Fun with Funky Stuff - 2016 Annual Conference Wrap Up

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 June 2nd and 3rd saw a small but enthusiastic group turn up for the annual FunGIS conference - Fun with Funky Stuff.

 Keynote speaker Alistair Hart from Mangoes Mapping brought a sense of enthusiasm to commence the workshop, sharing his thoughts on what the spatial industry may look like in the future in FNQ, Australia and beyond.

 Special guest presenter Julie-Ann Lambourne, CEO of enVizion Group showed us how they are using Virtual Reality to assist in choosing employment pathways.  enVizion's Virtual Reality Experience Project (VREP) provides a safe, state of the art mobile facility which can be taken to all areas across Australia including remote locations delivering cutting edge virtual reality experience; this is inclusive of digital motivational and informative themes.


The goal is for users to experience motivational messages to assist them in choosing employment pathways. The messages from the story tellers in the VR is about overcoming barriers; provide an overview of the employment opportunities; making the change and succeeding.


The technology is a new way of learning and engaging diverse groups of people in an interactive way.  Sadly it had rained the weeks before and trapped the truck in the cape so we weren't able to have a look at it ourselves. For more information go to


Greg Patterson from Canberra Institute of Technology showcased some of the amazing work his students from all over the world are producing as part of their studies.  George Corea (Back 2 Basics) put us through a short training session in using google forms, through George's guidance participants were able to complete a form on their mobile devices to populate a map in real-time.


Next on the agenda was the 'Google Virtual Reality Headset' or aka 'Google Glasses' presentation by Gary Searle.  Not sure which was the most fun, putting them together or actually using them but it kept everyone busy for quite some time.


Marc Balcon from Pitney Bowes Software was lucky enough to give two presentations throughout the day.  His first presentation showed how the latest release of MapInfo Pro provides amazing raster capabilities to open and analyse massive grid and imagery files using an innovative new raster compression format.  The second presentation introduced us to the online mapping services offered by Pitney Bowes Software.


The team from Terrain NRM showed us around their online Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country and the new mapping tools served out through ArcGIS Online.  To have a look go to


The first day was wrapped up with the Spatial Olympics with teams vying for the much-coveted winner's trophy.  Teams were required to fly mini quadcopters, race around a metrogaine course and battle it out in a trivia session. Participant's thirsts were quenched with drinks and nibbles hosted in the private roof top area, giving delegates the opportunity for more socialising and time to relax and recap on the day.


Day two of the conference brought participants into the classroom for a full day on FME training conducted by Greg Patterson. The FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) Software was kindly provided to all participants free of charge under a student licence from Safe Software. Greg walked delegates through a series of tasks and activities allowing participants to gain an in depth and practical understanding of the software's capabilities in automating many of the functions that we complete in standard GIS software.

Big thanks to our sponsors –Safe Software and Mangoes Mapping.


Presentation by Mark Balcon - Pitney Bowes

Delegates enjoying the Quadcopter Challenge during the Spatial Olympics

Spatial Olympics Winners

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