Employees and their families from across New Zealand came together on Saturday 30th November for the annual Abley Christmas function, organised by our Social Non-Club Committee.
Over the last ten years, there has been an upward trend in crashes involving pedestrian and cyclists at level (railway line) crossings in New Zealand. While safety at these crossings for motor vehicle users steadily improved over time, less attention was paid to the safety of pedestrians and cyclists at level crossings.
To help our Software Development team explore different ways we could approach design and development, Stacy Rendall and I recently went to the UX New Zealand conference held in Wellington. UX (User Experience) New Zealand is in its fourth year and is Aotearoa's biggest dedicated user experience conference.
Think about this for a second: globally, men die six years earlier than women. To make it worse, the reasons are largely preventable. One in eight men across the world will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men. Three quarters of suicides globally are men.
Last week I took a step outside my comfortable world of spatial and attended the annual Trafinz conference in Hamilton with my transport colleagues from Abley. The theme of this year's conference was ‘Smart, safe and accessible places’ and was attended by 250+ transport planners and engineers from across the country. I was keen to attend because I wanted to identify opportunities where spatial analysis could be used to help solve transportation-related challenges and add more value to solutions.
Many serious and fatal crashes in urban areas occur at traffic signals. Despite this, traffic signals are usually the preferred control type at major intersections on arterial roads when there are a mix of road users. Often, exclusive right turn phases are added, or left turn slip lanes are removed to improve safety. This may improve safety for some users. However, research shows that improving safety for one road user may make an intersection less safe for other road users.
This whole GIS/Geospatial/Location/Spatial Analysis thing can be quite confusing. Just when you think you understand it, something else comes along and what you thought you knew is now out-of-date, or called something else, or has been replaced by something new. This makes it pretty difficult to explain what exactly it is that you do. Recognising this, the leading global GIS provider Esri, also our partner, has recently undertaken a world first and have launched an advertisement on television across the United States. At first glance this isn’t much of a story, but dig a little deeper and actually it’s very exciting, especially if you work in the spatial industry or indeed understand very little about it.