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Geomatics placement at the Environment Agency


Geomatics placement at the Environment Agency

This is a year-long placement for students who are in their penultimate year of an undergraduate degree programme. The degree must include content on remote sensing and/or Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It is for students committed to a career in geomatics and/or the environmental sector.

A student's placement year will be spent with the EA's small team in their Bath office with a team leader, a geomatics expert, and an independent mentor. This will provide the opportunity for a valid and relevant exposure to a wide range of geomatics activities. EA offer a competitive package with a range of benefits and the opportunity to make a real difference to the environment.

Students must gain approval from their respective universities before applying for this placement. To register, email the EA at: geomaticsinternships at environment-agency.gov.uk.

Date October 30, 2014

Vacancy at Forest Peoples Programme: Community mapping and innovative information systems designer


Vacancy at Forest Peoples Programme: Community mapping and innovative information systems designer

This is a full-time post for a motivated information systems specialist to develop the Forest Peoples Programme's mapping and information management strategies with their local partners. Specifically to help implement and further develop mapping and documentation initiatives supporting forest communities, as well as tracking government and corporate compliance with human rights laws and standards in Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

This exciting role will build upon existing FPP projects, databases and bespoke software as well as the latest technological innovations to develop a toolkit for communities and their networks to gather and manage the data they wish to collect without the need for highly qualified experts, as well as the platforms necessary to publish and analyse the data.  The objective is to empower communities to track, document and communicate what is happening in their forests to support their efforts to secure justice and protect their lands, as well as to enable, monitor and enforce the application of human rights safeguards on the ground.   

The motivated individual taking up this UK-based post will support FPP’s multidisciplinary team to develop a toolkit for communities based on the mapping and documentation work we are already undertaking with forest communities; the existence of new technologies and software for collecting, managing and hosting data, the development of new tools and software where necessary and the efforts of other initiatives attempting to meet similar objectives.

The candidate’s responsibilities will include:

  • Supporting the development of an innovative interactive mapping and monitoring platform, which seeks to enable dissemination and analysis of data communities wish to share, working in collaboration with other FPP staff, international partners, external software developers and teams working on the ground in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Supporting the storage and management of monitoring and mapping data being generated by communities, local partners and FPP staff, on accessible but secure databases appropriate both for communities in remote offline locations and FPP.
  • Day to day line management of software developers and other partners supporting the development of innovative monitoring tools.
  • Supporting the design and creation of maps for FPP reports and publications on an ongoing basis.
  • Supporting the acquisition or creation of meta-datasets to link to base maps for FPP priority regions (including logging, mining and agro-industrial concessions).
  • Supporting the development of FPP’s community information toolkit comprising a suite of tools for gathering, managing and publishing data in conjunction with our field programmes in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as relevant technology developers and other partners.
  • Supporting local partners and communities to set up and deliver new mapping and monitoring initiatives of community customary lands, linked with their struggles to secure their rights and protect their lands and resources.
  • Provision of training and support including the development of appropriate materials for FPP staff and partners.
  • Liaising and exchanging with other community mapping and monitoring initiatives on a global level.

Skills and qualifications required:

  • Graduate degree in GIS (or experienced user) and hands on experience working with community mapping and/or monitoring programmes.
  • Experience working with satellite image analysis and GIS software such as ArcGIS or Quantum GIS, SQL, spatial databases and geo-visualization tools, in addition to the development of online interactive maps.
  • Interest in and knowledge of (i) the latest innovative mapping tools including mobile monitoring tools and (ii) developers working on similar or related initiatives particularly open source mapping and monitoring tools.
  • Experience in the management of technology development projects andsoftware developers (understanding of principal programming languages and database tools are desirable).
  • Ability to work in English essential and fluency in Spanish or French desirable.
  • Ability to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team and work to deadlines.


Salary in the range of £28,000-£35,000 p.a. depending on qualifications and experience.

To work full time from the UK with regular meetings in FPP’s Moreton-in Marsh Office in the Cotswolds.


  • 20 days leave per year, plus all public holidays and the week between Christmas and New Year when the office is closed
  • Flexible working hours
  • Time off in lieu under certain circumstances

To apply for this post, please download the application form and send by email to info at forestpeoples.org with Mapper and your name in the subject line of the email.

Closing date for applications: 17 November 2014

Interviews of short-listed candidates: End of November 2014

Candidates must be eligible to live and work in the UK

Unfortunately applicants who are not short-listed will not be contacted.

Date October 30, 2014

Free online gvSIG course: Introduction to GIS

GIS Learning Resource

Free online gvSIG course: Introduction to GIS

The MOOC “Introduction to GIS” aims to show the use and potentiality of the open source software gvSIG in performing the most common operations during the workflow in a GIS environment. This Course is addressed to beginners as well as to skilled GIS users who want to learn how to use this software.

No advanced knowledge in computer science is required; participant only needs a computer, an internet connection and be enrolled in gvSIG Training website.

The Course will last four weeks with an approximate participant’s engagement of thirty hours during the whole course period.

Participants can thus plan individually the time to dedicate to the course and complete all the scheduled activities without interfering with their daily work.

Course timetable is made of thirteen topics grouped in four modules:

  • Introduction to main GIS concepts
  • Loading and view geographic data in gvSIG
  • Layers information: the attribute tables
  • Show geographic information through maps

After each topic the participants, should complete a test whose result will contribute to determine the individual final score.

Course participants will have access, for each single topic, to short video, training materials, exercises and additional contributions for specific subjects. 

This Course is completely free of charge except for participants who ask for the corresponding credits of the gvSIG user certification program from the gvSIG Association, that is submitted to the payment of 40 € and approving the above-mentioned tests. 

In the first half of 2015 two more MOOC on “Layer Editing” and “Raster Analysis” with gvSIG use are scheduled; participants who approve all the three courses, will accumulate the credits enough to receive the official gvSIG user certificate.

To enroll in the course, please visit the gvSIG website where you can self-enroll. 

Course dates: 24 November to 20 December 2014

Date October 29, 2014

Business Editor for The Independent speculates on the future of the Ordnance Survey

Business Editor for The Independent speculates on the future of the Ordnance Survey

Jim Armitage speculates that the Ordance Survey will be privatised in the future. This prediction was made in his article which appeared last week in The Independent (14 October 2014).

So, what’s next in the privatisation jamboree? Expect to see the Royal Mint, Ordnance Survey, Met Office and other small fry sold sooner or later. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will give his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament on 3 December 2014, so it's possible that Business Editor Jim Armitage's expectations for the OS will be revealed in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement?

Date October 24, 2014

Edinburgh: Mapping the City

Edinburgh: Mapping the City

The BBC reports on this recently published book, which uses historic maps to provide insights into the history of Edinburgh over the last five centuries; some of which have never before appeared in print.

The book brings together 71 maps, including the earliest known map of Edinburgh which was drafted around 1530 by exiled Scottish Lutheran theologian Alexander Allane.

Chris Fleet, map curator at the National Library of Scotland, has produced the book with Daniel MacCannell.

Date October 22, 2014

Workshop: Introduction to QGIS Understanding and Presenting Spatial Data

GIS Learning Resource Open Source Cost

Workshop: Introduction to QGIS Understanding and Presenting Spatial Data

The Geographic Data Science Lab at the University of Liverpool is running this workshop.

Date: Monday, 17 November 2014, 9:30am to 4pm

Venue: Training Room 1, Sydney Jones Library, University of Liverpool

Instructor: Dr Nick Bearman

This course will introduce spatial data and show you how to import and display spatial data within the open source GIS program QGIS. We will also cover creating choropleth maps, some basic spatial data analysis (e.g. calculating rates) and appropriate methods of visualising spatial data. By the end of the course you will be able to load data into QGIS, symbolise it effectively and be able to prepare a publication quality map.

No previous experience of GIS or QGIS is required, but some experience of using spatial data will be beneficial. Refreshments and lunch are provided, and numbers on the course are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you are already familiar with the basic elements of GIS, you may wish to attend the course “Introduction to R for spatial analysis” instead where we build on basic GIS skills (date to be confirmed).


  • UK registered students: £30
  • Staff at UK academic institutions and research centres, UK-registered charity and voluntary organisations, staff in public sector and government: £60
  • All other participants including staff from commercial organisations: £175


Details of registration will follow and be made available on the workshop's webpage.

Please email n.bearman at liverpool.ac.uk to reserve your place.

Date October 16, 2014

Call for Papers: UDMS 2015 Symposium in Ghent, Belgium

Call for Papers: UDMS 2015 Symposium in Ghent, Belgium

The Urban Data Management Society has organised international symposia at various locations throughout Europe since 1971, and UDMS 2015 will visit Ghent, Belgium, for the first time. From its outset, UDMS has highlighted changes and trends in urban data and urban data management. However, it is possible that the rate of emergence of new data and new technologies has never been as rapid as it is now. Trends including smart cities, smart phones, social media, 3D modelling, volunteered geographic information, building information modelling, augmented reality and augmented virtuality, social media and the Internet of Things all generate information about the urban environment and the people who live there. Additionally the volume of data generated in part through such techniques has in turn resulted in research into ‘big data’ – how best to handle the data, analyse it, visualise it in different contexts. Thus the challenges and opportunities facing those working with these New types of Urban Data are manifold. Given this, the general theme for UDMS 2015 is:

New (urban) data and new tools for City Management

  • The organising committee invites you to submit a paper for presentation and to take part in this important event. Five types of submissions will be considered:
  • Scientific papers up to 6000 words, for full paper peer review by three reviewers. These papers will be included in the UDMS Annual, to be published by Taylor and Francis
  • Technical papers up to 4000 words presenting new solutions, review of potential new technologies and project results, for peer review. These papers will be included in the ISPRS Annals.
  • Technical papers, especially from local authorities and professionals, presenting the description of experiences, solutions or problems requiring solutions, for abstract review, with a length of up to 4000 words. These papers will be included in the ISPRS Archives.
  • Abstracts for the UDMS-website, 1500 words
  • Short presentations, using no prepared written text, but only slides (20 slides, each slide 20 seconds, in total a 6.40’ storytelling, providing a reflection about your own city project. This option may be especially relevant for for officials working in cities, and asks you to use the Pecha Kucha concept. The short presentation can be given on the conference location in Ghent or by Skype.

All accepted papers will be presented orally at the conference. In addition, accepted papers will either be published in the ISPRS International Archives or Annals or included in the UDMS Annual 2015, which will be published by Taylor & Francis as a hardbound book.

Additionally, the UDMS National Representatives will select a number of papers, with attention to papers presented by young researchers or young professionals, for the UDMS ‘Young Contributors’ award. This will include those at the early stages of their research career – e.g. PhD students – or early stage professionals, having less than 6 years’ experience.

We will also select the most original presentation using the “Pecha Kucha” story.

The International Programme Committee would like to receive proposals addressing, academic, technical and practitioner issues related to the symposium areas and topics of capturing, managing, analysing and visualising New Urban Data, in particular in relation to:

  • 3D City Modelling:
  • 3D-scanning (lidar, mobile, terrestrial)
  • Big data
  • Inspire
  • Building Information Modelling (B.I.M.)
  • 3D-GIS
  • Data in many more dimensions
  • Urban data : quality
  • Urban data : master data
  • Modelling the movement of people and things (e.g. traffic, goods)
  • Actualisation of urban 3D-models

3D City Visualisation:

  • (3D-) Web viewers
  • (3D-) Apps
  • 3D-Animations
  • Augmented Reality
  • Augmented Virtuality
  • Geo-visualisation
  • Interfaces for 3D-data (i.e. 3D-C.A.V.E. Computer Aided Virtual Environment), virtual projections, tracking motion)
  • 3D-game engines using urban 3D-data
  • 3D-printing of city data

Smart Cities:

  • Analyses with 2D- en 3D-geodata
  • Impacts and implications of social networks within the urban environment
  • Sensors and systems for monitoring urban and regional environments
  • Citizens as sensors
  • New digital instruments for urban planning
  • Data about urban pollution and energy consumption
  • (Micro-) Climate studies and urban data
  • Open data
  • 4D-data
  • Citizens and Cities
  • Movements of people : indoor and outdoor navigation
  • Volunteered Geographical Information (VGI), crowdsourcing
  • VGI - crowdsourcing
  • Managing and sharing big data
  • Decision making urban planning tools

City Data Education:

  • Urban data Education and Careers
  • Tools
  • Expertise

Note also that the above list is not exhaustive – papers relating to other topics are also welcome, provided that the relationship with the overall theme is clearly demonstrated.

Important Dates:

Full scientific paper submission deadline: 1 December 2014

Abstract technical paper submission deadline 15 December 2014

Notification of acceptance: 15 January 2015

Final papers delivered by: 1 February 2015

UDMS 2015 in Ghent, 22 to 24 April 2015


Paper submission instructions can be found on the UDMS website. Participants will be expected to provide full papers and abstracts by the above referenced dates. Following review the notification of acceptance will be accompanied by suggestions for revisions for the final paper. 

Conference Fees:

Conference: 400 Euro

Reduced fee for students and retired persons: 250 Euro

The UDMS symposium website will be available by the end of October 2014, so please visit there for further updates and for your submissions.

For further information, please contact: info at udms.net

Date October 16, 2014

Mobile phone data in West Africa mapped to predict how the Ebola virus might spread


Mobile phone data in West Africa mapped to predict how the Ebola virus might spread

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collecting mobile phone mast activity data from mobile operators to map calls made to helplines.

Mobile phones, widely owned in even the poorest countries in Africa, are proving to be a rich source of data and Esri is helping the CDC to map this data with other sources of data from West Africa to provide a more complete picture of how Ebola might be spreading.

The full story is available on the BBC website.

Date October 15, 2014

Marine Evidence Support Officer's post at the JNCC


Marine Evidence Support Officer

The Joint Nature Conservation Committe (JNCC) is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation.

Post background

The Marine Evidence Team is one of six marine teams in JNCC (the others being Offshore Industries, Mobile Species, Marine Protected Sites, Marine Monitoring and Marine Ecosystem Assessment and Advice). The work undertaken by the team contributes to JNCC’s Marine Evidence programme. The Marine Evidence Programme delivers a portfolio of work related to marine mapping, pressures, survey and data management of seabird, cetacean and benthic data to customers in Marine Protected Areas, Marine Monitoring R&D, Fisheries in EMS & MCZs and Marine Ecosystem Assessment and Advice. Evidence is used to develop advice to the UK Government, the Devolved Administrations, the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, international organisations and others.

Work of the Marine Evidence Team covers a range of topics including:

  • organising offshore seabed surveys;
  • enhancing our understanding of the marine environment through fine-scale and broad-scale marine habitat mapping and their relationships to physical and oceanographic parameters;
  • understanding human impacts on the marine environment through spatial mapping of the pressures associated with human activities, the assessment of habitat and species sensitivity and using this information together to assess vulnerability;
  • improving access to and management of data on the distribution of seabirds and cetaceans;
  • working collaboratively to coordinate evidence needs for seabirds, and identify opportunities for partnership working;
  • maintenance of the national benthic marine database and the national marine habitat classification;
  • development of standards, guidelines and methodologies at a UK and international level for matters such as data management and marine survey;
  • provision of expert advice to national fora, including the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee, the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy and the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network; and,
  • provision of expert advice to international fora, including the European Environment Agency.

 Post Duties

The Marine Evidence Support Officer will provide scientific administration and technical support to the Marine Evidence Team to support the work being carried out by the team. This post will assist other Marine Support Officers in the Marine Directorate and the Data Services team to manage, manipulate and map a range of different temporal and spatial data. 

Specialist/professional knowledge and skills:

  • degree or equivalent qualification and relevant recent practical work experience that provides the following essential knowledge and experience:
  • ability to use standard office software (word, presentational software and the internet), in particular experience using spreadsheets to interrogate and manipulate data in a logical and methodical manner (preferably MS Office); and
  • experience using databases and GIS to map, manipulate and interpret datasets (preferably MS Access, ArcGIS/ArcView).

Additional skills and experience that would be desirable to the posts are:

  • experience using JNCC’s Marine Recorder database or similar;
  • knowledge of the types of data from remote-sensing and in-situ marine sampling, including acoustic survey, remote video, grab sampling, diving, shore survey & photographic techniques. Experience in collecting and processing any of these data types;
  • knowledge of the UK's marine biodiversity and an understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of marine habitats. May be specialised (rock/sediment; inshore/offshore);
  • knowledge of quality assurance and quality control standards and procedures for marine survey and monitoring, and assessment/mapping data;and
  • a broad understanding of marine nature conservation work in UK.
Salary: £21,656 per annum
Type of appointment: Permanent
Location: Peterborough

The closing date for this post is 09:00 Monday, 3 November 2014.

The anticipated interview date is during the week commencing 10 November 2014.

Please visit the JNCC website for further details about this vacancy and to download the application.

Date October 15, 2014

Free eBook: The Definitive Guide to Unmanned Aerial Systems & Remote-Sensing


Free eBook: The Definitive Guide to Unmanned Aerial Systems & Remote-Sensing

Aerial Services, Inc are providing this free eBook for download. A US-based company has released it so some of the content will focus on state and federal laws, regulations and privacy issues.

The technological aspects should be of interest to those considering the use of drones for capturing aerial imagery for mapping or analysis.

Date October 14, 2014
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