News Items


Application for Funds to attend 2015 FIG Working Week & 3rd FIG Young Surveyors European Meeting

Application for Funds to attend 2015 FIG Working Week & 3rd FIG Young Surveyors European Meeting

The FIG Foundation has decided to provide a number of grants in support of young surveyors attending the 2015 FIG Working Week and 3rd FIG Young Surveyors European Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria (17 to 21 May 2015).  These grants are available to all young surveyors who meet the definition of a young surveyor as defined below (regardless of where you live).

Please note that funds are only available if you are staying for the 3rd FIG YS Europe meeting AND the FIG Working Week!

To qualify for the funds, you must meet the requirements to be Young Surveyors as FIG defines:

  • Young Surveyors (YS)
  • Surveyors aged 35 years or under
  • Students of surveying and all related studies

Young Surveying Professionals (YSP)

  • Young Professionals of surveying and all related studies within
  • 10 years of graduation from a Bachelor or Masters degree

An online application is available for completion and submission to FIG. 

The latest date to submit your application is Wednesday, March 25 2015. On Wednesday, April 1st, the selection will be made by the FIG Foundation.

Date March 20, 2015

New online Admiralty Charts of Scotland, 1795-1963


New online Admiralty Charts of Scotland, 1795-1963

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has just put online all their holdings of Admiralty charts of the Scottish coastline and adjacent seas, published over 50 years ago - 950 charts in total. Admiralty Charts show many coastal features in good detail, and are also useful in predating the work of Ordnance Survey for many northern counties before the 1880s. For many of Scotland’s busier estuaries and ports, there are also regular revisions of charts coming through to the 1960s for tracking change over time.

The high-resolution, zoomable maps can easily be viewed using a clickable map and as an ordered list. We have also georeferenced a selection of 200 charts, so that they can be viewed as zoomable overlays on a Bing map or satellite layer or in our Side-by-side viewer.

Read further information about the charts or go to the Admiralty charts homepage.

Date March 20, 2015

UN General Assembly urges the Sharing of Geospatial Data to Benefit People and Planet


UN General Assembly urges the Sharing of Geospatial Data to Benefit People and Planet

European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information (EUROGI) reports on the United Nations General Assembly's adoption of its first resolution recognising the importance of a globally-coordinated approach to geodesy.

Geodesy plays an increasing role in people’s lives, from finding disaster victims to finding directions using a smart phone.

The General Assembly resolution, A Global Geodetic Reference Frame for Sustainable Development, outlines the value of ground-based observations and remote satellite sensing when tracking changes in populations, ice caps, oceans and the atmosphere over time. Such geospatial measurements can support sustainable development policymaking, climate change monitoring and natural disaster management, and also have a wide range of applications for transport, agriculture and construction.

Emphasizing that “no one country can do this alone,” the General Assembly called for greater multilateral cooperation on geodesy, including the open sharing of geospatial data, further capacity-building in developing countries and the creation of international standards and conventions.

Co-sponsored by 52 Member States, the resolution was originally put forward by Fiji and adopted on 26 February 2015. Ambassador Peter Thomson, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, explained that, as a Small Island Developing State, Fiji is vulnerable to increasingly severe natural disasters, sea-level rise and other problems triggered by climate change, but uses geodesy data to plan as best as it can.

Date March 20, 2015

Introduction to Using R for Spatial Analysis

Learning Resource

The Geographic Data Science Lab, at the University of Liverpool, and the University of Liverpool in London, are running this workshop.


Date: Liverpool: Monday, 27 April 2015, 9:30am to 4pm
Venue: Training Room 1, Sydney Jones Library, University of Liverpool


Date: London: Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 9:30am to 4pm
Venue: PC Suite 1, University of Liverpool in London

Instructor: Dr Nick Bearman

This course will cover an introduction to R, how to load and manage spatial data and how to create maps using R. We will look at appropriate ways of using classifications for choropleth maps, using loops in R to create multiple maps and some basic spatial analysis. We will be using R Studio to work with the R environment. By the end of the course you will be able to load data into R, represent it effectively and be able to prepare an output quality map. 

Experience of creating maps in ArcGIS, QGIS or similar is required, but experience of using R is not required. Refreshments and lunch are provided, and numbers on the course are limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

For more details, including costs, please click link below to access the page for the workshop run at the University of Liverpool. You will find a link on that page to access the page for the London workshop.


Details of registration will follow. Please email n.bearman at liverpool.ac.uk to reserve your place specifying which course you wish to attend.

Date March 20, 2015

The new OS Geospatial Innovation Hub will be housed at the Urban Innovation Centre in London

The new OS Geospatial Innovation Hub will be housed at the Urban Innovation Centre in London

The new Ordnance Survey hub will be home to  a multi-functional team of entrepreneurial thinkers drawn from Ordnance Survey's existing team as well as collaborators from the wider geospatial industry. Interacting with developers, designers and new media creatives, Ordnance Survey will bring together a wide range of skills to create a step change in modern geospatial products and services.

The Hub builds on five years of investment by Ordnance Survey, which has seen the company inject almost £650,000 into innovative ventures. It’s hoped the new initiative will energise innovation in the UK geospatial industry.

Date March 20, 2015

NASA's Soil Moisture Mapper takes first 'SMAPshots'



Fresh off the recent successful deployment of its 6 metre reflector antenna and associated boom arm, NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory has successfully completed a two-day test of its science instruments.

The observatory's radar and radiometer instruments were successfully operated for the first time with SMAP's antenna in a non-spinning mode on Feb. 27 and 28. The test was a key step in preparation for the planned spin-up of SMAP's antenna to approximately 15 revolutions per minute in late March. The spin-up will be performed in a two-step process after additional tests and maneuvers adjust the observatory to its final science orbit over the next couple of weeks.

Based on the data received, mission controllers concluded the radar and radiometer performed as expected. The controllers are based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

SMAP was launched on 31 January 2015 for a minimum three-year mission to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed. The mission will help scientists understand the links in Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles; help reduce uncertainties in predicting weather and climate; and enhance our ability to monitor and predict natural hazards such as floods and droughts.

Please visit the NASA website for the complete story about the SMAP mission.

Date March 18, 2015

A new open access journal: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards

A new open access journal: Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards

Mohamed Bakillah, University of Heidelberg
Steve H. L. Liang, University of Calgary

Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards is now accepting submissions.

Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards provides an advanced forum for the science and technology of open data, crowdsourced information, and sensor web through the publication of reviews and regular research papers. The journal publishes articles that address issues related, but not limited to, the analysis and processing of open geo-data, standardization and interoperability of open geo-data and services, as well as applications based on open geo-data. The journal is also meant to be a space for theories, methods and applications related to crowdsourcing, volunteered geographic information, as well as Sensor Web and related topics.

Date March 17, 2015

ZSL Technical Adviser's post in Tsavo, Kenya


ZSL Technical Adviser

ZSL Conservation Programmes
Salary: £29,533
Full time, fixed term, two-year contract

ZSL has worked in Kenya since 1989, providing technical support and training of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and since then, has established, advised, built capacity for and supported wildlife and livestock health programmes, patrol-based and camera trap monitoring, intensive protection zones and strategic planning for protected areas (e.g. Tsavo, Boni-Dodori, Aberdare) and critically endangered species (including black rhino, elephant, hirola and roan antelope).

Overview of role:

ZSL is seeking an experienced, innovative and adaptable individual to provide technical support and training of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). In addition to ongoing protected area management to support KWS, the successful individual will develop ZSL partnerships and collaborations with the community and private conservancies which focus on issues of human-wildlife conflict (HWC), buffer zone management, conservation incentives and use of conservation technology for anti-poaching. Recently ZSL has been engaged in the development of new conservation technologies such as SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) law enforcement monitoring and ZSL’s Instant Detect anti-poaching systems.

The post holder will report to the Kenya Country Manager and support them in the management of ZSL’s Kenya Country Programme, delivering projects in the Tsavo Conservation Area. This person will be a technical adviser and project manager, working hand-in-hand with the Kenya Wildlife Service. Main responsibilities will include:

  • Overseeing protected area support for Tsavo West National Park, and all areas of the Tsavo Conservation Area.
  • Developing training law enforcement rangers to utilise and deploy ZSL’s Instant Wild anti-poaching systems.
  • Progressing existing monitoring systems to fill data gaps in law enforcement coverage, threat analysis, and rhino and elephant population monitoring.
  • Working closely with KWS to identify training needs for the Manyani law enforcement training academy, before building the relevant capacity.

Person Specification:

  • Masters degree in related discipline (such as biological sciences, conservation, natural resource management etc.), or equivalent work experience.
  • Proven experience of engaging with a wide range of stakeholders: international, national, governmental and non-governmental.
  • Experience in monitoring techniques (ranger-based monitoring).
  • Good understanding of biodiversity conservation issues in East Africa.
  • Excellent written and spoken English,
  • Ability to speak Kiswahili, is a plus.
  • Strong organisational, interpersonal and presentation skills.
  • Proven success in planning, managing and implementing conservation projects (project, financial and personnel management) and strategies.

Please Note: this position will be based in Tsavo (Kenya) and will require significant travel around the wider region.

To Apply:

Applicants should send their completed Equality of Opportunity Monitoring Form (available from our website), CV, and a covering letter detailing relevant experience and skills and stating why they want the position, by email to ZSL’s HR Department ( hr at zsl.org ). We regret that we will only be able to contact applicants who have been selected for interview.

Closing Date: Midnight, Sunday, 29 March 2015.

Anticipated Interview Date: W/c – 6th April.

Date March 17, 2015

Geomatics Intern Student Vacancy At The Environment Agency


Geomatics Intern Student Vacancy At The Environment Agency

Job Title: Geomatics Intern Student

Location: Various

Salary band: £16,931 - £17,570

Contract type: Full-time

Reference number: 720004

Description of the job: Fixed Term/Assignment until 30 June 2016

The role 

The Environment Agency are looking for an undergraduate student to work in a small team, supporting the delivery and analysis of high quality GIS ready products derived from remote sensing techniques. This job will provide an opportunity to integrate career related skills into undergraduate education by participating in work based experience. Your personal and professional development will be gained through job shadowing, on the job work experience and challenging assignments. 

The team 

The Environment Agency Geomatics department is a leader in high quality LIDAR survey and remote sensing data capture for the provision of integrated spatial data solutions. Environment Agency geospatial products help support a wide range of applications including environmental planning, flood modelling, asset management and urban planning. The team also provide an Emergency Response service for surveying and monitoring events such as floods and environmental disasters.

Experience/skills required

The Environment Agency are looking for students who are in their penultimate year of an undergraduate degree programme, which includes content on Remote Sensing and /or GIS. You will have a well-developed sense of spatial awareness and be committed to a career in Geomatics or the environmental sector.

  • The right candidate will be able to demonstrate:
  • High level of computer literacy, with experience of using GIS a distinct advantage
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently 
  • Good written and spoken communication skills
  • Be keen to learn

Additional useful information

This role is based at the Environment Agencies offices in Bath.

For further details please contact Patrick Hogarth on 01225 487627 or by email: geomaticsinternships@environment-agency.gov.uk  

Closing date for applications:  23:59 5 April 2015

If you are applying from the Civil Service please note that the Environment Agency is not a part of HM Civil Service and you would not be a Crown Servant in the event of being appointed. Therefore, you will not be eligible for continuous service. For applicants who currently work in local government or other bodies listed in the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government etc) (Modification) Order 1999, you may be eligible for continuous service for the purpose of calculating any future redundancy payment. If you are unsure of your status then you should contact your own HR Team.

The Environment Agency are fully committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce to reflect the communities we serve. The Environment Agency welcome flexible working patterns for all our vacancies, including job share, so please include clearly any information regarding your preferred working arrangements on your application.

The Environment Agency also have a Guaranteed Interview Policy to support those with a disability who are seeking employment and have committed to guaranteeing an interview to anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post.

Date March 17, 2015

Ordnance Survey and Land Registry announce GeoVation Challenge winners and funding

Ordnance Survey and Land Registry announce GeoVation Challenge winners and funding

Last September, Ordnance Survey and Land Registry launched a GeoVation Challenge that asked how housing in Britain could be done better and 43 ideas were submitted. Today the OS and Land Registry have announced who was successful, and the funding they will receive.

Geo-vey: Swindon-based Dave Barter and Richard Reynolds of Nautoguide Ltd have been awarded £29,000 to develop a free online portal, underpinned with OS and Land Registry data that uses crowd-sourcing to generate ideas for improvements to local communities. Businesses and organisations wanting to gauge local opinion on planned or suggested infrastructure developments can also use the tool for a fee.

MyHome Energy Planner: The team from Carbon Co-op, National Energy Foundation, OpenEnergyMonitor and URBED has been awarded £25,000 to create an online tool that shows households their energy usage and ways of controlling and reducing future energy demand. The team will pilot the tool and work with local authorities and their existing network to raise market awareness.

Democratising Development: Andy Reeve and Joyjit Sarjar’s idea of using OS and Land Registry data to identify small-scale sites currently disused or unmanaged with the view to bringing these to the housing market has been awarded £24,000. The duo from Birmingham plan to use the WikiHouse principles of building small scale, easy to build houses on these sites, making the option of self-build more accessible.

A new GeoVation Challenge is being planned for a summer 2015 launch.

Date March 16, 2015
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