Welcome to Spatial@Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is home to an enormous collective expertise in spatial information, ranging from sensing through data management, analysis, decision making and visualisation and application. Collectively, Spatial@Melbourne belongs to the leading concentrations in the world. The Spatial@Melbourne initiative brings the groups and individuals at the University of Melbourne active in spatial research, teaching and engagement together in this virtual home.


Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Mapping Party

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has called for help on mapping activities for three disasters that have occurred last week: hurricane Irma, Mexico earthquake and Bangladesh floods. To aid millions of people who are affected by these disasters, the Dept IE, CDMPS and Spatial@Melbourne are organising a humanitarian mapping party. This is a fun and informal event (no experience needed) where participants will get assistance to get started and food and drinks will be provided.

When: Thursday 14 September 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Where: Level 4 meeting room, Walter Boas building (163), The University of Melbourne

Please register here and bring your laptop and mouse for mapping, experience is not required as assistance will be provided!

More information on HOT activities for these distaters:

Seminar: Developing Digital Methods to Map Museum ‘Soft Power’

In this seminar, Natalia Grincheva asks: What is museum ‘soft power’? Why do museums in the 21st century transform from sites of branded experience to places of soft power? Could we measure ‘soft power’ and could it be meaningfully visualised?

Date: Thursday, 21 September 2017 | Time: 2.00pm-4.00pm

Venue: Level 4 Linkway, John Medley, the University of Melbourne

For more details, follow the link: 


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Seminar: Why Teaching with GIS Matters

As issues of climate change, economic globalisation, urban sprawl, biodiversity loss, sustainable agriculture, water quality and quantity, crime, energy, tourism, political instability, and natural hazards grow in importance on a global scale – but also increasingly affect our everyday lives – teaching with GIS is critical to empower students to grapple with, and solve these challenges. This requires a populace that has a firm foundation in spatial thinking and can think critically by manipulating big-data.  Esri’s Dr. Joseph Kerski discusses the interdisciplinary benefits of teaching with GIS across universities in order to build a spatially literate population.

Where: RMIT University, Building 80, Level 9, Room 12

When: 4pm – 5pm Wednesday 30 August

More details can be found here.

How to teach spatial information in new ways?

This informal meeting with Dr Joseph Kerski (Education Manager, ESRI) is for experienced GIS educators and tutors. He will share his vast experience in new tools available to bring geographical information into teaching.

Where: Richard Newton Room, Electrical and Electronic Engineering 5th floor  (https://maps.unimelb.edu.au/parkville/building/193)

When: Wednesday 30th August, 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Joseph will also have a session in the morning for non-specialist GIS academic teachers and will be giving a public seminar on the same day.

How to use spatial information in any teaching – simple but powerful tools!

The days of clunky, geographical information systems are fast disappearing.  Dr Joseph Kerski (Education Manager, ESRI) will demonstrate that there are new tools available that allow us to bring spatial and geographical information into any teaching – whether it is social geography, economics, history. or any area. This will be a hands-on session in the computer lab, but you need no special skills to take part.

Who: Dr Joseph Kerski

Where: Computer lab B1.15, School of Geography, 221 Bouverie Street, University of Melbourne, Carlton.  (follow the signs into the basement of the building, and all the way to the western end)

When: Wednesday 30th August, 10:30 -11:45 am

Joseph will also be giving a public seminar, Five Converging Trends: Catapulting Geography onto the World Stage?, at 12:00 pm.

Gaming for Research

On Open Day at the University of Melbourne, 20 August 2017,  spatial information researchers had set up a location-based game for all visitors. This game, a sort of scavenger hunt, asks people to find a marked location on campus, and provide a place description good enough to be found by their friends or family members. The collected place descriptions help the researchers create navigation systems that communicate like people do. While the participants on Open Day were awarded with attractive prizes, the game continues to be available at here, so feel free to participate in a volunteering spirit! It is currently set up to be played on the Parkville campus.

Seminar: Qualitative Shape Descriptions Using Qualitative Spatial Calculi

A/Prof Reinhard Moratz, from The University of Maine, will be visiting The University of Melbourne on Monday, August 28th and will be giving a seminar:

Title: Qualitative Shape Descriptions Using Qualitative Spatial Calculi

When: Monday 28 August, 2pm-3pm

Where: 207 Bouverie St, B120 (Theatre 2)

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Open Data Workshop – Melbourne Networked Society Institute

‘Open data’ involves the publication of anonymised datasets on freely accessible online platforms for use by businesses, entrepreneurs, journalists, researchers and everyday citizens. Open data policies are being embraced by local, national and state governments in Australia and internationally, with open data ‘portals’ and repositories like data.gov.au used to publish large volumes of data free to use and share under a creative commons licence.

Governments and advocates of open data argue that data is more socially and economically valuable when it is free and open, rather than behind a paywall. They contend that it increases government accountability and transparency; improves efficiency of public services and infrastructure; encourages citizen participation in planning and policymaking; and stimulates innovation and entrepreneurship through start-ups and app development. On the other hand, open data also raises concerns about privacy, ‘data linking’ and the growing reliance of governments and corporations on ‘big data’ algorithms for their strategic and decision-making processes.

This one-day workshop brings together policymakers, scholars and industry users of open data to discuss the opportunities and challenges open data presents for stakeholders, compare best practice and discuss the future of open and ‘big’ data in government policy. Invitees will be invited to participate in a day of catered roundtable discussions led by the MNSI Open Data for City Planning & Policy research team.

RSVP: Via Eventbrite by Wednesday 20 September 2017.

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