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Space is not the final frontier for Curtin’s Spatial Sciences

News story

Curtin’s Department of Spatial Sciences has decided to get its name on the map – or more accurately – on the globe.

In April of last year, the department had the words Spatial @ Curtin painted in four-metre high letters on the roof of one of its buildings – making it visible from space.

And to motivate people to find it, they’re giving away a prize to the first person that spots it using Google Earth.

Professor Bert Veenendaal, Spatial Sciences Head of Department, says it’s a great method of promotion.

‘Given that we are a “spatial sciences” discipline that uses aerial and remotely sensed imagery, geographic information, mapping, etc. we thought it would be good to use our discipline’s technology.’

‘I had it done by a professional painter who prepared it properly and used paints that withstand the sun and rain.’

‘We don’t know the update schedule of Google Earth imagery, but it does appear to occur with increasing frequency,’ he said.

‘Google Earth imagery for Curtin region was only just updated a couple of months ago to imagery dating to around July 2008 – it was more than a year older than that previously.’

While the sign can not yet be seen on Google Earth, Professor Veenendaal said it was up on  Near Map, a new company he believes uses arrays of digital cameras mounted on small aircraft to capture images similar to those provided by Google Earth.

‘Near Map have started flying high resolution imagery – down to 3 cm resolution – for all of the Perth region every month since earlier this year,’ he said.

Details of the Spatial Sciences Google Earth competition can be found on the Spatial Sciences website.

‘Really the idea is simply to get people looking out for it.’

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