29 November 2004
Spatial Information Workshop Builds Capability
Construction of 3-D models in computer games, public health and information systems, and space perception were on the
agenda at a Spatio-Temporal Workshop being held at the University of Otago’s School of Business today.
The workshop, run by the University’s Department of Information Science’s Spatial Information Research Centre, aims to
build capability among IT industry players and encourage research into spatial information science – a subject which
combines geography and information technology. Spatial Research is one of nine major strategic research areas for Otago.
The workshop was opened by Dr Brian Lees, Reader in Geography at the Australian National University, who presented a
keynote address on “Difference versus Change”. Dr Lees is an expert in geographical information systems having directed
two environmental and exploration companies and studying the science of urban and regional information systems.
“This year the workshop is focussing on space and space-time models, with the aim to bring together a range of different
departments and disciplines. Since good science is often a synergy between different techniques, the workshop aims to
inform members of Otago University and outside collaborators of current research methods and problems as a starting
point for collaboration and the development of new ideas,” says Dr Peter Whigham, co-director of the Spatial Information
Research Centre and senior lecturer at the Department of Information Science.
More than 25 papers are to be presented over the two-day workshop. Faculty from the Department of Information Science,
Computer Science and other university divisions will present papers on computational topography, data management,
geographical mapping, and digital technologies.
The Spatial Information Research Centre holds a workshop or colloquium annually. Previous colloquia have focused on the
future of spatial information research, circumnavigation, and coordinated management of spatial information. The centre
was established in 1989 to conduct research and development in the area of spatial information science. The
multidisciplinary centre comprises staff from the University’s departments of information science, computer science,
marine science, Maori studies, surveying, Anatomy and Structural Biology, Zoology, Botany and the Wellington School of
Medicine. The centre has research partnerships with several government organisations including the Ministry of Health,
Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science, AgResearch and Land Information New Zealand. It has also conducted research
for the World Health Organisation.