You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2011.

A successful two day workshop on the use of Free and Open Source GIS Software (specifically GRASS and QGIS) in archaeological studies was presented by Professor Scott Madry (University of North Carolina, USA) in the GIS Lab of the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at Wits University in Johannesburg… (more)

On 9 November 2011, Eskom ESI-GIS, GeoTerraImage and GISSA Gauteng hosted the second PLATO Law Exam Preparation workshop.  The objective of the workshop was to assist GIS and Survey professionals who were in the process of registering with PLATO… (more)

Aerial survey and mapping services company, AOC, celebrated its 80th Anniversary at the Swartkops Air Force Base on 20 October 2011. Chris Tanner and Leon Kettles of AOC welcomed Scott Ramage of AAM.  John Illsley gave a presentation on the history of aviation in South Africa and the early years of AOC. Illsley is the author of  “In Southern Skies. A pictorial history of early aviation in Southern Africa”… (more)

Over 450 GIS users attended the 2011 Esri South Africa User Conference. The theme for the conference was “GIS on track”.  Patrick McKivergan called on the delegates to welcome those from Cameroon, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, and Zambia. GIS is about simplifying decisions… (more)

The perception of GIS in secondary education as being restricted to the Geography class and a percentage of the Geography paper means its potential to help address scarce skills shortages in South Africa remains untapped… (more)

Graham Slough received a Lifetime Achievement Award at AOC’s recent 80th Anniversary Celebrations. Graham has been with the aerial surveying and geomatics company for 44 years… (more)

Top mine clearance company Damasec is using Trimble Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to execute the safe removal of nearly 500 unexploded mines in Denmark… (more)

Some systems which rely on position, navigation and timing (PNT) signals from GNSS are robust in themselves and procedures are in place to deal adequately with any GNSS based system faults that occur. However, disruptive interference can occur unintentionally and, worse still, deliberate interference is a real and growing possibility… (more)

Rapid mapping of tarred roads has become an important requirement for most urban planners. To match the dynamic nature of urban developments, use of high resolution multispectral aerial photography and object-oriented classification have recently become the most viable options for mapping roads and updating urban maps… (more)

South Africa has a strong history in the collection and management of geospatial information. This covers from the early years of recording land parceling (cadastral surveying) and mapping the country for military purposes, then for irrigation of agricultural crops and topographic mapping, through to the use of modern digital technologies, including geographic information systems (GIS)… (more)

The National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999, Section 30 paragraph 5 states: “On request, need or revision of a zoning scheme or SDF the planning authority shall produce an inventory and submit to the authority to be listed in the register.” In 2004 a heritage officer was appointed and shortly after a tender advertised for the undertaking of a heritage survey for Drakenstein… (more)

This article will define the various elements of the South African Coordinate Reference System (SACRS) in detail and, in particular, distinguish between a coordinate system (projected) and a geodetic datum… (more)

Over the years there has been, and still is, much debate regarding survey methodologies, the accuracies that can be achieved and the equipment to be used. Every time a new survey instrument or methodology is introduced, the argument starts from scratch… (more)

Two new technical certification examinations are now available from Esri. ArcGIS Desktop Developer Associate and Enterprise System Design Associate join the growing list of certifications that validate technical expertise in Esri’s desktop, developer, and enterprise software… (more)

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU) houses the GeoIT unit which drives the implementation of geographic information technology within the university’s HOPE project, and focuses on research, teaching and learning and community interaction in the domains of GIS, earth observation and photogrammetry… (more)

Southern Mapping Geospatial in co-operation with Continuing Education at University of Pretoria, is presenting a short course in Quantum GIS. The short course will be offered at a post graduate level with the aim of supplying valuable education to individuals wishing to grow in their fields… (more)

The Southern African and Islands Hydrographic Commission (SAIHC) held its 8th bi-annual meeting in Walvis Bay, Namibia earlier this year. The SAIHC is a Regional Hydrographic Commission (RHC) of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) and South Africa (an active member of the IHO since 1951) is the current chair of SAIHC… (more)

The Gauteng City-Region Review 2011 was launched at the University of the Witwatersrand on 17 October 2011. The review provides an overview of the key dynamics and trends affecting the economy, society, governance and environment of the Gauteng city-region which is predicted to be the twelfth largest in the world by 2015… (more)

The first International Council for Science (ICSU) World Data System conference was held in September in Japan with more than 150 delegates from 21 countries participating. The ICSU World Data System (WDS) provides a revised architecture and infrastructure for the collection of ICSU World Data Centres, some of which have been in existence for more than 50 years… (more)

Young Surveyors Network is the youngest commission of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) operating in South Africa under the umbrella of the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors (PLATO). Membership of the network will comprise surveyors that are registered with PLATO (Technical and Professional)… (more)

SAGI, as always, has been very busy this past year addressing legislation, establishing marketing material and sorting out industry problems as best we can. There have been some notable achievements at a national level… (more)

GISSA Gauteng and the NSIF hosted a “Standards in action” workshop in Centurion to assist the South African geo-informatics community to derive maximum benefit from the 33rd ISO TC/211 Plenary, hosted by South Africa, and to gain a better understanding of how ISO/TC211 standards can be implemented into GIS projects… (more )

We have seen a concerning escalation in the use of the sea for a range of illegal and criminal activities that endanger the age-old custom of innocent passage, and, by association, the international principle of freedom of the seas. This discussion is of importance to our approach to capacitation of the region, simply because it forms much of the context in which we operate… (more)

Long-term data is irreplaceable and if monitoring continues uninterrupted and the data is accessible, the value of the data is compounded. Long-term data is becoming increasingly invaluable to society, which is facing mounting environmental challenges. This holds true everywhere on planet Earth… (more)

The work of the ISO/TC 211 is viewed by some members of the South African geospatial community as being utopian and oblivious to the realities on the ground. GIS community members explained that some South African GIS departments are struggling to get the basics of GIS right and are unable to deal with the fancy footwork required of some ISO standards… (more)

Transformers are a critical part of any power supply system and although inherently reliable and longlived, they can represent a significant cost when circumstances dictate their replacement. Re-design and refurbishment can offer a cost-effective alternative to simple replacement… (more)

The electricity distribution grid is suffering from a lack of investment and recapitalisation of its ageing infrastructure, resulting in an industry in crisis. “Asset Management (AM) is a process of maintaining asset performance at a required level of service while minimising total life cycle cost”… (more)

This paper discusses some of the initial challenges encountered when using mobile technology to manage fault reporting by the public, and highlights future considerations for mobile applications at the electricity department… (more)

The current market penetration of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) is limited but is expected to grow rapidly. As electricity is one of the least expensive transportation fuels, significant deployment will potentially introduce substantial demands on power distribution networks… (more)

This paper focuses on illustrating the application of a simplified reliability centred approach to inform strategic and tactical engineering management decision making for a large scale electrical medium voltage feeder network… (more)

City Power Johannesburg has an internal 88 kV transmission network which is now roughly 65 years old. The condition of this transmission network has become unreliable, and based on age should actually be replaced. Due to financial constraints this is not an option and other solutions had to be considered… (more)

This paper sets out the broad direction for Eskom’s retail tariff structures over the next few years to provide stakeholders with a view of Eskom’s proposed direction for tariff structures in the coming years… (more)

Wheeling of energy occurs when a non-utility owned generator sells the energy it produces directly to a third party consumer and not to the utility. There is no physical network connection between the buyer and the seller, so electrical energy is not directly transmitted between the two parties… (more)

Given the dramatic advances in ICT technology, it is time for utilities to re-examine how they support their field operations, and many utilities are starting to investigate and in some cases implement mobile computing and wireless workforce management (WFM) solutions… (more)

Power Process Systems has a method of ensuring revenue recovery through managed service delivery of electricity. This method is a holistic solution that encompasses both “pay for services” and “capacity (demand side) management” through effective application of secure, low cost remote metering and management… (more)

Among the main drivers for smart metering in Europe are the Energy Services Directives (2006/32/EC, ESD). Article 13(1) of the ESD demands that member states ensure that final customers are provided with competitively priced individual meters that accurately reflect consumption and provide information on the actual time of use… (more)

To facilitate the introduction of ToU meters Swistec has introduced a new ripple control protocol. This protocol allows using ripple control for new tasks like remote programming of receivers, addressing and controlling individual receivers and sending out text messages to customers’ in-house displays… (more)

Living in an era where revenue protection, timely availability of valid data and auditable processes are some of the buzz phrases, the method of obtaining data and displaying it on a high level needs to be evaluated and tested to be future proof and make a real contribution to the bottom line… (more)

Metering-online is an internet-based AMR system that provides a unique operational tool to manage metering services and billing information for utilities, municipalities or individual commercial and industrial users… (more)

For some years the LED light source has been the centre of research and development in order to improve its luminous efficacy and, at the same time, to reduce its cost. Technical improvements have brought better luminous efficacy; high reliability; good colour rendering; and a range of colour temperatures, which makes the LED light source suitable for all applications… (more)

South Africans have traditionally been divided between a first world and a third world community. As far as energy is concerned the first world community primarily made use of electricity for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. However, electricity stayed “cheap” and nothing really dampened the increasing consumption of this commodity… (more)

Eskom introduced its first large-scale demand response (DR) initiative in 2007 in the form of the now well known demand market participation (DMP) initiative and coined the virtual power station (VPS) terminology. Almost five years later and with over 800 MW of “dispatchable NegaWatts” available, the VPS continues to grow… (more)

The paper provides an overview of the electricity supply-demand situation and the demand-side measures to deal with expected system constraints. A closer working relationship between the DSM function of municipalities and that of Eskom is proposed to ensure that the national resources available for DSM are used to optimal effect… (more)

This paper describes some of the challenges and points to key areas of action for municipalities. It draws extensively on analysis done for the City of Cape Town, where a more detailed level of information has become available, but attempts to be applicable to all cities in South Africa… (more)

This paper considers the strategic direction embraced by the electricity industry in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam to get on to a sustainable energy path over the next two decades, including the policy tools and financing mechanisms being adopted to get there… (more)

Power system equipment in our substations has a long life cycle. Specifically, protective relays can be up to 50 years old. On the other hand, with the constant expansion and growth within our networks, such old substations often need to be extended and it is not uncommon to find the latest technology introduced in these same substations… (more)

Prudent technical management decision making needs to be based on accurate facts. In a complex, distributed technical asset environment it is impossible to make sound management decisions without knowing exactly what equipment you have, where it is installed, what condition it is in and what its maintenance history is… (more)

This paper covers the results obtained from performing condition monitoring on equipment before the World Cup Soccer 2010 tournament, which was estimated to have saved City Power R85-million in failures that were averted. Many of these failures would have occurred and this would not have been good for City Power
or South Africa… (more)

Two years have passed since it became evident that any meaningful progress in restructuring the EDI was unlikely without a constitutional change to facilitate movement. Eight years have passed since the establishment of EDI Holdings. And over 20 years have passed since the idea of restructuring the EDI was first raised and debated by industry stakeholders… (more)

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