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NZ spatial awards highlight huge growth industry

NZ spatial awards highlight huge growth industry

November 3, 2016

The New Zealand spatial excellence award winners to be announced in Wellington on November 16 are just the tip of the iceberg of a fast-growing digital industry, a spatial industry expert says.

Now in its third year, the 2016 awards attracted 63 entries, almost double the number received last year, Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA) chair Scott Campbell says.

“At the core of New Zealand’s spatial technology is the simple concept of layering information with a common location to provide greater insight. This concept uses location as the shared element to link seemingly unrelated information either simply or through advanced geo-statistical algorithms - uncovering patterns and underlying causes or simply bringing data to life in an easy to understand medium – a map”

“The growing understanding that such a location perspective on information can bring tremendous insight is resulting in significant growth in spatial technology. Spatial technology is used to understand and share geographic patterns and in turn underpins such related areas as gaming, augmented reality and predictive analytics.

“The awards at Te Papa are the Oscars of the spatial industry and the event will showcase the finest the New Zealand spatial industry has to offer. Projects and individuals attaining recognition at this premier event are deemed to be truly outstanding achievers and pre-eminent in their field.

“SIBA has established an alliance with NZTech to collaborate more closely to help the wider spatial technology sector in New Zealand. We see this as a great opportunity and a true partnership which is mutually beneficial for the two organisations, our members and New Zealand’s technology sector overall.

“SIBA will fully participate in the broader technology community to increase the awareness of spatial to a wider audience and to thus encourage collaboration in this area. This will have benefits to our members and the wider public including events and other networking opportunities. We are excited about this partnering and the additional value it will bring for our members.”

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says geospatial data is everywhere in what New Zealanders do.

“From the obvious google maps to the less obvious uses in things like house valuations, optimization of bus routes and repairs to network outages. The growth in mobility and the network of GPS satellites is creating hundreds of new opportunities for geospatial information that are rapidly improving our productivity as a nation.

“It was estimated that the use and re-use of spatial information added more than $1 billion in productivity improvements across New Zealand in 2008 alone. With the growth in technologies like autonomous cars, drones and other computer controlled machines spatial data becomes critical. You don’t want them bumping into each other do you.

“The growth of this technology, and its important role across all sectors is the driving force for the alliance between NZTech and the Spatial Industry Business Association,” Muller says.

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