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The Tasmanian State of GIS conference was held in Hobart on the 18th April 2018.  The venue was once again the RACV Apartment Hotel in Collins St Hobart.  This conference, run by the Tasmanian chapter of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) has an enduring format of short 10 to 15-minute presentations.  These are provided by a representative from a cross section of Tasmanian organisations involved in GIS.  The concept is that attendees gain a quick snapshot of what organisations are doing with GIS in Tasmania, if they are interested they can follow up with the presenter directly and if they are not interested then not much time has been lost (and move to the next topic).

There was a lot of interest in the presentations this year from the 100 plus attendees who had travelled to Hobart from all over Tasmania, some as far away as Circular Head.  Imogen Wegmen from the University of Tasmania spoke about her research topic that used GIS to investigate land grants during early settlement.  She made some interesting discoveries and observed many discrepancies which seemed to spike during the aboriginal wars, probably because surveyors were too afraid to venture too far out into the bush.  Tim Bendell gave an excellent presentation on the issues of using block chain technology for land title management and providing security of tenure.  He concluded that the technology would be inappropriate as it is designed to be flexible and easily transferable in a similar way to cash and this would not necessarily work for fixed assets such as real estate.

Also during the first session Alex Leith discussed a recent software development where they found it worthwhile to completely rebuild an app that they were updating; Michael Giudici (Tasmania’s Surveyor General) continued the ongoing discussion on GDA2020, something we are all going to have to come to terms with (now sooner rather than later); Claire Kain spoke about the development of an updated state-wide digital elevation model for Tasmania and; Arko Lucieer gave a general overview of activities at the TerraLuma Research project at the University of Tasmania including a course on drones and remote sensing that they will make available during June 2018.

The second and final session of the day started with Robert Rowell who talked about his experiences with providing on line mapping services to Local Government organisation in Tasmania.  This was followed by Aaron Cashion who outlined how spatial technology was being used to battle the current fruit fly issue.  The session also included presentations from Peter Blain (Integrated Marine Observing System) who provided information about the Australian Ocean Data Network;  Anthony O’Flaherty (TasWater) who described how modern mapping based portals were being used to drive customer value through insights and analytics and; last but not least, Jody Bush gave an entertaining description of the challenges she faced while providing GIS services to the tiny island nation of Kiribati in the pacific.

The topics were varied and diverse and all demonstrated that excellent and inspiring work is being done in the GIS community in Tasmania.

The conference also included a small but vibrant exhibition.  Vendors included ACSIS, C.R. Kennedy, LISTECH, UPG Solutions and TAFE NSW.

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