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December 4, 2015
Geospatial Science Conference Explores Real-World Solutions

December 4, 2015 — A new conference on geospatial science will look at diverse topics, including ways to use disruptive new technology to create real-world solutions for health, road safety, remote workforces, urban planning and earthquake recovery.

The inaugural New Zealand Geospatial Research Conference is being held for the first time from 7 – 9 December at the University of Canterbury, with speakers from Finland, the United States, Australia, China and the United Kingdom attending. Minister of Land Information Louise Upston, who is also Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, will also be addressing the conference.

UC Geospatial Research and Innovation Project Manager Dr Kathryn Salm says that the conference is about co-innovation and collaboration across all sectors.

“It’s really exciting to see how we can make use of location information and new disruptive spatial technologies to change the way the world works and to allow us to make better decisions. Geospatial Information lets you ask the ‘where’ questions, and provides new insight into individual, local, national, and global problems.”

Among the keynote speakers will be former NASA engineer George Percivall, who is Chief Engineer and CTO of the Open Geospatial Consortium in the United States, and Associate Professor Marketta Kyttä of the Land Use Planning and Urban Studies Group (YTK) of Aalto University, Finland. Her research in environmental psychology and participatory planning covers such topics as child-friendly environments and environments that promote wellbeing and health.

With the new Geospatial Research Conference the only dedicated conference of its type in New Zealand, attendees will include academics and researchers as well as government, business and iwi representatives. Academics from the University of Canterbury, including from UC’s HIT Lab NZ and Geo-Health Lab will be speaking at the conference on their research using spatial information.

The programme includes many aspects of geospatial research and practice – including theory, technology, application, and innovation. This covers a range of subjects including Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) data collection, satellites, UAVs, “big data” processing, creating smart cities, and using virtual and augmented reality.

UC’s GeoHealth Laboratory undertakes applied research in the areas of health geography, spatial epidemiology and GIS. Work in the GeoHealth Laboratory focuses on how the local and national contexts shape health outcomes and health inequalities. Research focuses on how both micro and macro level processes help shape the health of New Zealanders, such as how various characteristics of local neighbourhoods influence health outcomes and behaviours.

UC’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ) develops and commercialises technology that improves human computer interaction. HIT Lab NZ conducts research with emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality and Human-Robot Interaction.

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