Murray Dolling: Updating the Special Survey Area Guidelines

A review of the Western Australian Special Survey Area Guidelines (SSA guidelines) was conducted in 2017 to determine what changes, if any, are required to them to ensure that they remain current, complete, consistent, practicable, efficient and effective into the medium-term future.

Respondents to the review were asked to consider:

  • the effectiveness of the SSA guidelines as approved in 2006 by the LSLB in conjunction with the several changes to practice communicated by Notices to Surveyors.
  • the technological and systemic improvements since 2006 and the effect these have on modern surveying and positioning practice.
  • the current subdivisional development and construction practices and the effects these have on cadastral surveying and marking practices.
  • any relevant factors that emerge during the review.

The Western Australian Land Surveyors Licensing Board (LSLB) is the primary authority for the approval of the revised SSA Guidelines pursuant to Regulations 26A(4) and 26A(5) of the Licensed Surveyors (General Surveying Practice) Regulations 1961.

The review was conducted in consideration of the following operating principles:

  • Effective collaboration with relevant and interested stakeholders.
  • Seek to identify opportunities to reduce duplication of effort and minimise risk.
  • Open two-way communication between the reviewer and all relevant stakeholders.

This paper presents the following results of the review:

  • The changes to the SSA guidelines approved by the LSLB.
  • findings about the way surveyors are currently undertaking SSA subdivisions.
  • findings about matters to be further considered into the future.


Murray has been a Licensed Surveyor in Western Australia since 1982. After spending the early part of his career in private sector employment, he joined DOLA (now Landgate) in 1995, and is based at the Midland office building.

Murray is currently the Principal Consultant (Surveying) in the Location Data Services branch of Landgate. This position is responsible for providing specialist advice to the Commissioner of Titles, Registrar of Titles, management and stakeholders with respect to cadastral and geodetic surveying, plans and field records. The role pro-actively works with stakeholders on innovative improvement opportunities, and provides technical support to management and teams, and mentors the development of staff in technical roles. A key focus of the role includes carrying out all statutory functions of the Inspector of Plans and Surveys.

Murray’s professional interests lie in integrating modern technologies to improve the accuracy and stability of the physical cadastral infrastructure, the modelling of that infrastructure and associated data in computerised land information systems, and the effective dissemination of that information for a wide range of scientific and community based applications.


 Feiyan Yu, David A. McMeekin, Lesley Arnold, Geoff West: Semantic Web Technologies Automate Geospatial Data Conflation: Streamline Government Spatial Data Supply Chain

Duplicate SDSCs are not uncommon across Australia. There exists data duplication between local government authorities, State/Territory government departments and commonwealth agencies. Duplication of spatial data often occurs at several points along the SDSC where methods, models and workflows are applied to process or value add spatial data to meet specific agency business needs. Many processes are manual and undocumented and there is a significance reliance on human expertise and intervention. Often duplication occurs through lack of awareness that data already exists, or because no single dataset can suit multiple agencies’ needs. There are many issues with regard to this situation: data is captured repeatedly, redundant datasets are available and these are often inconsistent, and there is an inefficient use of resources. These leads to questions concerning, which data set is the most accurate, complete and current. To streamline the SDSC and enhance collaborative data management among agencies, a single point of truth dataset is desirable.

Conflating multiple geospatial data sets into a single dataset is challenging. It requires resolving spatial and aspatial attribute conflicts between source data sets so the best value can be retained and duplicate features removed. Domain experts are able to conflate data using manual comparison techniques, but the task it is too labour intensive when dealing with large data sets. This paper demonstrates how semantic technologies can be used to automate the geospatial data conflation process by showcasing how three Points of Interest (POI) data sets can be conflated into a single data set. First, an ontology is generated based on a multipurpose POI data model. Then the disparate source formats are transformed into the RDF format and linked to the designed POI Ontology during the conversion. When doing format transformations, SWRL rules take advantage of the relationships specified in the ontology to convert attribute data from different schemas to the same attribute granularity level. Finally, a chain of SWRL rules are used to replicate human logic and reasoning in the filtering process to find matched POIs and in the reasoning process to automatically make decisions where there is a conflict between attribute values.


Keywords: Points of Interest, data conflation, semantic web, ontology, RDF, SWRL

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Tristan W. Reed, David A. McMeekin, Lesley Arnold, Geoff West: Improved Discovery of Geospatial Metadata using Linked Data Approaches

Current systems used to discover spatial data sets are limited and difficult to use. Consumers and spatial professionals alike need to know the specific wording used to describe data sets, or a large amount of tags must be manually added by the data’s owner to the metadata record. The ability for end users to use spatial filters to increase the relevance of results is also limited. Using a linked data approach, my research shows how ‘following the links’ enables more relevant results for end users based on their initial queries. This enables the ‘expansion’ of the users’ initial query, which allows data sets with descriptions of a similar meaning yet differing phrasing to be discovered by the user with the same query. The same approach is used to better capture the users’ intended spatial context by providing a method to explore data sets spatially located near areas supplied by the user in their initial query. A two dimension scatterplot is used to display the results, allowing the user to choose the datasets with the right balance of spatial and phrasing relevance depending on their aim. These techniques can be used with many existing catalogue systems, such as the CKAN catalogue popularized by many Australian open data catalogues.



Tristan Reed is a PhD Candidate with the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information, studying at Curtin University. Coming from a computing background, his research interests are in the acquisition, processing and analysis of distributed digital spatial information.

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A resistance distance based circuit theory has been extensively used to study landscape connectivity and dispersal of wildlife in the fragmented landscape but wildlife behavioural response to edge barrier through which they disperse, is ignored. A behavioural response to edge strength is important, as decision to either use, avoid, or find alternative to dispersal barrier is dependent. Therefore, with the incorporation of wildlife behavioural response to edge, we developed a resistance model of ecological connectivity and compared the spatial distribution pattern in the presence/ absence of edge strength.

To develop a resistance model of ecological connectivity, we used Landsat 8 image of Jarrah forest bioregion and calculate the distance to forest using the Mahalanobis distance. The Womble edge detection technique produced edge strength and the Circuitscape modelling approach developed the omnidirectional movement in the fragmented landscape. The Mahalanobis distance measure and Womble edge were regarded as a habitat without edge and with edge respectively. The application of Circuitscape model on those habitats analyses how movement pattern and intensity change when parameterizing the landscape resistance surface. The current conductance is analogous to wildlife movement in this study.

The intersection of the hotspot region (current conductance at 90% or above) with and without edge resistance showed an overlap of only 1.5-3.7% area, which reflects the spatial distribution pattern of wildlife in the resistance model of ecological connectivity varied significantly. This suggests wildlife do not follow same path in the presence/absence of edge barrier of varying strength. It could be that some wildlife, which are less sensitive to edge barrier, follow common path in the presence/ absence of edge barrier but those, which are edge sensitive, may avoid and follow alternative to barrier.

Key words: Resistance distance, Circuit theory, Landscape connectivity, Edge barrier, Jarrah forest, Mahalanobis distance, Womble edge, Omnidirectional movement, Current conductance, Hotspot.

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Jeremy SIAO HIM FA, David A. McMeekin, Lesley Arnold, Geoff West: Bottom-Up Approach to Federating Australia’s Spatial Data

As the amount of spatial data grows, there is a need to better unify the heterogeneous datasets. Australia being jurisdictional by nature, indirectly promotes a discrepancy in spatial data as different organisations represent them differently. With the recent movement for the federation of spatial data, both world wide and locally such as INSPIRE, Geoss, and the FSDF, it is evident that this topic is becoming of great importance. These top-down approaches require the data providers to adhere to the schema presented to them. As the effort spent in  changing or aligning the schema is of little benefit at the individual business level, a different approach to data federation is looked at. Instead of approaching the challenge from a top-down approach, this research aims at finding ways to federate spatial data using a bottom-up approach. Using semantic web technologies, datasets from differing providers are compared and similarities between them computed to enable a unified view over a wide array of datasets. The processes is an on-the-fly virtual aggregation of spatial data, meaning that data retrieved are handled on a per-query basis directly from the source. It has the  advantage of providing the most current available spatial data, while not requiring any additional effort from the data providers. With linked data, and semantic web technologies, both current and future data providers are catered for, and data federation is created from existing data rather than leaning on data providers to migrate to a global schema.


Bio: Jeremy is a student from Curtin University. He is one of the researchers of CRC-SI P3 project, working on Federation of spatial data.

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David McMeekin, Tristan Reed, Jeremy Siao Him Fa & Matt Lavendar: Spatially Enabled App Development in Remote Aboriginal Communities


As Spatial professionals, we are very familiar with location. What we do is all about location. For others in the community around location has a totally different meaning. We have worked with a remote indigenous community in the Kimberly, teaching school kids in the community how to build Mobile Apps. The goal of the program was to have them learn the skill of mobile app development and learn in the context of their land and location. The App they were building was a geo-tagging app that allowed them to geo tag important land marks in their local area. The program was a huge success with the both the school kids and the community.

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Mortaza Rezae, David McMeekin: Empowering People on the Autism Spectrum through Spatial Information

Public transport requires complex skills and abilities including, but not limited to, accurate interpretation of travel schedules, detailed planning, timely management of transfer between interchanges, and problem-solving unpredicted changes. People with intellectual disabilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, face substantial challenges when utilising public transport. The infrastructure in place presents a critical barrier in accessibility and does not cater to the critical needs and requirements of people with intellectual disabilities and individuals on the autism spectrum. Moreover, existing technologies do not consider or realise this significant obstacle.

OrienTrip is an intelligent public transport app designed and developed specifically with people on the autism spectrum in mind. This app tries to tackle the challenges of public transport for people with autism through step-by-step assistance from ensuring the user has packed everything they need for a trip to providing walking guidance when the public transport segment of the trip has ended. Furthermore, evidence-based pre-trip anxiety and sensory tips fully prepares the user for the complexities of public transport before the journey. In addition, trip monitoring features ensure the user stays on the planned route and in scenarios when the user deviates from this path, the intelligent re-routing functionality automatically redirects the user so they safely reach their final destination.

Every aspect of OrienTrip has been carefully structured for people on the autism spectrum. The user interface and user experience elements of the app has been designed to ensure the app is intuitive and easy to use for the target users. As such, individuals on the autism spectrum have been extensively involved and engaged in building OrienTrip; continuous user experiments and feedback has enabled us to develop deep and intimate understanding of how these users perceive their surroundings and interact with the app.

OrienTrip is the first ever public transport app in Australia built by a diverse team of researchers, engineers, occupational therapists, academics, and designers that enables independent public transport accessibility for people on the autism spectrum.


Note: The project presented in this presentation won this year’s Falling Wall lab prize.

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Stefanie Kung, Richard Palmer, Petra Helmholz, Gareth Baynam: Clinifcace – Syndrome Classification and HPO Interoperability utilising spatial technology

There is a local and global need for innovation to deliver the timely use of deeply precise 3D facial data in a manner aligned to clinician workflow, to aid diagnosis for the estimated 6-8% of the global population living with a rare disease (up to 350 Million people by some estimates). The rare diseases patient journey is complicated by late and/ or inaccurate diagnosis; 30% waiting 5-30 or more years for a diagnosis, 30% seeing 6 or more doctors before receiving a diagnosis and nearly 50% having an initial incorrect diagnosis. The same approach is crucial to timely and equitable diagnosis for other conditions, including foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) – a Federal Health Department priority.

A 3D facial analysis and reporting tool (3D-FAST) is aligned to the unmet need for assisting in the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of people living with rare diseases. It is under development through a collaboration with Genetic Services WA (GSWA), Curtin University and the CRCSI. 3D-FAST uses for the analysis dense 3D point clouds captured by photogrammetric systems available at GSWA. Approaches also used in the spatial field are used to process these facial point clouds. These approaches include the creation of a mesh from dense point clouds, the cleaning of meshes, 3D measurements along curved surfaces as well as the automatic detection of features based on images, point clouds and meshes.

The ultimate vision for the project is to make available a system that can assist in the automated and accurate diagnosis and treatment monitoring of rare genetic conditions. The aim of the current project stage is to understand how different conditions are associated with a patient’s genetic information by analysing how facial 2D and 3D features as presented in a known cohort of syndromic data relate to the underlying conditions. In order to achieve this aim, it will be necessary to coregister faces, to calculate facial averaging (building average faces of specific cohorts), to plot interlandmark measurements against centiles, to analysis of facial differences and symmetry, to visualise the outputs (colour and vector maps) of the above analyses, to detect and classify HPO terms (as well as particular syndromes directly), and to output HPO terms into desired format for interoperability purposes with other systems.

The presentation will provide next to an introduction of the project the results of the current project stage.

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Petra Helmholz, David Belton, Helen Douglas, Fiona Wood: An audit of photogrammetry tools and spatial techniques to assist burn assessment

Burn injury treatment involves the treatment of the wound and the patient as a whole, with the treatment plan being guided by the assessment of the extent of injury. The key aspects of the assessment, therapy and outcome are

  1. The %total body surface area involved, which is done based on a clinical estimate with no attention being paid to the basic aspects of body shape, or fluid shifts known to complicate the clinical care; and
  2. The depth of the burn, requiring an invasive physical assessment (physical contact to the burn area) including a visual examination of tissue appearance and the assessment of the presence of blood flow in healthy tissue.

Photogrammetric Image Processing and Analysis allows the geometric as well as semantic extraction of information based on images. While single images can only be used to extract semantic information, stereo-image pairs or a number of images taken of the same object can be used to extract 3D information in the form of point clouds (implicit) or direct measurements (explicit). This 3D information allows the assessment of wounds and measurements such as the surface area and potentially depth.

Furthermore, the single images can contain implicit information based on the light range captured by the sensor. This colour information is of high value for experts to analyse the wound as colour may be used as an indicator for the depth of the wound. The photogrammetric image analysis has the potential to automatically segment and classify based on this spectral information together with the geometry of the object. Based on the different segments, an objective classification of the wound is possible which can support the medical staff in their approach to treatment. Moreover, it is possible to derive objective measurements of the wound surface.

This audit focused on the aspect of the integration of 3D imagery technology and subsequent automatic analysis to provide a more accurate and objective measurement of burn assessment. The research questions have been framed to investigate whether Photogrammetry and photogrammetric image analysis have the potential to:

  1. Determine the surface area of a burn wound in 3D (geometric analysis)
  2. Provide an objective measurement to analyse the depth of injury based on spectral appearance

The research project has run for one year together with the CRCSI, Fiona Stanley Hospital (Burn unit) und Curtin University. In this presentation we will present the results of the audit.



Petra Helmholz was born in Germany and educated there (Hannover, Berlin, Halberstadt), and in Australia (Melbourne). She is a Senior Lecturer in the field of Photogrammetry with the Department of Spatial Sciences at Curtin University (WASM), Perth and a specialist in Close Range Photogrammetry, Image Analysis and Photogrammetric 3D Reconstruction. Her interests includes automatic detection of feature classes in images, camera calibration and applying 3D reconstruction to a number of interdisciplinary projects related to underwater environments, health, urban forest and archaeology.

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Ashty Saleem, Rob Corner: Using CORONA and Landsat Data for Evaluating and Mapping Longterm LULC Changes in Iraqi Kurdistan

Modern land expansion is regarded as having begun in the 1960s and since then the pattern of land cover has changed considerably in many parts of the world. The majority of change detection studies have used Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+, and LC8 imagery and other satellite imagery to quantify and map land use changes for many parts of our globe from the early 1970s until now. The timeline of the change detection analysis can be extended beyond the first Landsat satellite imagery by cross-referencing with CORONA imagery to start from the 1960s rather than 1970s. Since CORONA space photographs are panchromatic images (single band images), there are therefore limitations to using them in the automatic classification process due to the lack of spectral signature information from the surface elements. This has limited the use of those images in the field of Remote Sensing of land cover.

This research implements a new approach to classifying CORONA images by combining texture information with the original single band image. The study area is Kurdistan region and has an area of approximately 45,000 km². The result of the maximum likelihood classification process for CORONA images showed that those images could be classified successfully and accurately with an overall accuracy of 85 % and a kappa coefficient of 0.80. This study has demonstrated that CORONA images can be used to create a land use map automatically instead of by on-screen manual digitizing. This study has also shown that the timeline of the change detection analysis can be extended by using CORONA’s unique historical images to include the period before Landsat missions started in 1972. Land use and land cover changes in the landscape of the Kurdistan region have been enormous. These changes divided into three stages: The destruction and demolition of the landscape during 1974 to 1991. The second stage is the stage of freedom and minor changes in the landscape of Kurdistan region that began in 1992 and lasted until 2002. Finally, the last stage started from late 2003 until the present date. The economic growth and population increase were the main factors of the urban growth in the Kurdistan region areas.


Ashty Saleem joined the Department of Spatial Sciences, Curtin University (Western Australia) in 2008 as postgraduate Diploma student in Remote Sensing and Land Information. In 2009 he got the degree and continue his masters in the same field (Remote Sensing). His master’s project was rewarded with ERDAS Prize as the best final project submitted in the field of Remote Sensing. In 2013 started his PhD, during this journey he was rewarded with APA/CUPS and CRS 2014 scholarship, also he was rewarded with Head of Department Student Citation 2015 Award for his outstanding work for the Spatial Sciences student community. Currently he has completed his PhD degree in Remote Sensing and working with different projects in different topics in the field of geospatial sciences. Research interest in all aspects which uses satellite imagery and his focuses is on water resources, river morphology, coastal management, LULC changes and urban expansion.

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Dr John Dawson, Geoscience Australia: The future of satellite positioning in Australia

Through its National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI) program the Australian government has been developing a long-term plan for further enabling of satellite positioning capability across all the major industry sectors. This presentation will overview the NPI and the progress of the trial of an Australian Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). The SBAS trial will demonstrate for the first time anywhere second-generation (multi-constellation, multi-frequency) SBAS as well as regionally transmitted Precise Point Positioning (PPP) corrections which will be enable ten-centimetre positioning accuracies. The unique challenges and opportunities for Australia emerging from these developments will be highlighted.


John Dawson leads the Positioning Section at Geoscience Australia. John is responsible for the Australian Government’s National Positioning Infrastructure (NPI) which includes a trial of a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). He holds a PhD in Earth Physics from the Australian National University.

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Alex Saunders (presenter), Bryan Boruff, Joe Hurley and Marco Amati: Who’s more ‘green’?: understanding drivers of residential tree canopy cover on public and private land

Urban vegetation contributes to a range of ecosystem services including the enhancement of health and wellbeing, amelioration of urban heat islands, filtration of storm water and air pollution, and the provision of habitat for species diversity. In addition, urban vegetation generates economic benefits through reduced energy costs for heating and cooling and increases property values in our green leafy suburbs. However, with a trend toward a more compact and dense urban form, space for urban vegetation is often reduced changing the fabric of our communities and impacting urban sustainability. As we lose vegetation and tree canopy in our urban environments it becomes increasingly important to understand the historic drivers of urban vegetation extent and variability across public and private land. This is particularly important when infill and densification varies across the metropolitan region and results in differential impacts on reducing vegetation (particularly trees) on private property. In this instance public land will be increasingly relied upon to meet greening targets and maintain the integrity of our suburb’s green mosaics.  To this end, the aim of this study was twofold: identify the drivers of canopy cover variability across Perth’s residential neighbourhoods and examine the extent to which these drivers are associated with variability in canopy cover on public and private lands.

Using high resolution digital aerial imagery acquired as part of CSIRO’s Urban Monitor Program we first quantified the distribution of tree canopy on both private and public land within Perth’s residential neighbourhoods. Next, using regression analysis we explored the factors contributing to tree canopy extent and the factors contributing to variability across public and private land. Results highlight the importance of public land in residential neighbourhoods for maintaining a healthy urban forest whilst providing insight into how planning policy and development trends have contributed to canopy reduction and distributions.



Alex is currently employed as a GIS Specialist in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment, University of Western Australia. A GIS graduate from UWA, he has worked in the field since 2000 and spent over a decade working for the Department of Planning. During this time he established the on-going Urban Growth Monitor (UGM) program, a vector-based model published annually and now its seventh edition.  The UGM was recognised by both the Planning Institute of Australia and the SSSI, winning a best small project award and a spatial excellence award (Land Titling and Development) in 2011.

More recently Alex worked for Aurecon Australia and MacroPlan Dimasi, before joining UWA at the Centre for the Built Environment and Health in early 2015.

Alex’s recent work includes collaboration with CSIRO to develop methods for examine changes in urban vegetation across time and space as well as the development of urban green infrastructure typologies as part of the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub (CAUL), National Environmental Science Program (NESP).


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Maurits van der Vlugt: Applying co-design approaches to geospatial solutions

The traditional approach to publishing maps on the Internet “by GIS experts, for GIS experts” is outdated, ineffective and unusable as Internet mapping has become mainstream. Applications need to be designed for ease of use, and cater for users whose user experience is guided by swiping left or right. This rapidly increasing audience can no longer be expected to be GIS savvy. They won’t wade through complex interfaces or wait more than 5 seconds for a map to appear.

The digital economy is booming and digital and online agencies are publishing new and exciting apps, many of them having some kind of mapping functionality. Yet there seems to be a big divide between UX & digital design professionals on the one hand, and GIS professionals and cartographers on the other. Their lack of collaboration leads to ‘traditional’ web-mapping interfaces being stuck in the 20th century.

This presentation will show some striking examples from both sides of the divide, will analyse why this divide continues to persist, how that impacts our work and our customers, and what we, as spatial professionals, can do about it.

Like many professions, GIS and cartography used to be the exclusive domain of trained professionals. Advances in technology have led to the democratisation of these professions Now the relative ubiquity of Google Maps has led to an increase in public appetite for mapping, which in turn has opened the domain of cartography to multiple external interests. At the same time the design of websites and tech tools has developed over the past decade to shift focus from what tech can offer to instead deliver interactions based on user need and requirements.

How can we democratise our profession, start talking with others who would benefit from our skills, really start to think outside the spatial/cartographic box about what others need from maps, without losing our core industry skills and knowledge?

How do we make spatial special but not exclusive, rigid and specialised anymore?



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Dr Lesley Arnold: The Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure – Local Research, Global Impact

The spatial data infrastructure is arguably one of the most significant advancements in the spatial sector. It’s been a game changer for governments, providing for the coordination and sharing of spatial data across organisations and the distribution of information to the broader user community.

Today however, the community, businesses and policy-makers want more than just data; they want the knowledge that can be extracted from data and they don’t want to have to download, manipulate and process data in order to get the knowledge they seek.

This paper presents the next generation Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure and underpinning methods that will realise a new real-time approach to creating knowledge.  Unlike existing SDI’s the SKI is not a centralised service or distinct entity, but rather embodies the behaviour of resources available on the broader Web of Data.

The Spatial Knowledge Infrastructure is global in scope and not constrained to national and regional resources. The underpinning methods embrace the new capabilities afforded by Semantic Web technologies that enable meaning to be inferred from data automatically to answer queries.

The CRCSI SKI research has been well received by Member States at the recent Academic Network Forum of the Seventh Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).  Member States have a shared responsibility to work towards eliminating poverty, achieving economic prosperity, and protecting the environment for generations to come.  This united front has as its key principle a moral responsibility to ‘leave no one behind’.

The SKI concept supports this global action.  Using open and accessible technologies, the next generation SKI will put knowledge and decision-making capabilities in the hand of everyone through improved geospatial information management, automated spatial data supply chains, real-time spatial analytics, natural language processing and knowledge inferencing.



Dr Lesley Arnold is Research Fellow at Curtin University currently pursuing next generation spatial infrastructures, spatial data supply chains and on-demand knowledge capabilities.  She currently supervises four PhD students.

Lesley is recognised internationally for her work in developing National strategies for spatial information reform and innovation within Australia and across Asia, and is Director and owner of consulting firm Geospatial Frameworks. Her recent works include “The Can Tho Spatial Information Strategy 2020” for Vietnam”, “Cadastre 2034’ for Australia, the “NSDI Strategy” for Sri Lanka and the “Cadastral and Positioning Infrastructure: Moving to a New Future” for the Queensland Government.

Lesley also develops SDI implementation plans, governance models and data sharing policy to support open data initiatives.  She is currently working in Vietnam and Indonesia on Provincial SDI implementations.

Previously, Lesley was Director at Landgate responsible for Western Australia’s geographic, aerial photography and satellite remote sensing programs, and an Executive Member on the Intergovernmental Governmental Committee for Surveying and Mapping, Australia.


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Glenn Cockerton, Phil Delaney: Join the transformation: Australia’s Spatial Capabilities in 2026

Australia is in the midst of a step change in how it connects and promotes geo-spatial data products and information services to consumers across Australia. This presentation outlines a recently released critical 10 year roadmap to transform Australia’s capabilities and industries in the future, developed from extensive national consultation. The 2026 Spatial Industry Transformation and Growth Agenda (2026 Agenda) is a whole-of-sector initiative of business, government, research, academia and spatial-user organisations that has engaged more than 500 individuals to jointly create a rolling roadmap and Action Plan that identifies 34 coordinated transformative initiatives that will not only transform the Australian spatial sector, but also accelerate the growth of both traditional and emerging markets through the power of location technologies. This presentation will outline key initiatives and drivers, and outline how you or your business or organisation can help to drive this transformation, and create the future of the industry.

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Darren Mottolini, Nathan Quadros: Generating National Spatial Analytics

In recent years Australia’s Commonwealth and State governments have identified the many benefits of open data, giving rise to several open data policies, yet we see that the on-flow to consumer benefits has not been realised to its full potential. One reason for this is the difficulty for users in finding and accessing open data in a way that suits their needs. Further, once users have access, significant technical skills are often required to harvest, process, and analyse the data.

The suggested Nation-wide Single Data Infrastructure (NSDI) will seek to simplify data publishing and access, improving the availability of data for consumers use, but stops short of providing an easy mechanism to turn open data into open knowledge.

To add value to data we need not only open data, but open analytical processes and workflows to enable people to work together on adding value to spatial data, thereby creating new knowledge.  The challenge surrounding how to create an open library of non-technical, open source workflows is not insignificant yet work is already being developed through the CRCSI to demonstrate a potential framework. The open spatial analytics demonstrator is a precursor to a ‘National Spatial Analytics’ that will increase transparency of workflows through visual means, increase scalability of these workflows that are repeatable, flexible and adapted to jurisdictions, industry and consumer’s needs.

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Jane Matthews, John Stephens, Reena Tiwari: Digital Model as a Tool for Community Engagement

A fluid process, adaptive in nature, and one that makes community the decision maker, becomes essential for successfully engaging the community in a development project. Can photogrammetry and 3 D modelling combined with audio-visual data capture aid in developing a ‘gaming’ model that in itself can become a platform to engage with the community? Can this adaptive platform help empower the community in any way?

In partnership with Aboriginal people, Curtin University is assisting in the restoration and regeneration of former native mission site at Wandering to be used as a healing place. This presentation will discuss the surveying and modelling process utilized for conducting the first phase of this Project. The initial digital model that has been produced as an outcome of this process has shown some success in empowering the community, if only in a small way, at this stage. The findings will be discussed during the presentation.

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Rick Coldan: Title: Case study of the Moore River East definition in the New Norcia

The presentation will cover a Case study of the Moore River East definition in the New Norcia area. Firstly, the following points will be discuss in general”

  • Brief history of the common law interpretation of river boundaries.
  • Natural boundaries
  • Section 15 of the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 and how it affects river boundaries in Western Australia

Then, an example showing the definition of the Moore River East and another study area in Melbourne will be presented and discussed.


Rick studied at WAIT now Curtin University and obtained a Bachelor in Applied Science (Surveying and Mapping).  Rick was registered as a licenced surveyor in 1987. He worked in private practice until 2007 and then joined Landgate as an Inspecting Surveyor in February of 2007.

Rick’s time before Landgate involved many different facets of surveying including cadastral, both urban and rural, mining tenement surveys, large scale engineering construction projects and mineral exploration surveys. He has performed many rural surveys over the southern half of West Australia.

As an Inspecting Surveyor, he sees one of his roles as being a mentor and educator to the younger surveyors aspiring to become registered as a licenced surveyor. By assisting final year spatial students at Curtin with their projects to being a guest lecturer at Curtin and a presenter at the LSLB Masterclass he hopes to pass on some of the knowledge he has gained over being in the survey industry for 40 years. Rick is also an examiner for the LSLB at the Darlington test range.

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 Rick Coldan: Upgrading the SCDB in Yarloop following the Waroona fire

This presentation will focus on the surveys in Yarloop following the Waroona bushfires of January 2016, more specific Landgate’s input to upgrading the SCDB in the Yarloop urban footprint after the Waroona Fire Disaster to assist with the recovery and rebuilding program in the village.


Rick studied at WAIT now Curtin University and obtained a Bachelor in Applied Science (Surveying and Mapping).  Rick was registered as a licenced surveyor in 1987. He worked in private practice until 2007 and then joined Landgate as an Inspecting Surveyor in February of 2007.

Rick’s time before Landgate involved many different facets of surveying including cadastral, both urban and rural, mining tenement surveys, large scale engineering construction projects and mineral exploration surveys. He has performed many rural surveys over the southern half of West Australia.

As an Inspecting Surveyor, he sees one of his roles as being a mentor and educator to the younger surveyors aspiring to become registered as a licenced surveyor. By assisting final year spatial students at Curtin with their projects to being a guest lecturer at Curtin and a presenter at the LSLB Masterclass he hopes to pass on some of the knowledge he has gained over being in the survey industry for 40 years. Rick is also an examiner for the LSLB at the Darlington test range.

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Daniel Then: GeoMap.WA – DMIRS’ free GIS tool. Close look at functions.

GeoMap.WA is a free GIS tool that provides improved access to a range of geoscience and resource information. It allows users to visualise, interrogate, and integrate vector and raster data types and associated attribution in an easy-to-use software application. This innovative desktop application is designed to help exploration geologists, prospectors, and the community to create a customised view of geoscientific, resource and other government information on their computer in the office, at home, or in the field. GeoMap.WA provides the ability to view data in a way that does not require specialised skills or costly computer systems.



Daniel has more than twenty-one years of experience in the spatial industry specialising in Project Management and Consultancy, Software Development, Training, and Research. He joined Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) in 2009 as Manager GIS. Before this, Daniel worked in various roles in the private industry including the Senior GIS Dot Net Developer in NGIS Australia, the Manager GIS for an Environmental Consultancy company in Malaysia – ASMA, and the GIS Engineer for ESRI Malaysia.

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Lewis Walsh, David Belton: Terrestrial Laser scanner calibration – The establishment and testing of the Bentley calibration field

As with any detailed surveying exercise, instrument calibration is a standard prerequisite for the delivery of accurate and reliable survey data. With the common inclusion of terrestrial laser scanners (TLS) to the toolbox of “precise” survey instruments, the concept of calibration should be just as significant to these systems as any other precise survey tool. Unfortunately, there is very limited access to laboratory based calibration facilities for the everyday operator and the demand for such facilities has been largely dampened by the lack of regulation surrounding TLS calibration in Australia. As such, this project aimed to establish and test a TLS calibration field local to Western Australia and trial a selection of calibration methods on the given field.

The experiments competed on the established field saw a comparison made between the datum constraint methods of inner constraints and the unified approach. While the project focused on trials with one make and model of TLS – a Leica C10 – previous research suggests that the field could be adapted for the calibration of a large variety of TLS systems. Further, simulations which tested the effects of both panoramic and hybrid scanner architectures on the field indicated that the facility is capable of handling other instrument designs. However, the performance of the field varies significantly between these designs.

In summary of the experiments run, the established point-based calibration field was able to provide a set of calibration parameters which were consistent with a series of independent checks and agreed with past calibrations run on the given instrument. As such, it was deducted that the field was capable of serving the local survey community as a suitable facility for TLS self-calibration.  Hence, providing an alternative pathway to TLS system checks until a regulated testing procedure or facility is introduced in the state of Western Australia.



Lewis Walsh completed his degree at Curtin University of Technology at the end of 2016 where he gained first class honours for his thesis on terrestrial laser scanner calibration and was awarded dux of the bachelor of Surveying. During his time at Curtin, Lewis worked alongside Dr Petra Helmholz and Dr David Belton on several projects as a research assistant and tutored a number of subjects including network adjustment, laser scanning, photogrammetry and 2D/3D data visualisation.

Since completing university, Lewis has been part of the Forrestfield Airport Link instrumentation and monitoring team as part of a Land Surveys, Geomotion Australia and Field Srl joint venture. The team is responsible for ground and structural monitoring along the 8.5km tunnel alignment running from Forrestfield to Perth Airport continuing under the Swan River and finally connecting up to the existing Bayswater rail line.

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Craig L. Sandy: National ePlan Working Group Update:

The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) has endorsed an ePlan model, initially the implementation was based on LandXML (LXML) as the standardised national transfer format for digital lodgment of cadastral plans. As technology moves forward ICSM understand that alternatives to this standard may need to be considered. More recently, it has been discovered that LandXML does not support 3D well and as the vision for Cadastre 2034 is to incorporate 3D, new methodologies need to be considered for the future.

The lodgement of digital survey data in an XML form will gradually replace TIFF/PDF as the file format for digital lodgment of plans in the ePlan portal. The LXML Model, for those jurisdictions that have adopted it (Victoria and NSW) accommodates all the survey geometry, administrative and titling data to process a plan from lodgement and registration through to the Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB) update. The ICSM publication ‘ePlan Protocol LandXML Mapping’ defines every element within the LandXML schema. Jurisdictions will utilise the elements within the schema reflective of the respective requirements.

The role of the ICSM ePlan Working Group has been to work together to implement LXML throughout all jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The role of the working group will change over time. It needs to consider the impact of technology advancements, the changing nature of international standards and the changes in the regulation of land development and the impact of this on survey data.

This presentation will provide an update to industry on the current state of play in the various jurisdictions that participate in the National ePlan Working Group and the vision for the future role of the group.



Mr Sandy, a licensed surveyor, is the Surveyor-General of Victoria, and as such is the primary government authority on surveying and the cadastre. As the Surveyor-General he fulfills a range of statutory roles and responsibilities dealing with land and property boundaries.

Mr Sandy is also a member of the following Commissions and Committees in Victoria:

  • Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission
  • Federal Redistribution Committee for Victoria
  • Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping

He graduated as a Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) from the South Australia Institute of Technology (now University of South Australia) in 1988 and was initially licensed in South Australia in 1995.

Mr Sandy has more than 20 years’ cadastral surveying service in both the public and private sectors and was the Surveyor-General of the Northern Territory from 2014 to July 2017.

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Patrick Black, Ahmed El-Mowafy, and Tony Snow: Testing of Single-Frequency (SF) Low-cost RTK and its use in Cadastral Surveying

This study presents testing and implementation of a consumer grade L1-only Real Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) unit in the field of cadastral surveying as an alternative to traditional expensive geodetic-grade GNSS receivers. The tested cheap RTK unit is the Emlid Reach (Reach). The capabilities and limitations of using this type of low-cost single frequency RTK system will first be discussed. Field testing was performed at stations of known coordinates. Different periods of station occupation at static points were examined to identify the most suitable period that can achieve sub-decimetre level of positioning accuracy. Results show that the L1-RTK unit gives positioning accuracy of approximately ±0.05m after 10 minutes of observation. This has been deemed accurate enough to be used for some applications in cadastral surveying.

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Nathan Eaton, NGIS


In 2010 a group of NASA scientists formed a satellite start-up called Planet Labs with the mission of disrupting the satellite imagery market. After launching their first nano satellite in 2013 which was roughly the size of a shoebox, Planet has gone on to have a constellation of over 180 dove satellites that capture imagery over the entire Earth’s surface every day. In 2017 Planet further expanded it’s constellation by acquiring Google’s Satellite venture Terra Bella, adding seven high resolution satellites that will provide sub daily imagery in 2018 along with video from space.

Planet’s slogan is “See change. Change the world”. The planet model of smaller, low cost satellites constantly capturing the Earth’s surface will allow new problems to be solved and will provide the ability to monitor areas of interest to truly manage change. NGIS Australia is partnering with Planet to provide content and solutions across a range of industry verticals including Agribusiness, Mining, Utilities and Engineering.