearly using all appropriate media.
• Have strong listening and analytical skills, so as to ensure issues are correctly explored, understood and resolved.

You should also have the flexibility to work on your own set of accounts and marketing campaigns, the ability both to work on your own initiative and as part of a wider team, and the willingness to take strategic direction and guidance. Whilst this is a targeted role, nevertheless it is essential that you always observe and operate in accordance with our values.


If you are interested in exploring the above opportunity in more depth, please email your letter of application and CV to hrteam at esriuk.com. Your letter of application should demonstrate how you fit this role based on your experience to date. Please include details of your current and expected salary package and give details of your availability both for interview and for employment if your application is successful.


Esri UK is a privately held software company that is a distributor for Esri Inc. Esri Inc, based in Redlands, California is the global market-leader in geographic information systems (GIS) software.

Date September 11, 2015

City maps printed on t-shirts


City maps printed on t-shirts

Alex Szabo-Haslam, a designer and design director at TruthStudio in Sheffield, is now accepting pledges, or orders, for these t-shirts. Over the years he has worked in secondary schools and colleges, often going by the names ‘Mr Asda’ and ‘Mr Szabba-Abba’, and promoted techno parties with Headcharge, Urban Gorilla, and Sulphate in Sheffield.

So far he has delivered three successful Kickstarter campaigns, distributing over 900 silkscreen posters worldwide.

Alex is using OpenStreetMap data to display a beautifully crafted map from one of 80 cities across the globe. Producing one t-shirt is expensive, but with enough orders, this will pay for a large print run and make each design affordable.

American Apparal makes these t-shirts in a sweatshop free factory in the USA. Each design is printed on premium quality, 100% polyester t-shirts, which feels comfortable and lightweight to wear. 

His website provides a list of super early bird, early bird and regular priced t-shirts starting at £24. Postage is free for UK orders.



Brisbane / Melbourne / Perth / Sydney


Calgary / Montreal / Ottawa / Toronto / Vancouver


Amsterdam / Athens / Barcelona / Berlin / Budapest / Istanbul / Kiev / Lisbon / Madrid / Milan / Moscow / Paris / Prague / Rome / Vienna

Rest of World

Beijing / Buenos Aires / Cairo / Havana / Jerusalem / Mecca / Mexico City / Rio de Janeiro / Tokyo

UK & Ireland

Belfast / Birmingham / Brighton / Bristol / Cambridge / Cardiff / Chester / Coventry / Dublin / Edinburgh / Glasgow / Leeds / Leicester / Liverpool / London / Manchester / Newcastle / Norwich / Nottingham / Oxford / Plymouth / Portsmouth / Sheffield / Southampton / Stoke-on-Trent / York

United States

Chicago / Columbus / Dallas / Denver / Detroit / Houston / Indianapolis / Las Vegas / Los Angeles / Memphis / Miami / Nashville / New Orleans / New York City / Orlando / Philadelphia / Phoenix / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Washington DC

Date September 11, 2015

Research Associate at the University of Sheffield


Research Associate at the University of Sheffield

Job Reference Number: UOS011536
Job Title: Research Associate
Contract Type: Fixed-term for 6 months
Working Pattern: 70% working commitment, days of working to be agreed
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Department: Department of Town and Regional Planning
Salary: Grade 7, £29,552 to £32,277 per annum (pro-rata).

Closing Date: Thursday, 17 September 2015.


Faculty of Social Sciences is looking to appoint an excellent researcher to contribute to a project which aims to map and analyse bus transport network performance in order to facilitate public transport network improvements. The project is part-funded by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and has the potential to improve the performance and usage of a key transport network across the city-region.

You will contribute to all aspects of the project and have particular responsibility for reviewing literature and existing methods; designing a database for Real Time data (using Microsoft SQL Server) and analysing the performance of the bus network based on processed real time data. In collaboration with others you will also generate output systems and techniques to present the network performance data and develop training and handover materials. You will have, or be very close to completing a PhD in a relevant subject area (or equivalent qualifications/ professional experience) Applicants must have experience of using Microsoft SQL Server or equivalent relational database management systems;preferably using them with spatial data and linking it to GIS software (ArcGIS in particular).

Main Duties and Responsibilities

• Undertake project inception duties as required, including liaison with SYPTE.
• Undertake a detailed review of appropriate literature and existing methods and techniques of processing and analysing real time data.
• Design a Microsoft SQL Server database which is able to store a large set of real time data and facilitate relevant query of the data with due database performance considerations.
• Plan a mechanism for regularly updating the real time and bus network data in the database.
• Investigate a range of statistical and data mining techniques, allowing queries and analysis of the processed real time information by location and time in different metrics (e.g. speed, running times).
• Develop a process to allow the comparison of the real time data to existing timetables and facilitate the creation of optimised timetables based on that data.
• Working with Dr Phillips, advise on the optimal analysis metrics and means of presenting them (e.g. tabular, chart and map formats) in order to provide effective reports of the results to enable and guide network management.
• Create training and handover materials and deliver training sessions for SYPTE as required.
• Learn about, and undertake training in, relevant methods and techniques as agreed with the Principal Investigator.
• Write documents to support the project and the dissemination of findings, in the form of reports and presentations.
• Contribute to the general planning of the research project and to planning for your own/the University’s contribution to the project, considering the availability of resources, key deadlines, project milestones and overall research aims.
• Coordinate and liaise with internal and external members of the project team to maintain work progress.
• Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.

Person Qualifications

1. Have or be very close to completing a PhD in a relevant subject area or equivalent qualifications/professional experience in practice.
2. Experience of working with large Microsoft SQL Server databases (or equivalent RDBMS with ability to translate skills to SQL Server).
3. Experience of linking Microsoft SQL Server with GIS software, such as ArcGIS and ArcSDE.
4. Experience of working with very large structured databases (‘Big Data’).
5. Experience in the use of GIS (particularly ESRI ArcGIS software) and spatial analysis.
6. Experience in the analysis of large quantitative and spatial datasets.
7. Good track record of research publications.
8. Experience of working on funded projects.

Communication skills

9. Ability to communicate effectively with a range of project collaborators.
10. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, and ability to present information in a range of formats to meet the needs of different target audiences.
11. Ability to provide training materials and run training sessions to suit the experience and needs of those being trained.

Team working

12. A positive attitude to collaborative research and experience of working effectively within a team.
13. Ability to review own progress and performance in relation to team/project objectives.
14. Ability to engage effectively with collaborators/team members and secure delivery of action from them, where appropriate.

Project management

15. Ability to assess and organise resources, and plan and progress work activities.

Personal effectiveness

16. Excellent organisational and interpersonal skills
17. Ability to adapt own skills to new circumstances.
18. Willingness to update skills and knowledge in line with advances in relevant subject areas.

Please visit the job website for more information and to apply for the post.

Date September 10, 2015

Field Studies Council partners to promote the value of geographical fieldwork (Year of Fieldwork, 2015-2016)

Resources for Teachers Learning Resource

Field Studies Council partners to promote the value of geographical fieldwork (Year of Fieldwork, 2015-2016)

Field Studies Council, FSC, is a UK environmental education charity providing informative and enjoyable opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to discover, explore, and understand the environment.

Fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning experiences are increasingly being recognised across the curriculum as a highly valuable tool in raising standards and skills in participants of all ages. The ‘Year of Fieldwork’, which will run over the academic year 2015-16, brings together a range of partners to celebrate these skills and opportunities and to offer support for those that wish to develop these further.

Esri UK, Field Studies Council, the Geographical Association, Ordnance Survey and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) are working collaboratively to promote the value of geographical fieldwork and the wide range of resources, training and other support that is available to schools.

Although initiated originally by partners from the field of geography it is recognised that these skills and the associated benefits are not purely in the realm of geography and is enjoyed and can benefit all curriculum subjects.

The principal purposes of the Year of Fieldwork is to:

  • Highlight examples of good practice and the support that we, and others, provide to support schools to enhance the fieldwork that they provide.
  • Encourage more schools to undertake geographical fieldwork at all phase of the curriculum, and examination classes.
    Raise awareness of the value of fieldwork to geographical education and the benefits that it provides to young people.
  • Promote the benefits of fieldwork as a valuable and transferable skill across a range of subject areas.

The next academic year will see significant levels of planning as schools across all ages continue to integrate and prepare for new models of assessment and content from National Curriculum through to A-level. The Year of Fieldwork partners are joining together to work collaboratively to highlight the value of geographical fieldwork.

The hope is that schools and colleges across the country join with us to celebrate fieldwork and the opportunities it provides not just during the Year of Fieldwork, but throughout the life of learners.

For more information about the Year of Fieldwork and how you can get involved, please email nick.nc at field-studies-council.org

Date September 9, 2015
More information

GIS for Managing Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup Developed with TatukGIS SDK

GIS Cost

GIS for Managing Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup Developed with TatukGIS SDK

Tsukasa Consulting Co. in Japan uses the TatukGIS Developer Kernel (VCL edition) to develop its M System 3D GIS software solution that is used to manage radioactive decontamination work being performed in the vicinity of the site of 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. The major earth quake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi plant, resulting in widespread leakage of radioactive material which forced 300,000 residents in Fukishima Prefecture to flee their homes, becoming refuges. Today the Japanese government is engaged in a massive decontamination effort with the objective of decontaminating, house by house and parcel by parcel, 105 affected cities, towns, and villages, to allow residents to return to their homes. The effort involves 10,000 to 20,000 personnel and a budget of $3 to 4 billion annually.

The work of Tsukasa-Consulting involves the mass production of detailed, structure-by-structure, 3D maps of decontamination areas by using hybrid 3D vector plotting process with stereographic viewing of aerial imagery. The result is highly accurate, +/- 10 cm, 2D and 3D vector objects representing each building structure within a mapped area. The process is cost effective relative to laser scanning methods, taking advantage of already existing data, technology, and knowledge, and resulting in smaller datasets requiring less processing and editing. Bentley Systems MicroStation software is used to generate the 2D and 3D vector models (as DGN files) that are used in the M System software developed using the TatukGIS SDK. The M System solution enables decontamination teams to optimally plan their efforts before entering radioactive zones, know the number of houses in an area, identify structures with contamination, assign personnel to individual houses, and manage the progress using a 3D GIS enabled database system.

The Tsukasa 3D plotting methodology, editing tools, and M System GIS enabled database management software were presented by Tsukasa Consulting Co. CEO, Hamamoto Takashi, at the recent SPAR Japan conference on June 3 and 4 in Kawasaki, Japan. This presentation can be viewed at the link: https://youtu.be/C91oSpFrq64

Besides the Fukushima decontamination project, the Tsukasa tools and methodology are targeted to areas including environmental maintenance, architecture, energy (solar panels), prevention and recovery planning of natural disasters, managing of building plans and records, and urban planning.

For more about Tsukasa Consulting, please refer to the company web site at: http://www.tsukasa-consulting.net/jpn/

For learn more about the TatukGIS Developer Kernel, please visit: www.tatukgis.com

Date September 9, 2015

Doctoral Level Health GIS Opportunity 2015 to 2018

Doctoral Level Health GIS Opportunity 2015 to 2018

The University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health and the School Of Geography are pleased to announce stipend funding for Doctoral level study. This will be funded by the Alzheimer’s Society as a part of a four-year study titled Scaling the Peaks. This study is examining the everyday life of people living with dementia who live within the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire. This mixed method study will use both qualitative Geo-spatial information systems (GIS) and ethnographic enquiry to devise a map of the area and identify the closeness of residents to services, taking into account the terrain, climate, infrastructures and locations of services.

Dementia is a common cluster of symptoms often associated as loss of memory, difficulty with communication and character changes amongst older people. We know that there are fewer people living with dementia in very rural areas who seek health care. The reasons for this are complex and not well understood. This study aims to compare the lives of two groups of residents living with dementia; those who are established and those who have moved into the area as retirees. Understanding these two distinctive groups of residents will help to shape future service planning and delivery of more nuanced services which work in very rural areas.

This is an exciting opportunity to develop a doctorate combining health GIS and qualitative GIS. Applications are especially welcomed from highly motivated individuals who can demonstrate a strong interest in health informatics and the use of GIS. Guidance will be provided to devise a study which will meet the needs of the funder and also the interests of the student. Ongoing support throughout the 3 years of doctoral work will be provided by members of the team.

Key applicant skills include;
• Strong academic record of geographical and/or GIS knowledge in relation to population health and place.
• To share specific GIS knowledge with Members of the team to support the outcomes of the study.
• Appreciation of the need to show compassion and understanding towards all participants and to work flexibly with them as required.
• Ability to work within a small team and to meet deadlines as required.
• Ability to liaise with families living with dementia, health and social care professionals and academics across disciplines including older people’s health and mental health.
• Ability to communicate clearly for multiple audiences and maintain accurate clear notes, contribute towards literature reviews and report summaries as required by the study Chief Investigator.
• Willingness to contribute to peer reviewed journals, attend conferences and funder updates as necessary.
• Car driver a distinct advantage as is an ability to manage journeys in rural areas.

The stipend will not include fees for study but is set at a competitive level to attract high calibre students in this emerging field of health GIS within the University of Nottingham.

Payments will be made for travel and meals during data collection.

Whilst this is a full-time position there may be some flexibility to accept part-time over 3.5 years but not beyond the lifetime of the core study.

Funding criteria do not permit the payment of fees.

Further Informal Enquiries can be made by contacting the following people:

Dr Fiona Marshall, (Senior Research Fellow and CI) Fiona.marshall at nottingham.ac.uk
Dr Suchith Anand (GIS Researcher) Suchith.anand at nottingham.ac.uk

Date September 8, 2015

Catchments Specialist's post with National Trust in Wales


Catchments Specialist

The package:

£27,916 per annum. 38 month Fixed Term Contract until 31st August 2018. Full-time hours, 37.5 hours a week.

This is a hugely exciting time for the National Trust in Wales. The most relevant bit here is the NT strategy for Land outdoors and nature. As part of its delivery in Wales the NT is working closely with Natural Resources Wales (NRW). This post is jointly funded by NRW. The National Trust has acquired new properties in the Vale of Glamorgan and Newport and started ground-breaking projects in the Gower and the Brecon Beacons.

Role Summary:

Your focus will be to advise on and help develop natural resource management in key catchments to ensure that the Trust land is managed sustainably and delivers high quality conservation. You will achieve this by capturing and analysing the current condition of our natural resources and using this knowledge to improve our understanding and delivery of appropriate outcomes. We are seeking to develop future land management approaches that ensure multiple benefits and secure the conservation of important natural and cultural assets. You will be expected to represent NT internally and externally through being a convincing advocate for integrated catchment management and the ecosystem approach.

This work will focus initially on the Conwy Catchment in Snowdonia but the scope could extend to other key catchments in Wales.

Occasionally situations may arise that require the post holder to perform other duties or tasks as may be reasonably requested by the Trust.

The post holder shall:

1. Lead on catchment management advice to deliver high quality conservation outcomes across Wales (focussing initially on the Conwy Catchment Project).
2. Provide best practice technical expertise to the project team on all aspects of catchment management (specifically peat, soil, carbon, water management and land capability) through the application and dissemination of relevant research and developments.
3. Work with partner organisations as well as NT staff, to deliver a true catchment approach and operating across boundaries at a catchment scale.
4. Develop a robust baseline and create a GIS-based system of natural resources, initially for the Conwy catchment. This will involve collating all current information, identifying what is missing and be responsible for designing, organising and recording appropriate information. Using the system as a basis set up a robust recording and monitoring system.
5. Use this data to drive forward our understanding and identify, promote and support the development and application of innovative catchment management techniques.
6. Lead on land choices (an NT initiative to determine the most sustainable options for the use of land) for the Ysbyty Estate and work with key staff and external partners to influence land management in the catchment including tenancy reviews and agri-environment schemes.
7. Communicate internally and externally through being a convincing advocate for integrated catchment management and ecosystem services and how this approach supports NT core conservation aims.
8. Work with the Conwy Catchment project manager to coordinate our work with a range of partner organisations.

In addition, all employees are expected to

1. Be accountable for their personal development through the appraisal process. (Individuals with line management responsibility are also accountable for the development of their staff).
2. Take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
3. Work within the terms of their contract of employment and adhere to Trust Instructions, Values and Behaviours.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:


• degree in an area directly relevant to catchment management (Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management or similar);
• understanding of the drivers for the working at a catchment scale and the role of environmental assessment in designing solutions which take account of cultural, heritage and landscape issues; and
• preparing GIS based mapping information.


• a specialism in either land capability or soils, carbon and peat management;
• an understanding of upland farming systems and land management practices or understanding of catchment sensitive farming approaches in such environments;
• an understanding of upland landscape character and historic and cultural heritage;
• an understanding of the significance of moorland and blanket bog in carbon and water management;
• basic analysis/modelling using GIS;
• knowledge of appropriate legislation and guidance;
• knowledge of National Trust core principles, strategy and practice; and
• ability to communicate in the Welsh language.



• excellent written and verbal communication skills;
• an ability to interpret and respond to research, intelligence, analysis and policy developments;
• ability to communicate effectively and confidently with diverse group of people of varying ages, abilities and experience internally and externally;
• networking and building effective relationships with related professionals internally and externally both nationally and internationally;
• skills in mapped based work especially GIS (use and creation of maps) and GPS;
• ability to work as part of a team sharing learning and ideas;
• self- motivated and proactive with excellent organisational skills;
• numerate, IT literate (e.g. Word, Excel); and
• good administration, data organisation and record keeping skills


• Project management skills.



• experience of working on catchment management, natural resource management or farm advice or similar projects;
• designing, implementing and/or coordinating an ecological monitoring programme;
• production and delivery of land based and/or catchment management plans; and
• working with stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds including partner organisations, neighbours and farmers


• presenting at workshops, seminars and conferences;
• a track record of successful working within a multi-disciplinary environment/teams; and
• working with grant bodies and success in securing funding.

Closing date: Monday, 21 September 2015.
Provisional interview date: Monday, 28 September 2015.

For more information about the post, and to submit an application for it, please visit the National Trust's website.

Date September 8, 2015

Two short courses in using R offered by University of Leeds

Cost Learning Resource

Two short courses in using R offered by University of Leeds

The Consumer Data Research Centre at Leeds is pleased to offer two R courses in September, an introductory course and a more advance R for Big data.  Both of these courses will be taught by Colin Gillespie (Newcastle) and Robin Lovelace (CDRC). Colin has over 15 year experience in teaching R and Robin has developed the popular tutorial Introduction to Spatial Data with R.

The courses will take place in the newly opened training suite at the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, which has high-spec desktop computers and provides support for working from participants' own laptops.

The introductory 1-day course will take place on the 16th September. The more advanced course R for Big Data takes place on the 17th and 18th.

If you're a novice or intermediary user, it is recommended that you attend the introductory course in preparation for R for Big Data.  Please see the links below for further information about each course and pricing.

Introductory R - 16th September 2015


R for Big Data - 17th & 18th September 2015


Date September 8, 2015
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The NGA launches a public website for its unclassified Arctic data


The NGA launches a public website for its unclassified Arctic data

The US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made its unclassified geospatial intelligence on the Arctic available to the public via a new website to support international efforts relevant to the region.

NGA reported that its website will also provide 3-D Digital Elevation Models of the Arctic landscape based on satellite images from DigitalGlobe‘s commercial imagery sources.

Date September 7, 2015
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