News Items


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

RDA and Cartographic Resources published

Under 50 GBP

RDA and Cartographic Resources published

A useful 152 page publication for map librarians has just been released. Facet Publishing puts the cost of the book at £49.95.

As the cataloging universe moves ever deeper into the era of RDA: Resource Description and Access, specialist catalogers need information on managing the materials in their areas of responsibility.  In this manual, three expert catalogers offer a summary and overview of how to catalog cartographic resources using the new standard. Through abundant examples and sample records to illustrate the work, the authors

  • Take a close look at what remains familiar from AACR2, and what is new and different in RDA
  • Offer guidance for creating authorized geographic subject headings using Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Resources (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD)
  • Present a detailed examination of geographic subject headings and subdivisions

Designed for both practicing map catalogers and catalogers new to cartographic resources, this volume will be a one-stop resource for all catalogers of cartographic materials looking to understand the differences between cataloging using AACR2 and cataloging using RDA.


List of Figures

  • The Past is Prologue
  • RDA and FRBR Entities as Applied to Cartographic Resources: An Overview
  • Comparing Standards: Continuing, Different, and Added Practices
  • Navigating RDA to Describe Cartographic Resource Elements
  • Cartographic Resources Cataloging: Moving Forward
  • Postscript


  • Image of Damietta Sheet from the Egpyt 1:100,000 Series
  • Map Record Example Showing FRBR Relationship Entities
  • RDA Checklist for Descriptive Elements
  • Examples of Correct Scale and Coordinates Notation in the 255 Field with Matching Examples in the 034 Field under AACR2 and RDA
  • 33X Content, Media, and Carrier Terms Examples Based on Different Kinds of Cartographic Resources
  • Digital Resources Notes: Comparing RDA Number with MARC Field Number
  • Sample Records for Different Cartographic Resources Types 

Date October 14, 2014
More information

J.B. Harley Research Fellowships in the History of Cartography

J.B. Harley Research Fellowships in the History of Cartography

The Harley Fellowships, the only one of their kind in Europe, provide support of up to four weeks (normally at £400 per week) for those, from any discipline, doing the equivalent of post-graduate level work in the historical UK map collections. 
For the period 2013-2016, in addition to the normal J. B. Harley Fellowship awards open to anyone pursuing advanced research in the history of cartography, there are also Harley-Delmas Fellowships for research in the history of cartography during the European Renaissance to the Enlightenment c.1400-c.1800, kindly funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. All applicants should apply for a J. B. Harley Fellowship; eligibility for a Harley-Delmas award will be decided by the Selection Committee of the Trustees.

The closing date for applications is 1 November 2014.

Email applications to: rose.mitchell at nationalarchives.gov.gsi.uk

Rose Mitchell
Honorary Secretary, 
J.B. Harley Fellowships
Map archivist
The National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

Date October 14, 2014

Systems Analyst/Developer Post


Systems Analyst/Developer Post

ABPmer invites applicants for the position of Systems Analyst/Developer.

ABPmer is a highly regarded marine environmental consultancy employing over 40 people in our waterside offices in Southampton.  ABPmer undertake a wide variety of estuary, coastal and offshore studies for a large cross-section of clients both in the UK and overseas.

ABPmer is seeking to fill a senior role within the Data Team.  The successful applicant will have the capability to develop and maintain web and SQL server based applications and offer a sound working knowledge of GIS. The successful applicant will be expected to lead on the development, maintenance and dissemination of the company’s existing web and database systems, based on both proprietary and open source solutions.

Applicants should preferably have a degree in programming with a good understanding of adaptive web design and GIS, 5 years’ commercial experience and consider themselves to be a problem solver.  The key skill sets required include a working understanding of relational databases (MS SQL Server, including SQL reporting services and MS Access); development and maintenance of ESRI server products (ArcGIS Server 10, ArcSDE, ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs); and ArcGIS 10 Desktop skills, including the use of extensions (3D Analyst, Spatial Analyst).

Sound knowledge and practical experience of programming in a range of languages, typically Python, VB/VB.NET, ASP/ASP.NET, JavaScript and PHP are highly desirable, as is experience of configuring applications in Windows Server environments.  Project management experience and the ability to write concise project reports is a necessity and the aptitude to write proposals and market the company’s expertise in this field would be advantageous.

In addition to being part of a company with an outstanding reputation, working for ABPmer brings with it numerous benefits including an excellent salary package, which is paid according to qualifications and experience, a contributory pension scheme, private medical insurance and flexitime. We have a strong emphasis on professional development and training.

To apply, please email your CV with a covering letter to Linda Boxall at lboxall at abpmer.co.uk. Please include details of where you saw this advert in your covering letter.

Closing date for applications is 24 October 2014.

Date October 13, 2014

Open Geospatial Lab (GOGL) launched at the University of Gloucestershire

GIS Open Source

Open Geospatial Lab (GOGL) launched at the University of Gloucestershire

The University of Gloucestershire Open Geospatial Lab (GOGL) is a collaboration between the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) and the School of Natural and Social Sciences (SNSS). The aim of GOGL is to develop and promote open source GIS education in our undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, and to stimulate innovative research in the application of open source geospatial technologies.

GOGL belongs to a growing global network of organisations formed under the umbrella of a memorandum of understanding between the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).

The motto of ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Labs initiative is "Geo For All." The creativity, dynamism and high-profile success stories of the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial applications (FOSS4G) movement are attracting increasing attention from end users, developers, businesses, governments, educators and researchers around the world.

For universities and educational institutions, open source GIS software is especially important as it helps empower staff and students, and contributes to building up ‘open knowledge’ for the benefit of the whole society and future generations. We recognise that, in the spirit of the memorandum of understanding on which this initiative was built, that there is an onus on us to contribute open knowledge and open educational resources back to the global community, and we will be offering resources on this site in the near future.

GOGL is developing, and will continue to develop, strong links with other organisations and individuals from both within and outside of the University and those with an interest are encouraged to get in touch.

Date October 13, 2014
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