Short course maps high-tech solutions

A five-day course began on 20 January at La Trobe Universitys Mildura campus introducing students to advanced technology for the mapping and overlaying of spatial information.

spatialThe course, supported by Milduras Spatial Information Services at SunRise21, has attracted national interest with participants from Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and the education sector.There are also representatives from Milduras agricultural industries and local schools.

'One of the goals of this course is to create a skills base in the region, by introducing participants to some of the fascinating applications available from over-the-counter or free software tools such as Google Earth, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS),' said course coordinator, Professor Margaret Robertson.

'The focus of the course is on problem solving and practical applications of the technology.'

'We are including field based data collection and case studies on school based teaching and learning, fresh water research as well as industry applications for local citrus growers and viticulturalists,' she said.

Participants in the five-day course are studying:

Google Earth for creating maps from aerial photographs that can show model changes over time photographs, videos, routes or tracks (such as for planning trips, tourist sites etc).

Global Positioning Systems and the use of handheld tools for field based studies and how to convert information from these into maps for planning - including business, training and personal use.

Geographical Information Systems which help to transfer information from the GPS units  and aerial photography that can be used for modelling landscapes (including towns, cities, transport routes, rural activities) and including basically any information that can be represented in location terms.
'Google Earth has already proved itself to be an extraordinary resource which can be used to plot land use and reclamation, and even reveal secrets hidden in the distant past,' said Professor Robertson.

La Trobe PhD student David Thomas received world-wide acclaim last year for his discovery of hundreds of previously unknown archaeological sites in Afghanistan using high-resolution Google Earth images.

La Trobe University has offered this program for accredited courses for degree and post-graduate qualifications as well as professional development.

For more information contact:
Course co-ordinator: Professor Margaret Robertson. Email: Mobile: 0419550304

Local contact: Mr Kent Farrell, Executive Director, La Trobe University, Mildura campus,  Tel 03 5051 4019