OS PhD Days 28-29th January

Ah back to Southampton, where it all began.

So, catching the relatively early train down to Southampton, I managed to get down to the south by 9am. Since we didn’t have to meet until 11, I decided to catch the no 1. bus to Adanac Park and enjoy the scenic route. Even though I had lived in Southampton for three years, the bus took me to places I had never seen before.


Upon arrival I was introduced to another 3D-ineer, Andy from Newcastle. He is working on the more technical side of 3D building construction from LiDAR which should complement my data quality research well. Back to the poster room, we set up ready for the OS staff to come grill us. The picture below doesn’t quite show how busy it got, with 3-4 staff at each poster.


My Poster:Image

The most nerve-wracking thing was the uncertainty of who these people were. I tried to catch a look a their passes to get an idea who they were but usually they were helpfully turned the other way or it provided no clue at all. So I decided to pitch my talk at the same level. I had been advised to meet a certain Rollo Home, the 3D product lead for OS on many occasions but I still had not had a chance to speak with him. I had no idea what Rollo looked like, except that he was male. For some reason in my mind, Rollo Home conjured up this image:

stinky-pete-the-prospector.. but turns out he looks more like this:


I did not know that I had spoken to him until the end when Anne (the organiser) had told me! Ah well.

The poster event ended at around 2pm and we disbanded to return to our cosy Premier Inn rooms. Hot shower and a quick wander around West Quay for a bit of reminiscing. All the PhD pals had agreed on meeting at 6pm for dinner. I hadn’t had a chance to speak to many of them yet or hear about their projects so it was a good opportunity to get to know each other. We opted for Pizza Express (as Ed’s turned us away at 7pm saying they were closing!) for dinner and got chatting. From VGI to mobile mapping to mapping ontologies, it was the most geo-nerdy evening I have had. 20140128_192237987_iOS

What was great was how into their subject everyone seems to be, and I am definitely interested to seeing what results these guys come up with after 3/4 years. The presentations tomorrow seems to be on most people’s minds but since there were 15-odd 20 minute presentations tomorrow to listen to, I suggested we played a game. The challenge was to insert the words “dough balls” anywhere into your presentation without people noticing. Unfortunately, no one took that up! Boo. The evening continued at a pub by the docks and a mini-debate raged on how much technology we really needed Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Tesco basic value phones, iPads vs. Tesco Hudl. I was berated for not picking a side in the OS wars as I love my iPhone and iPad but am deeply embedded within Windows. I argued that Apple has the richest ecosystem and is a dummy-proof and reliable OS with minimal customizability; it does all the thinking for me so I don’t have to. On my laptop, however, I still stick with Windows as it is the more interoperable of the OSs and with the advent of things like SkyDrive and GoogleDrive, I can access all my files from all my devices anyway. Oh and ArcGIS on a Mac is just painful. // end of tech moan here.

Onto the second day, lots of presentations. Without going into detail, I didn’t find myself falling asleep as every presentation seems as exciting as the last. I got some great feedback/questions during my own presentation but many I couldn’t provide a concrete answer to for now, but hopefully I will be able to answer in a few months time:

  • Are there any disruptive technologies in the next few years that may cause 3D GIS to become redundant?
  • Have you looked into the history of GIS and its paradigm shifts to see if there are clues for the jump to 3D?
  • Is CityGML’s LoD as a base for a standard for 3D GIS the way to go?

All in all, excellent few days which has really inspired me about my own project. The more I look into my large pizzas of research questions, the more it breaks down into even more complex dough balls of problems!

’til next time,



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