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.


Public Seminar by Prof Hanan Samet, University of Maryland

Who: Prof Hanan Samet, Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland.
When: Thursday 22nd March, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Where: PAR-Old Geology-G04 (Theatre 1), The University of Melbourne
Moving object databases arise in numerous applications such as traffic monitoring, crowd tracking, and games.  They all require keeping track of objects that move and thus the database of objects must be constantly updated.  The cover fieldtree (more commonly known as the loose quadtree and the loose octree, depending on the dimension of the underlying space) is designed to overcome the drawback of spatial data structures that associate objects with their minimum enclosing quadtree (octree) cells which is that the size of these cells depends more on the position of the objects and less on their size.  In fact, the size of these cells may be as large as the entire space from which the objects are drawn.  The loose quadtree (octree) overcomes this drawback by expanding the size of the space that is spanned by each quadtree (octree) cell c of width w by a cell expansion factor p (p>0) so that the expanded cell is of width (1+p)*w and an object is associated with its minimum enclosing expanded quadtree (octree)
cell. It is shown that for an object o with minimum bounding hypercube box b of radius r (i.e., half the length of a side of the hypercube), the maximum possible width w of the minimum enclosing expanded
quadtree cell c is just a function of r and p, and is independent of the position of o.  Normalizing w via division by 2r enables calculating the range of possible expanded quadtree cell sizes as a function of p.  For p>= 0.5 the range consists of just two values and usually just one value for p>=1.  This makes updating very simple and fast as for p >= 0.5, there are at most two possible new cells associated with the moved object and thus the update can be done in O(1) time.  Experiments with random data showed that the update time to support motion in such an environment is minimized when p is infinitesimally less than 1, with as much as a one order of magnitude increase in the number of updates that can be handled vis-a-vis the p=0 case in a given unit of time.  Similar results for updates were obtained for an N-body simulation where improved query performance and scalability were also observed.  Finally, in order amplify the result, a video titled “Crates and Barrels” is available which is an N-body simulation of 14,000 objects.  The video as well as a JAVA applet that illustrates the behavior of the loose quadtree are both available from here.
* Appeared in the Proceedings of the {ACM SIGMOD  Conference, pp. 169–180, New York, June 2013
** Joint work with Jagan Sankaranarayanan and Michael Auerbach
Hanan Samet is a Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and is a member of the Institute for Computer Studies.  He is also a member of the Computer Vision Laboratory at the Center for Automation Research where he leads a number of research projects on the use of hierarchical data structures for database applications involving spatial data.  He has a Ph.D from Stanford University.  His doctoral dissertation dealt with proving the correctness of translations of LISP programs which was the first work in translation validation and the related concept of proof carrying code.  He is the author of the recent book “Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures” published by Morgan-Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, in 2006, an award winner in the 2006 best book in Computer and Information Science competition of the Professional and Scholarly Publishers (PSP) Group of the American Publishers Association (AAP), and of the first two books on spatial data  structures titled “Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures” and “Applications of Spatial Data Structures:  Computer Graphics, Image Processing and GIS” published by Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1990.  He is the Founding Editor-In-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and System (TSAS), the founding chair of ACM SIGSPATIAL, a recipient of the 2009 UCGIS Research Award, 2011 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award, the 2010 CMPS Board of Visitors Award at the University of Maryland, the 2014 IEEE Computer Society Wallace McDowell Award, and a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, AAAS, IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition), and UCGIS (University Consortium for Geographic Science).  He received best paper awards in the 2007 Computers & Graphics Journal,  the 2008 ACM SIGMOD and SIGSPATIAL ACMGIS Conferences, the 2012 SIGSPATIAL MobiGIS Workshop, and the 2013 SIGSPATIAL GIR Workshop, as well as a best demo paper award at the 2011 and 2016 SIGSPATIAL ACMGIS Conferences.  His paper at the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) was selected as one of the best papers for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering.  He was elected to the ACM Council as the Capitol Region Representative for the term 1989-1991, and was an ACM Distinguished Speaker for the term 2008-2015.

Spatial@MSD Morning Tea

GIS users, AURIN users, Spatial modellers: Spatial@Melbourne comes to town to collect Melbourne School of Design’s activities and expertise in spatial information, and to help forming networks across groups and faculties. We plan to produce a profile of the faculty activities for the MSSI Newsletter. Please contact Gideon Aschwanden for more information or to RSVP.
When: Friday, 9 March, 10:00 -11:00 am
Where: Level 4 staff room, Melbourne School of Design
BYO mug; cookies served.

Using computer vision for urban mobility mapping – AURIN Maptime Event

This event is a follow up to Maptime Melbourne’s last event with AURIN in December. There will be a hands-on look at street-level imagery and the way in which it can assist mobility focused mapping.
No prior mapping experience is required for this event. All are welcome!

Where: Monday, 19 February 2018, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
When: 123 Alan Gilbert (E-Seminar Room), Level 1, University of Melbourne.
For more detail visit here.

AURIN Maptime Event

AURIN and Maptime Melbourne are holding a community mapping event to help out with data collection and improvement for projects that they are working on.

When: Tuesday, 12 December 2017, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Where: Building 218, University of Melbourne

For more details visit here.

IJEPR 2018 Conference – CALL FOR PAPERS

Prof Scott Mcquire forwarded this CfP:

The 3rd International Conference on Urban e-Planning is organized by the ‘International Journal of E-Planning Research’, in collaboration with the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning – University of Lisbon, and takes place in Lisbon, Portugal, 3-4 April 2018. The IJEPR Annual Conferences are a multi- and interdisciplinary forum for the exploration, discussion and presentation of innovative theoretical and empirical research on Urban e-Planning. For the full call, please visit the Conference Website.

Important dates:

– Abstract submission: 31 December 2017

– Notification of acceptance: 31 January 2018


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: 


Continue reading “Seminar: Developing Digital Methods to Map Museum ‘Soft Power’”

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.

Number of posts found: 32

March 2018
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