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Kablamo Geo-spatial Hire Expands Spatial Solutions Technology Expertise

Kablamo, the data management and digital product development specialist, has hired Andrew McDowell as its first geo-spatial technology lead. Andrew was previously at Propeller Aero where he led the development of Propeller’s highly successful geo-spatial mapping tool.

McDowell is joining Kablamo as it focuses on unlocking spatial data opportunities in gaps that have significant social impact such as deforestation, reef degradation and urban density. One of Kablamo’s key focuses is to support its bushfire technology development work which the company launched in the wake of the devastating bushfires in 2019 and 2020.

“We believe that many opportunities to apply geo-spatial technology to many pressing problems have fallen into the space between government and the private sector. Andy is a key hire to help us address these opportunities and make a difference,” said Angus Dorney, co-CEO of Kablamo.

“As a team, we were moved by the urgency of the bushfires. We committed to doing what we could to help in the fight. So we applied our specialties in AI, Cloud and understanding user journeys and did a lot of listening to firefighting organisations across Australia,” Allan Waddell, Kablamo co-CEO and founder said. “There’s plenty of buzz and urgency. But what became clear was that technology will only work if it delivers what the people on the frontline actually need. A very clear part of this need is understanding fires as they happen in real time as comprehensively as possible.”

The result was building a platform that could support technologies present and future, handle massive amounts of data in real-time and deliver visibility to support firefighting decisions.

As interest in the platform and Kablamo’s firefighting offering accelerated, Dorney said it became clear that Kablamo needed to add geo-spatial expertise to the team and the expertise needed to be grounded in a strong UX background both for the bushfire response and many other significant geospatial opportunities.

“Andy matched what we were looking for. He has pioneered the latest technical advancements in the space, and also understands how important it is to integrate technology into an amazing user experience,” Dorney said.

“We’re going to turn up the volume on mapping, 3D experiences, virtual reality and gamification. I’m excited to be joining Kablamo at this critical point where we will be pushing maps beyond traditional bounds to understand data in new ways. I’m also getting to work with some old colleagues who are top-shelf talent,” McDowell said.

“With the firefighting initiative, basically any data that can go on a map should go on a map. What’s interesting is marrying the mapping tech with great user experience which will let the data be truly valuable and actionable,” McDowell said.

According to McDowell, one key focus was photogrammetry, interpreting photographs to derive reliable information about physical objects and their environment often for use in surveying and mapping. Arguably the future of firefighting will be about getting mapping in real-time right. This will inevitably involve all kinds of visual and non-visual data points to understand and plot fire intensities, movements and other qualities.

“Drones get the attention, but they might not help all that much in many cases,” McDowell said. “Things like navigating the latency of data to get the resolution you need to make decisions —but not too much to impede performance— is likely more important. It will be about the right kind of data at the right time.”

Dorney said that he is looking forward to McDowell applying his knowledge to Kablamo’s firefighting technology as Kablamo continues to build the best front-end team and platform to address the issue.

About Kablamo

Kablamo is a leading Cloud product development and data engineering company, with a strong software engineering and automation focus. Many of the engineers at Kablamo developed their skills in the media industry and the company now applies this digital product and software development expertise to a broad range of enterprises. The main areas of expertise include greenfield cloud application development, video and streaming applications, content and digital asset management systems and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. Based in Sydney and Melbourne, Kablamo is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner. Learn more

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