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Map Group Report - August Gathering

29 Aug 2018 10:07 AM | Anonymous
by Bob Abnett,  Map Group Coordinator


This Gathering’s Presentation was on modern spatial mapping techniques and quite different to previous Presentations held during 2018.

The Presenter was Sylvia Michael, trained in Geology and Mathematics, who became a geospatial specialist.  She then set up the company Geoimage Pty Ltd in 1988, which continues to operate as a geospatial services provider, specialising in the sales and processing of satellite imagery and in the delivery of geospatial solutions for a wide range of industries, including the resources and mining industries, agricultural industries, and a wide range of government agencies utilising geo-imaging technologies in their work.

Over the past 30 years, Sylvia has seen satellite imagery mature from the Landsat 1 images, first used in the early 1970s, through to the current Landsat 8 imagery which has been utilised since 2015. Considerably greater detail and clarity of images have emerged over this period, via the greater use of sensors and far better cameras mounted upon modern day satellites. There are also far more satellites orbiting the earth than 30 years ago.

These improvements in technology have led to far more sophisticated analytical outcomes, which provide a lot more information in understanding the earth’s various surfaces and sub-surfaces, depending on the intended use of such surfaces (e.g. for agriculture), or sub-services (e.g. for the exploration and extraction of various minerals).


Photo: Bob Abnett congratulating Silvia Michael following her presentation. Courtesy of Ian Francis.


Sylvia went onto to explain some of the technologies used today, such as:

  • The electromagnetic spectrum (i.e. the various colours that make up this spectrum and how they are used);
  • Spectral graphs (i.e. how the colour range is used to highlight and detail attributes of various surfaces and sub-surfaces);
  • Stereoscopic images (i.e. how software associated with modern satellite imagery can provide contours of land surfaces);
  • Short wave infrared (i.e. used in exploration to indicate the weathering of the earth’s surfaces to reveal potential sub-surface minerals).

Sylvia then explained how the large multiple archives of images accumulated over the last 30 years or more, are being gathered together and placed on “the cloud”, to meet the needs of an increasing number of users who want to access such imagery in their industries and their work.

The Presentation showed how the modern world has changed so dramatically from the recent past. 

In that past world, which many members of the Map Group worked, it included the then world of hard copy mapping covering a wide range of 2 dimensional maps of topography, geology, soils, vegetation, etc. Today, so much of that mapping information has been replaced by digital imagery, which is far more flexible and manageable in its digital format and which now covers many places on this earth, almost at the “click of a button”!

18 Map Group Members and 2 guests attended the event.



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