New Faces and New Projects at the Geospatial Commission

Thalia Baldwin has been appointed as the new Director of the Geospatial Commission from 1 August 2019. Thalia was previously Deputy Director for Policy at the Geospatial Commission and was Head of Digital Policy at HM Treasury, where she was responsible for the approach to public spending on digital technology and infrastructure. Under William Priest, the outgoing director, the Commission has established a strong team of functional expertise, delivered the first outputs to unlock an estimated £11bn of economic value and begun to assemble the evidence it needs to develop a long-term geospatial strategy for the UK.  New Commissioners Appointed... (read more)
2019-10-02 08:51:50

Classifying Urban Poor Areas with Satellite Imagery

Hannes Taubenböck and his team at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are using very high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, supplied by European Space Imaging, combined with auxiliary surveys to develop a base model classification system for the shape and structure of urban poor areas around the world. Slum, favela, tenement… whatever term you use, nearly every country in the world has some form of urban poor areas.  Taubenböck, Kraff and Wurm identify these locations as 'Arrival Cities', defined as places offering relatively affordable housing serving as an access to a city, its society and its functions (a concept based on Doug... (read more)
2019-08-21 12:02:07

Thalia Baldwin Appointed as Geospatial Commission Director

Following an open competition John Manzoni, the Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, has announced that Thalia Baldwin will be appointed as the new Director of the Geospatial Commission from 1 August 2019. Thalia is currently Deputy Director for Policy at the Geospatial Commission. She was previously Head of Digital Policy at HM Treasury, where she was responsible for the approach to public spending on digital technology and infrastructure. Sir Andrew Dilnot, Chair of the Geospatial Commission, said "I am delighted to welcome Thalia to this role. The intelligent use of data presents a huge opportunity to... (read more)
2019-06-24 11:54:00

DJI Adds Airplane and Helicopter Detectors to Consumer Drones

DJI, a civilian drone and aerial imaging technology company, has committed to installing airplane and helicopter detectors in new consumer drones, part of a 10-point plan to ensure that the world's skies remain safe in the drone era. All new DJI drone models released after 1 January 2020 that weigh more than 250 grams will include AirSense technology, which receives ADS-B signals from nearby airplanes and helicopters and warns drone pilots if they appear to be on a collision course. This will be the largest single deployment of ADS-B collision awareness technology to date and sets a new standard by putting professional-grade... (read more)
2019-05-29 10:36:41

UK is a Leader in Heritage Mapping

The mapping of historical cultural features, which we will call heritage mapping, is mainly based on photogrammetric methods. Mapping for this purpose has been going on for many years using a great variety of techniques. There are also many applications from conservation and archaeology to museums and public understanding. Early Developments The use of photogrammetry for recording buildings was introduced during the late 19th century by the German civil engineer and architect Albrecht Meydenbauer, and techniques and applications have been developing and extending ever since. In the United Kingdom, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) was a government... (read more)
2019-05-30 04:22:17

World Bank Conference Tackles Key Issues of Land and Poverty

This edition of policy watch is mainly dedicated to the annual World Bank 2019 land conference but there are still a few RICS specific bits and bobs to update you all on. The RICS Geo Evening Lectures series added an extra date: Thursday 9 May, 18:00, at UEL, Stratford campus which will focus on Survey4BIM issues. RICS Insight output is ramping up as we move into the summer months (the end of the RICS business year) with a brand new Insight on the ‘Use and Value of Commercial Property Data’ ( This paper aims to discuss the benefits of and... (read more)
2019-05-30 01:50:22

Heritage Mapping Takes Advantage of New Technology

The theme of this GW issue is the mapping of cultural features. This topic has been brought to public attention recently with the fire at Notre Dame, Paris. The French have a strong record of mapping cultural features and it is to be hoped that they have a good archive of images of Notre Dame. We include a very varied set of articles which show the range of features covered and the variety of techniques used. We have included articles featuring some of these topics in recent years but to see them together demonstrates the versatility of the techniques and... (read more)
2019-05-29 04:26:05

Five Hundred Years on and Still Exciting Times

It was 500 years ago that the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan organized a Spanish expedition to the East Indies that resulted in the first circumnavigation of the world. Sadly, he died in the Philippines (from a poisoned dart) and the voyage of discovery was completed by Juan Sebastian Elcano. It was perhaps dangerous, but it was also a very exciting time, as it is today. Standards and Guidelines for our profession are something we sometimes take for granted or, as specialists and experts in certain systems and data, we might forget that many do not have knowledge, and may not... (read more)
2019-05-29 01:22:18

New Opportunities for Geospatial

The sun is rising, and spring is very much in the air. The six nations rugby is over (I’ll hold back on any commentary) and thoughts are turning towards the summer. Geospatial activity has been constant over the last couple of months with some very big industry issues (such as the scourge of UK instrument theft) being discussed. RICS has finished the 2018/19 evening lecture series with some very strong lectures on The Red Atlas - the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World (, soon to be featured in the RICS Land Journal (, and a final lecture on marine/offshore... (read more)
2019-03-08 11:37:54

Consolidation of AI and Autonomy - Commercial UAV Show 2018

The 2018 Commercial UAV show was as busy and wide-ranging as in previous years. Mapping did not have a high profile although some exhibitors were promoting photogrammetry and mapping in general and several seminar and conference sessions featured mapping. The overarching theme of the event could be characterisied as consolidation and looking to the future. Artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy were strong themes, meaning the development of smart drones. This includes interaction with robots to manage battery change for example, although it is unlikely that we will see genuine autonomous UAVs very soon. But several exhibitors claim the use of... (read more)
2019-01-23 03:46:04
Search Filter