June 2016

Geospatial Analysis to Sharpen Decision-making

Health Program Update

20 June 2016

Increased interest in analysis and modelling of spatial variation in public access to health services, together with other factors that may influence health, has led to forward thinking governments and health agencies encouraging the uptake of spatial technologies in work processes.

“There has been a sharp rise in enquiries from health agencies about improving spatial capability. The main focus of these agencies is on managing and integrating data and improving analytical tools to sharpen decision-making”, said Paula Fievez, CRCSI’s Health Program Manager.

The CRCSI Health Program (through commissioned research) is being engaged to provide expert solutions to these agencies from the network of CRCSI participants and partners across the private sector and universities.

Other health news…

3D Facial Feature Analysis assisting diagnosis of genetic and rare diseases

The CliniFace team at Curtin University is gearing up for Stage 2 of the research which will see the 3D facial feature tool extend capability to detect, map and analyse facial features for assistance in disease identification.

facial analysis

Facial mapping to analyse disease

Recent discussion with the Federal Department of Health has led the team to look towards developing a module to enable the tool to be applied to foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

There are three classic facial characteristics of foetal alcohol syndrome that could be more accurately and objectively measured using the CliniFace tool. Early detection of FASD-related conditions in babies and young children is crucial for early intervention to improve long-term outcomes and accurate epidemiology for health system planning.

The development plan for CliniFace includes growing a database of facial imagery that clinicians can utilise and compare captured faces and facial landmarks against normalised faces in determining disease types.

Burn Wound Management using 3D Imaging

The CliniFace team at Curtin University is also engaged with Dr Fiona Wood AM of the Fiona Stanley Hospital Burns Unit to look at how 3D imaging can be applied to burn wound management and treatment planning.

National Cancer Atlas

The National Cancer Atlas research is now well underway through the CRCSI in collaboration with Cancer Council Australia, the National Health Performance Agency, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ), and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This research will deliver an online, interactive geo-visualisation application that allows users to interact with cancer data to unlock geospatial correlations that are likely to lead to improved Government programs.

Cancer mapping QLD

Mapping cancer in Queensland

Discussions are also underway with the NSW Cancer Institute, CCQ, QUT and ICON Cancer Care to further extend the National Cancer Atlas by building in the ability for patients to interact with the tool to share their own cancer journey.

This additional capability will allow researchers to learn more about cancer care pathways through subsequent data mining and will offer patients the opportunity to connect with other patients for social support.

More information about the CRCSI’s Health Program can be found online


Seeking Applied Research to Deliver Targeted Spatial Health Solutions

The CRCSI Health Program is seeking applied research proposals that will deliver targeted spatial solutions to health agencies in Australia and New Zealand.

Project proposals submitted by multiple agencies, research institutions and potentially private technology companies are particularly encouraged.

Spatial information and spatial technologies can bring significant value to health agencies through improved decision support, business intelligence, resource management and allocation, and clinical outcomes.

The Health Program aims to spatially enable the health sector through end-user driven research. Past research has largely been directed by academic institutions, sometimes resulting in a disconnect between the research outcomes and the intended application. The aim of this Expression of Interest is to turn this model around by seeking explicit leadership and guidance from end users working in organisations where the research need exists.

To this end, the CRCSI seeks research proposals with a fundamentally spatial focus from health agencies (private or government). The objective is to build collaborative research partnerships that will deliver sustainable solutions to be deployed in an operational setting.

EOI Documents

Closing Date
Interested parties are asked to register notice with the CRCSI Health Program Manager, Paula Fievez on email pfievez@crcsi.com.au by 5:00 pm (WST) on Friday 12 August 2016, by submission of a two-page summary using the Research Summary Proposal Template.

Please direct any questions to Paula Fievez on +61 423 282 651.

The Communication Nub

With Jessica Purbrick-Herbst

Hello Spatial News Readers

Our annual conference is in planning mode under the expertise of CRCSI Conference Manager Georgie Hawkins. To be held at the Sydney Masonic Centre from Wednesday 26 to Thursday 27 October, the program is currently under development. Check our website to keep up to date.

In Spatial News this month:

  • Congratulations to Dr Suelynn Choy for her recent award
  • Learn about New Zealand’s National Science Challenge Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities and how innovative technology can be better adopted by and embedded into New Zealand buildings
  • Get the latest project news from the Rapid Spatial Analytics Program
  • Understand the value of urban renewal value creation in a newly released report curated by past CRCSI PhD student James McIntosh
  • Project updates across the Health Program along with seeking interest from health capable organisations

In wrapping up the June news, don't forget to join in the social conversation with @crcsi on twitter and Instagram – two great places to stay in touch with our everyday activities and those of our people, partners and projects.

Enjoy reading and as always, please let me know if you have any comments or ideas. You can contact me by email on jpurbrickherbst@crcsi.com.au


Jessica Purbrick-Herbst
Communication Manager

Recognition for Precise Research

The World Metrology Day Awards hosted by the National Measurement Institute in honour of the international agreement on units of measurements, acknowledges and celebrates the outstanding achievement in practical applications of measurement. The awards were held on 20 May 2016.

Dr Suelynn Choy from RMIT University and CRCSI Project Leader won this year’s award demonstrating – in an Australian first – that data generated by local infrastructure and transmitted by a regional satellite navigation system can be used to provide accurate point positioning anywhere outdoors in Australia at any time.

Suelynn’s research was demonstrated in precision agriculture where robotic tractors, controlled by satellites, have been able to track, turn and operate machinery autonomously.

More details including a demonstration of this work can be found here.

The application of this research will support the field of intelligent transport systems and increase Australia’s productivity across many industries including transport, emergency services, engineering and mapping. Australia’s agricultural production will also benefit from this research.

SLC office pic

Suelynn in her office at RMIT

Currently a Senior Lecturer at RMIT’s School of Science, Suelynn completed a PhD in GPS Precise Point Positioning in 2009. Her collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on utilising the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) for precise positioning led Suelynn to the CRCSI to further strengthen collaboration with JAXA and undertake research to use the QZSS LEX/L6 signal for real-time precise positioning in Australia.

The spatial industry was always something that made sense to Suelynn with a father as a surveyor. After completing her undergraduate degree in surveying, Suelynn pursued a PhD in satellite navigation which led into her current position as an academic.

If Suelynn could send a message to her younger self, she would say, “do not worry so much about what's next and don’t be so concerned with making mistakes”.

“Even the biggest ‘end of the world mistakes’ are going to pass, so enjoy the moment and the learning experiences that come with it". 


Congratulations to Suelynn.

Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities

Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamāhorahora

The National Science Challenge “Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities” (BBHTC), was launched on 5 May 2016 by New Zealand Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

The Challenge will receive funding of $48 million over a ten-year period.

NZ challenge

Rob Fenwick, Sustainable Seas NSC and Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Board, Michael Stiassney Chairman of Vector, Hon Steven Joyce Minister of Science and Innovation, Chelydra Percy BRANZ CEO, Prue Williams MBIE Science and Innovation

“Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities will research how innovation and technology can be better adopted by and embedded into the New Zealand building industry,” Mr Joyce says.

“It will look at how our built environment can be better designed to reflect the impact of modern technologies on how we live, and to lift the quality of life of New Zealanders.”

Houses and citiesThe Challenge is being hosted by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), with partners including all eight New Zealand universities; Crown Research Institutes, GNS Science and Scion; independent research organisations, Opus Research and Centre for Research, and Evaluation and Social Assessment; Prefab NZ; and Auckland Council.

Some initial research examples include:

  • Making design decisions that raise the comfort and functionality of buildings, while lowering operational costs through better energy and water use, and reducing maintenance and refurbishment.
  • Investigating how the configuration of infrastructure, streets, public spaces, urban blocks, and range of housing types impact on people’s lives and wellbeing.
  • Developing new methods to acquire and use crowdsourced data that can inform decisions that improve the wellbeing of citizens and the quality of their built environment. For instance, using data supplied by mobile device sensors combined with data from other sources to make better infrastructure decisions.
  • Identifying successful Māori community housing initiatives that could provide a model for urban and semi-urban development based on sound ecological principles, kinship (whakapapa), cultural practices and economic sustainability.

Chair of the BBHTC governance group, Professor Richard Bedford believes one of the most exciting aspects of this Challenge is that it goes much further than simply focusing on buildings.

“The issues and opportunities facing New Zealand’s built environment are many and various. They range from demographic changes – Kiwis are living longer in an increasingly diverse society – through to the need to take greater account of sustainability, effective land use, the impacts of accelerating climate change and the vexing issue of housing affordability,” Professor Bedford said.

Further details about this initiative can be found online.







Transit and Urban Renewal Value Creation

New report by LUTI Consulting and Mecone Planning

Location to public transport is key to increasing land values states a report released in June.

LUTI Consulting and Mecone Planning, with support from the NSW Government and the CRCSI, have jointly conducted an integrated land use and transport assessment of Sydney’s key transit and transit-oriented urban renewal investments from 2000 to 2014.

The LUTI-Mecone value creation study is the biggest land market study ever undertaken for Australia’s largest city, and builds on the team’s years of experience in urban economics and planning in other cities across Australia.

Image created value reportDr James McIntosh, Principal of LUTI Consulting said that for the first time the downloadable report will provide “the public and private sectors an evidence base to demonstrate how Sydney’s urban land markets have valued government investment in transport infrastructure and decisions around land use and Floor Space Ratio (FSR) allocations”.

“This report supports a renewed interest in sharing the value created from government investment in urban infrastructure, and the analysis of the potential urban economic and financial benefits from the investment in Sydney’s integrated transport and urban renewal projects”.

Mr Ben Hendricks, Managing Director of Mecone said that integrated land use and transportation have long been seen as the Holy Grails of urban public policy and planning.

“Proximity to public transport is a key factor in increasing land values in Sydney, and this study demonstrates rail-based public transport is one of the key factors homebuyers are willing to pay for”.

The LUTI-Mecone study analyses the land value uplift associated with three factors: access to transit infrastructure; a change in land use zoning; and a change in allowable development density. The study then presents an argument for integrating transit and urban redevelopment projects to optimise the land market capacity created from infrastructure investments.

Highlights of the LUTI-Mecone study include:

  • The value created from the investment in public transit varies by mode:
      • The average heavy rail public transport accessibility benefit across the Sydney Metropolitan Region is 4.5% compared to regions outside the station catchments, with a land value uplift of up to 50% in some of the recent rail transit project subregions analysed
      • The value uplift for other transit modes varied with respect to levels of accessibility and permanency
      • The average effect of being within 100 metres of a main road is minus 7.6% due to the impact of noise and other transport externalities.
  • Significant value can be created for projects if land catchments surrounding new infrastructure are re-zoned to the highest and best use for the specific transit mode and corridor. The Sydney CBD zoning has the highest proportional benefit, followed by the Mixed Use zone and Residential zoned land, with Business and Industrial zoned land valued below Residential.
  • The increase in development density benefit across the metropolitan region is explained by the Floor Space Ratio (FSR), where every 1:1 increase in FSR equates to a marginal 23.9% increase in land value.
  • The change in FSR across a corridor to take advantage of an increase in accessibility can induce a significant uplift in land value as developers, new residents and businesses seek to be located near the transit infrastructure.

The land value impacts modelled in this study are critical in assisting public policymakers develop value-sharing strategies that seek some of the increase in land values induced from the investment in transportation infrastructure back to the project business case.

This information can also be used in the development of integrated transit and land use corridor strategies to ensure maximum utilisation of the transportation infrastructure and help Australian cities grow more sustainably.

The Sydney Transit and Urban Renewal Value Creation Report can be downloaded from the LUTI, Mecone and CRCSI websites.

Further details about this report can be obtained from James McIntosh on email james@luticonsulting.com.au

James McIntosh founded Luti Consulting in 2015 and is a former Masters and PhD student of the CRCSI.

Rapid Spatial Analytics

Twelve months into the new Rapid Spatial Analytics Program, four projects have been funded with partners from Victoria’s DELWP, UNSW, NSW LPI, RMIT, QUT, VPAC Innovations, and the Victorian Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability.


A streamlined industry and government capability

Details about this research program and the four projects can be found on the CRCSI website

The results of this body of research will streamline industry and governments’ capabilities to rapidly use spatial information on mobile and cloud infrastructure.

The four project teams are providing fortnightly updates to project participants along with others interested in keeping up to date with status reports. If you wish to receive ‘Rapid News’ directly to your inbox, please use this link to sign-up.

In brief, the latest updates for the projects are:

  • Victorian State of the Environment (BAYS) Digital Report System program has deployed the technical platform that supports the Proof of Concept and is collaborating with CRCSI’s Program 3 – Spatial Infrastructure
  • Hedonic Price Modelling on NSW transport data feeds will be showcased shortly to Western Sydney councils through the Rapid Analytics Interactive Scenario Explorer (RAISE) project
  • QA4Mobile reporting components are currently being developed to further improve the integrity of LiDAR data acquisitions
  • The Open Spatial Analytics project team is working on workflow systems and evaluation matrix.

Further details about this work and the Rapid Spatial Analytics Program can be obtained from Dr Nathan Quadros, Program Manager on email nquadros@crcsi.com.au

Conferences & Events

5 Jul 2016

Climate Adaption