5. Industry induction: Geoscience and GIS

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Now that you are familiar with the project you will be working on, let’s get you up to speed with the relevant background! In this industry induction module, we’ll take you through the core concepts of Geoscience, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Drone Surveying. At the end of the induction, you’ll need to go through a quick check-point page, assessing your understanding of the content and your readiness to move on to practical tasks. 

Geoscience

We begin our induction with the broadest, most general concept you will need to be familiar with - geoscience. Simply put, geoscience studies everything to do with Earth, such as composition of soil, minerals, rocks, and fossils, raw resources we use, land formation, oceans and freshwater, weather, the atmosphere, natural hazards, and so much more. 

Geoscience doesn’t just help us build knowledge about the world around us, but offers valuable insights into the safe and non-intrusive ways to live in it. For instance, in collaboration with environmental scientists, geoscientists work towards preserving and cleaning up the natural environment and creating solutions for minimising our footprint. Similarly, alongside sociologists and anthropologists, geoscientists are contributing to urban planning, by developing safe, accessible, and livable environments for everyone to enjoy. 

Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS represents one of the practical applications of geoscience. It makes use of geographic, spatial, and other types of data and presents their relationships in the form of visual patterns. GIS technologies are designed to improve problem solving and decision making of the people who use them. This map, for example, shows traffic congestion in and around Brisbane, informing the drivers of the best routes to take and the ones to avoid.

The Bureau of Meteorology radar imagery offers insights into wind and rainfall trends, allowing for prompt and accurate public messaging in case of severe weather conditions.

These two examples are excellent for illustrating how GIS framework works:

  1. It draws on available traffic and weather data 
  2. It processes this information in relation to a particular location (i.e., Brisbane area)
  3. It visualises these relationships by superimposing traffic and weather imagery on to a map for easy interpretation

Think of this process as a continuous loop. As both traffic and weather change, GIS keeps updating its data analysis and visualisation in real time.

But what does this have to do with drones? Moving on to that in a sec...

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