School of GeoSciences

EEO-AGI(S) Series Programme

A Seminar Series in GIS, Remote Sensing, and GeoInformatics organised by the Edinburgh Earth Observatory in conjunction with the AGI-Scotland

2019-20 Programme

Old Library, Geography, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP

Unless otherwise indicated, all talks are held at 4.30pm in the Old Library, Institute of Geography , University of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP.

These are then followed by AGI Geo-Drinks in Teviot Library Bar, EH8 9AJ at 5.45 allowing plenty room for informal professional networking.

Friday 27th Sept 2019, 4.30pm

Dr. Richard Tipper

Executive Chairman, Ecometrica

Title: Climate Resilience Needs Geoscientists!

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Friday 11th Oct 2019, 4.30pm

Joint EEO-AGI(S)/Hutton Club Seminar

Nick McWilliam


Title: Making GIS useful in humanitarian response: MapAction's experience

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Started in 2002, the NGO MapAction has worked in over 100 emergency responses. The talk will outline not only how its use of GI technologies has developed, but how the humanitarian context and its 'information landscape' have changed over this time. It will also look at MapAction's increasing focus on training, capacity building, and preparedness, including a joint project with the School of GeoSciences, using 3D web mapping to help make volcanic risk mapping more accessible to communities and agencies in hazard-prone areas.

Friday 8th Nov 2019, 4.30pm

Joint EEO-AGI(S)/Hutton Club Seminar

Dr. Lyn Wilson

Digital Documentation Manager, Historic Environment Scotland

Title: Delivering Digitally: Focused Applications for the Historic Environment

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Link to The Engine Shed  Link to The Scottish Ten project


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. Within HES, we have long championed the use of innovative digital technologies and increasingly apply these for conservation, asset management, engagement, learning, accessibility and disaster response. We gained considerable experience in digital documentation through the Scottish Ten Project (, which saw us record in 3D Scotland’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and international heritage sites to help in their conservation and management. Currently we are undertaking the Rae Project to digitally document the 336 properties and thousands of collections objects in the care of HES on behalf of the Scottish Government. In 2017 we opened the cutting-edge Engine Shed - Scotland’s Building Conservation Centre, which is a hub for digital technologies, heritage science, traditional skills and materials ( The Engine Shed aims to raise conservation standards and be a focus for learning, inspiring and knowledge sharing.

The talk will outline these digital innovations at HES and give examples of focused applications. In particular, examples will be given of how we use digital data and digital technologies for learning, accessibility and engagement, through interactive work with school groups and the creation of digital learning resources, to sharing 3D models via Sketchfab and the creation of remote access visitor apps and immersive virtual reality experiences. Conservation and asset management examples will highlight the use of digital data for monitoring the impacts of coastal erosion and climate change, through to the application of digital technologies for rapid response in disaster situations.

About the Speaker:

Dr Lyn Wilson is a heritage scientist with over 20 years’ experience in digital documentation practice and conservation/archaeological science. She has a BSc in Archaeology, MA and PhD in Archaeological Science. As Digital Documentation Manager at Historic Environment Scotland, the lead public body for established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland's historic environment, Lyn is responsible for 3D recording the properties and collections in the care of HES. This 3D data is used for conservation, asset management, interpretation, education and to improve accessibility. Based at HES’s Engine Shed (, her role involves leading and enabling the sector in the strategic development and application of innovative and cutting-edge digital technologies for the benefit of cultural heritage. Lyn is a Specialist Assessor on digital documentation to the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, an Expert Member of the International Committee for Documentation of Cultural Heritage (CIPA) and a Board Member of the ICOMOS-UK Scientific Committee on Digital Heritage Technologies. Her research interests focus on the intersection of heritage science and digital documentation in the historic environment, and the application of emerging technologies for conservation. She is a passionate advocate for the integration of science and technology within cultural heritage practice.

Friday 6th Dec 2019, 4.30pm

Dr. Thierry Gregorius

Principal Consultant, Exprodat Consulting Ltd.

Title: Designing a more human-centric approach for GI

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Geospatial technology trends are well publicised and known. Machine learning, drones, digital twins... the list goes on. Now that technical possibilities are virtually endless, we have an opportunity to reconsider the 'what', 'why' and 'how' of GI deployment and spatial problem-solving. Drawing on lessons from a global career and creative side interests, Thierry will share some light-hearted and serious thoughts on designing a more human approach in a digital GI world - and why it matters.

About the Speaker:

Thierry Gregorius is a GI and Geomatics professional with over 20 years’ experience in Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, having worked for companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Landmark Information Group, where he occupied global and senior leadership positions. For the past 6 years he has worked as a management consultant with Exprodat Consulting (a Getech group company), where he is currently pursuing his passion for helping people transform how they work - with GIS or otherwise. Thierry holds a PhD in Satellite Geodesy from Newcastle University and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Friday 24th Jan 2020, 4.30pm

Shona Nicol

Head of Data Standards, Directorate for Digital, Scottish Government

Title: GI, EO and the Scottish  Public Sector

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About the Speaker:

Now Head of Data Standards within the Directorate for Digital, and with work interests including Earth Observation and the burgeoning Scottish Space Sector, Shona was until recently the Head of the Geographical Information Science and Analysis Team (GI-SAT) in the Scottish Government Digital Directorate and sits on the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) Scotland Executive Committee. Shona worked in GI-SAT from 2001, firstly as a GIS Analyst, then Operations Manager and as Team Leader. The team provide a centre of excellence for geospatial data in the public sector, unlocking its value using geospatial and data science tools and techniques. Her primary responsibilities there included managing a number of collaborative data procurements - the One Scotland Mapping Agreement (OSMA) with Ordnance Survey and a number other agreements for aerial photography, web services and addressing. Shona also has supported the various Scottish public sector geospatial groups in their role of promoting and developing the use of geospatial data in Scottish Government and in the wider public sector, and ensured that Scottish Ministers' obligations under the Inspire Directive are met and that the Scottish Spatial Data Infrastructure was delivered successfully.  Prior to joining GI-SAT, Shona studied at the University of Edinburgh obtaining an MSc in Geographical Information Science.

Friday 7th Feb 2020, 4.30pm *Lec Thtr Rm 2.13, Geography*

Dr. Callum Norrie

Space Network Scotland

Title: An Overview of the Scottish Space Sector

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About the Speaker:

Callum has extensive experience in the space industry with over 10 years working at the European Space Agency, latterly as the manager of the ESA Technology Transfer Network.  With a PhD in physics and an MBA, Callum has worked in a number of roles including technology development, marketing and business support.

Friday 28th Feb 2020, 4.00pm *Lec Thtr Rm 2.13, Geography*

Prof. Dr Angela Schwering

University of Muenster, Germany

Title: Wayfinding Through Orientation

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Prof. Dr Angela Schwering Dominant approaches in computer-assisted wayfinding support adhere to the deeply problematic principles of turn-by-turn navigation. In this talk, I will introduce a new approach called “Wayfinding Through Orientation,” which supports the acquisition of spatial knowledge and cognitive mapping for advancing the user’s spatial orientation. Being oriented on one’s way is a prerequisite to enabling people to verify instructions and to incorporate new spatial information into their existing knowledge structure. I will present a series of studies where we investigated spatial learning of survey and route knowledge for different types of wayfinding instructions and give an overview of our algorithms to create orientation information and schematic orientation maps.

About the Speaker:

Since April 2009, Prof. Dr Angela Schwering has been a professor at the Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster, Germany. Her research deals with intelligent representation and reasoning on spatial information. Specifically she has investigated human strategies for organising and processing spatial knowledge about environments. Her work seeks to enhance the usability of spatial information with cognitively inspired computational models. The research is carried out in the Spatial Intelligence Lab at the University of Muenster in Germany.

Friday 13th Mar 2020, 4.30pm *Postponed*

*We hope to reschedule this talk at a suitbale future date*

Ted Florence

President, Avenza Systems Inc.

Title: Building on 25 Years in the North American GI Industry: GIS for everyday map users, now and in the future

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About Avenza Systems:

Avenza Systems Inc. is an award-winning, privately held corporation that provides cartographers and GIS professionals with powerful software tools for making better maps as well as the PDF Maps mobile mapping system. In addition to software offerings for Mac and Windows users, Avenza offers value-added data sets, product training and consulting services. For more information, visit the Avenza website at

Friday 20th Mar 2020, 4.30pm *Lec Thtr Rm 2.13, Geography*

Prof. Paul Longley

University College London

Title: Consumer Data Research

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This presentation will describe the ways in which ‘consumer data’, defined as Big Data arising out of transactions between consumers and customer-facing organisations, is transforming the granularity and frequency with which the form and functioning of British towns and cities can be measured. Examples will include the analysis of pedestrian movements and the dynamics of neighbourhood change. [The subject matter covered also forms the basis for two PhD opportunities in the coming academic season, described at . The closing date is March 13th.]

About the Speaker:

Paul Longley has been Professor of Geographic Information Science at University College London since 2000, where he has also directed the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre since 2014. He has been engaged in numerous research grants, book projects and Ph.D. supervisions (64 to date!) and has served as external examiner on a number of GIS-related courses (including Edinburgh’s).

Friday 3rd Apr 2020, *5pm Lec Thtr Rm 2.13, Geography*

Dr. Kirsty Millican

Aerial Survey Projects Manager, Heritage Directorate, Historic Environment Scotland

Title: To follow - RAMP Project; Rapid Archaeological Monitoring; Airborne Lidar Survey

Due to other talks being rescheduled due this year's strike action and in an effort to avoid multiple concurrent talks on similar topics (sea level rise) we have secured a talk on the current HES RAMP project by Dr. Kirsty Millican.  Given however that some archaeological interest is involved in sea level rises, we have timed this talk so as to allow people to attend both this talk and the preceding Hutton Club talk by Dr. Eileen Tisdall.  Please note therefore that this talk will commence at 5pm in Rm 2.13 immediately following the earlier Hutton Club in the Old Library.