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Master of Applied Science in GIS Otago graduate wins award at the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards in Sydney

Monday 24 April 2017 4:14pm

Otago MAppSc GIS graduate Mike McConachie won the 2016 Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) for Postgraduate Student of the Year for his project on classifying sand dune vegetation (at Mason Bay, Stewart Island) from drone-based imagery. The APSEA winners were announced at a gala dinner in Sydney earlier this month. The APSEA are the only spatial information and technology-specific awards for the Asia-Pacific region and New Zealand in general had a bumper night, coming away with five awards and one highly commended finalist.

Mike’s award recognises the advances in knowledge made by the project, a collaboration between Surveying and Geography, both in the recent exploration of the potential of drones and the (classified) products that are derived from it. This establishes drone-mounted sensors and intelligent, object-based classification as valuable tools in coastal dune management. The research output revealed a significant improvement in classification accuracy, making this approach a valuable management and monitoring tool for dune management.