Trimble donates new GPS technology to the GRI

Monday, December 12, 2016

On Friday 8 December, Mr Mark Nichols, General Manager of Trimble New Zealand and Board Member of the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau, presented the University of Canterbury the first two of ten new portable GPS receivers
The device can be attached to an android phone and processes data in real time by the GPS engine inside. When running on high accuracy mode, the vertical accuracy is around 2-3cm, while if it is further away from a station the accuracy is around 5 cm. When running in non-high accuracy, the vertical accuracy is around 3 metres. The rubberised piece on the base of the unit is there for easy mounting onto a pole or stick.
Trimble are gifting the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau with ten of these devices before they are available for commercial release. Two have been received this month, with a further 8 to follow in February 2017, The GRI will make these available to anyone in the University who has a research or experimental application for this technology.
For more information, please contact Wayne Tyson at the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau.

GRI hosts Smart City Forum

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau, hosted a Smart Cities forum today which included presenters from around the country.
The nature of this forum was to provide a collabortative environment for Government, Business and Researchers to gather and share thier work progress as well as look at new areas of development in this rapidly growong environment.
The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau woyuld like to thank all of the excellent presentations on the day, and the interested and engaging audience that attended.

GRI works with Geography Teachers

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau worked with a group of Secondary School Geography Teachers today, providing some tips and tools for easily deployed spatial data capture using freely available online resources. The day was a success with the rain holding off long enough for all participants to get outside and collect some data before returning to the workshop to view and manipulate the results.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor wins geospatial award

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The University of Canterbury’s College of Science Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Lawson has received national recognition for her longstanding commitment to growing the geospatial sector in New Zealand, advocacy and partnership building. Prof Lawson won the Professional of the Year Award at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington recently. Prof Lawson says it was an honour to receive the award.
“I have consistently and passionately championed the geospatial cause over many years, and I suspect my unconditional and enthusiastic geospatial evangelism is part of the judge’s decision to honour me with this award”.
In making the announcement, the judges – a panel of industry and government representatives – recognised Prof Lawson for her advocacy of the geospatial industry.
“Professor Wendy Lawson has been one of the most influential people in the Geospatial Education and Research areas within New Zealand,” the judges said in their citation. “She has championed the development of geospatial research and education as well as all levels of government and private industry, both national and international. Her drive has led to the establishment of a range of innovations in geospatial research, and she has maintained that commitment throughout her roles at the University of Canterbury – from Head of Department of Geography to Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Science.”
Prof Lawson is currently Chair of the Melbourne-based Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) Research and Education College group – an international research and development centre, and most recently she was a key driver behind the establishment of the new Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau based at UC.

Daniel Hogg wins CRCSI best PhD award

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Last week, former PhD student Daniel Hogg was awarded the Best PhD research award at the CRCSI Annual Dinner in Sydney. Daniel is also a finalist in the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards to be announced later in November 2016. Daniel’s PhD used spatial and spatio-temporal analysis techniques to examine when and where higher and lower than expected mood and anxiety symptom treatments occurred in the severely affected Christchurch urban area after the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes. High-risk groups were identified and a possible relationship between exposure to the earthquakes and their physical impacts and mood and anxiety symptom treatments was assessed. The main research aim is to test the hypothesis that more severely affected Christchurch residents were more likely to show mood and anxiety symptoms when seeking treatment than less affected ones, in essence, testing for a dose-response relationship.

GRI involved in NZ's first autonomous e-vehicle trial

Tuesday, October 4, 2016
The University of Canterbury’s hi-tech researchers are playing a vital part in trialling New Zealand’s first fully autonomous electric vehicle. Partnering with HMI Technologies and Christchurch International Airport, the University of Canterbury’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand (HIT Lab NZ), Geospatial Research Institute (GRI), Wireless Research Centre (WRC) and Spatial Engineering Research Centre (SERC) will explore the possibilities of how these fully autonomous vehicles could operate in New Zealand.

Check out the full article here

Professor of Spatial Information to commence in February 2017

Commencing in February 2017, Dr. Matthew Wilson will take up his role within the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau as Professor of Spatial Information. Matt will be based within the GRI with his primary role to be “provide academic leadership, vision and direction the development and application of innovative solutions in the spatial information industry”. For the first 3 years, this position is largely funded by the CRCSI and LINZ.
Matt comes to New Zealand from the University of the West Indies where his main research interests are in climate-driven natural hazards, particularly flood inundation, and the impacts of climate change. He is particularly interested in the use of computational modelling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to assess flood risk, the use of remote sensing data to drive and validate computational models, and the assessment of the effect of uncertainty on model predictions. More information about Matt can be found at


GRI Clinics

The Geospatial Research Institute would like to invite you to a weekly series of one to two hour presentations on seldom covered aspects of the Geospatial Industry. These workshops are designed to be interactive and offer a focus outside of the standard curriculum based lectures. These will be commencing in Febuary 2017 and  presented initially by Wayne Tyson, Manager of the GRI with further guest presenters from the Academic and Industry sectors at a later date.

Smart Cities Seminar

The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau would like to invite you to attend an informal workshop on the latest research and implementation on Smart Cities in New Zealand. The workshop will take place on December 2nd 2016 at the University of Canterbury in the John Britten Building. We are very proud to be able to present a number of highly qualified speakers from across New Zealand and across Government, Private and Research interests.

New Research in Geospatial Science Forum 2017

Watch this space for news on our exciting Forum scheduled for July 2017.  We hope to showcase a range of new research areas from Industry, Government and Researchers providing a look at the new Geospatial Technologies that are being worked on and implemented now.