Queenstown Memorial Centre, 18 September 2019

Photo: Queenstown from Bob's Peak by Lawrence Murray(CC BY 2.0)

Thank you for attending the NZGRC 2019.


The 2019 New Zealand Geospatial Research Conference took place on 18 September, at the Queenstown Memorial Centre in Queenstown, Otago, in conjunction with the 15th International Conference on GeoComputation, GeoComputation 2019.


The 2022 NZGRC will take place in at Masset University in Wellington, 29-30 August. Find out more here.

The conference theme is Finding our way to a better future. Society is facing some significant global challenges: they are not necessarily new, but the awareness and urgency of these problems has escalated. The ability to effectively evaluate, understand and address these large-scale issues is vital if we are to make an impact on them.  We are also on the cusp of a step-change in how we live and work in our work with disruptive technology and big data changing our futurescape. How we can harness these changes for the benefit of society is key.


Most of these challenges include a location component at a variety of scales. Geospatial information helps us to makes sense of the problems and gives us a better way of framing and addressing them. Knowing where people and things are, and their relationship to each other, is essential for evidence-informed decision-making. Not only is real-time information needed to prepare for, and respond to, things like natural disasters and political crises, but location-based services are helping governments to develop strategic priorities, make decisions, and measure and monitor outcomes.


NZGRC-2019 will bring the geospatial community together to explore how research in geospatial science and technology can help to address these challenges over the coming decades – both in terms of technological foundations and applied areas – and to consider how geospatial research can contribute to future societal wellbeing and just transitions.


Conference key thematic areas are:

  • The future of geospatial science and technology. Topics might include smart geocomputation and geoanalytics, such as dynamic-temporal GIS, scalable geospatial computation, uncertainty, visualisation and geovisual analytics, advanced sensing, citizen science and volunteered geoinformation, and rapid spatial data analytics.
  • Enabling seamless geospatial data. This might include good geospatial data governance, next-generation spatial data infrastructures and improved methods for knowledge representation.
  • Ensuring good decisions from spatial information. Good decisions are those which are usable, have strong social licence, and which leave no-one behind including indigenous communities.
  • Addressing key challenges for society using geospatial science and technology. Challenges may include: transitioning to a carbon neutral society, adapting to a changing climate, secure and sustainable food and agriculture, and sustainable cities and communities.

Abstracts are available on this page – or click on a link in the programme table below.







Opening welcome



Session 1: Keynote address



What progress have we made in the Spatial Sciences?

A. Prof. Peter Whigham (University of Otago)


Session 2: Opening plenaries



Multiple Environments for Visualising Spatial Reality: Blurring the lines between geospatial visualisation and virtual reality

Keri Niven (Aurecon)


Creating Impact from Spatial Information

Nathan Quadros (Frontier SI)





Session 3: Regular talks



Mapping NZ 2025 - integrating land and sea

Graeme Blick


Augmented GNSS - benefits to the NZ economy and its innovation opportunities

Matt Amos


Disaster risk reduction: frameworks and data

Robert Deakin, Kasey Oomen, Susan Shaw and Matthew Wilson


Use of Geospatial tools during response and recovery for rapid disaster impact and risk assessment in the remote and dynamic West Coast region of New Zealand

Jo Paterson and Ed Cook


Fine-grained automated data provenance for transparent environmental modelling

Alexander Herzig, Ben Jolly, Raphael Spiekermann, Tom Burleigh and David Medyckyj-Scott


Using alpha-shapes to robustly map distributions of geographic phenomena from spatially biased citizen science data

Thomas Etherington


GeoAI: the future of feature extraction and classification

Sagar Soni





Session 4: Posters



Understanding tsunami evacuation dynamics to improve tsunami evacuation modelling, using the case study of the evacuation dynamics in Christchurch’s coastal communities during the 2016 Kaikōura Earthquake

Danielle Barnhill, Laura Tilley, Thomas Wilson, Matthew Hughes and Sarah Beaven


Temporal drivers of Disaster Risk and Resilience in Rural New Zealand

Becca Fraser, Thomas Wilson, Sarah Beaven, Nicholas Cradock-Henry and Matthew Hughes


Understanding Tsunami Evacuation Dynamics: Informing evacuation modelling through a case study of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake

Laura Tilley


Development of a geospatial framework for analysis of water quality in Canterbury, New Zealand

Maria Vega-Corredor and Matthew Wilson


Session 5: Regular talks



One Billion Trees: A spatial analysis of reforestation scenarios for multiple benefits

Bradley Case


Situating social and ecological influence process to combat invasive species: a socio-ecological approach

Audrey Lustig, Alex James and Michael Plank


Identifying high-risk agricultural activity in New Zealand hill country with remote sensing

Alexander Amies, Stella Bellis, Heather North, David Pairman, John Dymond, Jan Zoerner, James Shepherd and John Drewry


Sea ice drift estimated using high-resolution satellite images in comparison with low-resolution data set in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica

Usama Farooq, Wolfgang Rack and Adrian McDonald


What can a drone tell us about snow depth, and how can we decipher it?

Todd Redpath, Pascal Sirguey, Nicolas J. Cullen and Sean J. Fitzsimons


A spatially explicit analysis of health inequalities using spatial microsimulation and self-organizing maps

Ricardo Crespo and Claudio Alvarez


Change in community water fluoridation, childhood dental ambulatory sensitive hospitalisations (ASH) and the moderating effect of area-level deprivation

Matthew Hobbs, Alicia Wade, L Marek, M Tomintz, P Jones, K Sharma, J McCarthy, B Mattingley, M Campbell and S Kingham





Session 6: Lightning talks



A new workflow for spatially enabling low-cost UAV Full Motion Video

Graham Hinchliffe


Digital Surface Model from aerial imagery for the Horizons Region

Andrew Steffert


A hi-fidelity approach for raster to vector conversions

Robbie Price


Designing virtual reality environments to study vapers behavioural and psychophysiological reactions in New Zealand

Melanie Tomintz, Maria Vega-Corredor, Simon Hoermann and Nawam Karki


Session 7: Closing Plenary



Lowering the Barriers to Scalable Geospatial Computation

Eric Shook, Coleman Shepard and Tyler Buresh (University of Minnesota)


Vote of thanks, Close



Ice Breaker, with GeoComputation





Registration is now closed.


Ticket information

Tickets include morning and afternoon tea and coffee, lunch, and an networking icebreaker event in the evening. Purchased online only. Before the end of August there is a Standard entry fee of $150 and Student fee of $100 (exclusive of GST and booking fee). Late entry fees between the 1st and 16th September are $200 for standard and $150 for student entry fees. 


If you are attending GeoComputation 2019:

We are offering discounted NZGRC-2019 ticket prices for GeoComputation attendees of $90 (Regular) or $40 (Student), to be paid on top of the GeoComputation registration fee. To take advantage of this, please head to the GeoComputation 2019 website to purchase your registration. If you are not attending GeoComputation, please purchase your registration for NZGRC-2019 here.

The conference is being organised by the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau in conjunction with the University of Canterbury, University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and Auckland University, in conjunction with GeoComputation 2019, running in Queenstown from 18-21 September.


Please contact us at:

Matthew Wilson,

Geospatial Research Institute,

Level 4, Julius von Haast Building,

University of Canterbury,

Private Bag 4800,

Christchurch, 8140,

New Zealand




You could also follow @GeospatialNZ on Twitter or connect with us on LinkedIn to be notified of conference related news.


Main organising team


Main organising team and programme comittee:

Key dates:


  • Early June: Abstract submissions open
  • Late June: Registration opens
  • 26 12 July: Abstract submission closes (extended)
  • 31 July: Notification of abstract acceptance
  • 1 – 16 September: late registration (+$50)
  • 18 September: NZGRC 2019 and GeoComputation workshops
  • 19-21 September: GeoComputation 2019

Thank you to our sponsors:


In conjunction with GeoComputation 2019, supported by: