Tag Archives: gis

GIS Day Preparation

I just sent this email out to my work colleagues and I am very excited:

Hi Advocacy and Partnership friends

GIS Day is coming up next Wednesday. For those who don’t know, GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems (a fancy way to talk about maps) and it’s actually a legitimate thing.

This year GIS Day at ANGLICARE is being postponed to Thursday the 15th because more of us are in the office that day. You are invited to come and celebrate how maps and mapping technology have made our lives that much more wonderful!

Please come by the SPRU area at around 10:30 to eat some of the traditional delicious Map Cake. In the spirit of the day, it would be great if you could bring something map related to contribute to a GIS gallery. It’s going to be my last GIS Day with Anglicare and I’d love to celebrate in style.
Here are some suggestions:
– A map of your favourite place
– A hand drawn map
– A mind map or something more abstract like that
– A poem about the wonder of maps, GPS, your favourite cartographer or any other thing connected to GIS
– A picture of a beautiful or artistic map

Please don’t bring the enormous map that is up in the Parish Partnerships room behind Jenni and Richard’s desk. That would be incredibly cumbersome. However the Parish Partnerships/Disaster Recovery team can get bonus GIS points for having that map permanently on display.

Looking forward to celebrating the day with you


I am so excited! What map would you bring with you if you were coming to our event?


Anglican Geographer

I love being an Anglican. It’s not because of the bishops, or the Thirty Nine Articles, or the prayer book, or the baptising of children. It’s definitely not because of the odd mish-mash culture of grumpy-loving-complaining-hopeful-closeminded-openhearted-conservative-creative Anglicans here in Sydney. It’s not even because of the Queen (although she herself does make an awesome leader of the church).

It’s because of the maps

Typographic Map

How incredible is this map? It is designed by Nancy McCabe in Chicago and has just featured on Flowing Data. The landforms have more or less been created by geocoded place names. I think I would love to try making something like this when I get around to finding some open source gis software – although obviously it would never be so beautiful seeing as I don’t have access to any letterpressing equipment!

Nancy’s maps are technically for sale at her etsy shop but she has currently run out.

Top 5 West Wing Map Moments

Again, in celebration of GIS day…

My five favourite map-related moments from the West Wing:

#5: “Josh, Toby. On my girlfriend’s life, your troubles end 98 miles right down that track.”
Josh, Toby and Donna get stranded in a series of small towns during Season 4. It wouldn’t have happened if they knew more about local geography. Or if they had a map.


#4: “I’m taking Ohio out of the red and putting it back in play.”
How could anyone do electoral analysis without thematic mapping? I love Joey Lucas’ neat interactive map during the Season 4 election campaign.


#3: “Do we even have a map of Canada?”
Kate struggles to keep a handful of overexcited military officials from invading Canada over a minor hunting dispute in Season 6.


#2: Charlie’s flea market find

In Season three, Charlie give Presdient Bartlett a vintage map of the Middle East. Just to remind us of the awesome political power of maps:

Toby: “Some people are going to find it offensive.”
President Bartlett: “Why?”
Toby: “It doesn’t recognise Israel.”
President Bartlett: “It was drawn in 1709.”
Toby: “Yeah.”
President Bartlett: “There was no Israel.”
Toby: “Right.”
President Bartlett: “Israel wouldn’t happen for another two hundred and fifty years.”
Toby: “Yeah.”
President Bartlett: “So what’s the problem with the map?”
Toby: “Some people are going to find it offensive.”
President Bartlett: “Why?”
Toby: “It doesn’t recognise Israel.”
President Bartlett: “Take lunch, would you?”


#1: Cartographers for Social Equality

Season 2 – basically the best ever scene of television featuring the Peters Projection map:

Cartographer: “So. You’re probably wondering what all this has to do with social equality.”
CJ: “No. I’m wondering where France really is!”



It was just another subtle reminder that nearly everyone I work with is a Christian. This note was left stuck on the cupboard above the sink in our kitchen:


c.f. Luke 10:38ff

There has been a long period with no maps to make, but recently a number of people have requested some data that needs to be mapped. How exciting! There are a few different groups of people, with different requirements. I’m looking forward to making a range of maps showing data about school kids, older people and people who have arrived from overseas. Whoo!


Last Wednesday was International GIS Day!

According to the official website, GIS day is typically celebrated by raising awareness of the awesomeness of GIS in your workplace, and by making a celebratory GIS cake. It’s also celebrated in schools by teaching children neat GIS skillz.

Although GIS day is celebrated in North and South America, most of Europe and even some random countries like Iraq, it is yet to really take off in a significant way in Australia. But why let that hold anyone back? I celebrated in style at Anglicare.

Firstly I made a cake:

Then I took the cake to work:

I put up a poster in the staff kitchen about how neat GIS is:

The Policy Unit contemplated the wonder of GIS before eating the cake:

Oh GIS. What a wonderful invention. How much we are indebted to you without even knowing it!