Tuesday, 20 May 2014

POSTool - Winner of 2 Parks and Leisure Australia (WA) Awards of Excellence.

On Thursday the 8th of May at the South Perth Community Hall, Parks and Leisure Australia (WA) presented the 2014 Awards of Excellence. POSTool was nominated in 3 categories: Open Space Planning, Research, and Use of Technology. We are pleased to announce that POSTool won both the Research and Use of Technology Categories.

“POS Tool provides planning professionals, across both private and government sectors in Western Australia with access to an extensive, accurate and unrivalled spatial database with a level of detail which has previously been unavailable for POS information in WA….and is fundamental to the effective rational planning for POS and its importance cannot be underestimated.” (PLA)

POSTool will now move into the national competition, the winners for which will be announced in August at the PLA National Conference in Cairns.

Award for Research

Award for Use of Technology


Sunday, 10 November 2013

POSTool - Winner of the Planning Institute of Australia (WA) - Best Planning Idea: Big Project Award.

On 8 November, 2013 POSTool was awarded the Planning Institute of Australia (WA) - Best Planning Idea: Big Project Award.

The judges identified POSTool as: 
This, first-of-its-kind, web-based geospatial tool has the potential to have a significant impact on how we
plan, locate and develop public open space. The tool provides unique, innovative and consistent information
via an extensive spatial database accessible to planning professionals, researchers and the general public.
It is a rigorous and responsive tool that enables a greater interpretation of the value and opportunity that public open space provides and allows the modelling of population growth on the current and future access and provision of public open space.

We thank everyone for their support and feedback as we usher POSTool into a new era.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The End is Just the Beginning

On Tuesday 1 October 2013, POS Tool was officially launched at a Parks and Leisure Australia workshop held at UWA.

In addition, UWA issued a media release on the day titled “Perth's great outdoors: just an urban myth?” - http://www.news.uwa.edu.au/201310016090/research/perths-great-outdoors-just-urban-myth. The information was picked up by The West Australian newspaper resulting in a half page spread on 2 October 2013 as well as interviews with Prof Bull on ABC 720 and 6PR.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The End is Near

Final Product
September 13, 2013
Positive Places has reached the end of development and as of October 1st all functions of the POS Tool will be complete and available to the general public.

Introductory Product Information
POS Tool provides information on the provision and location of public open space (POS) and the facilities and amenities provided within parks across the Perth and Peel regions. POS Tool delivers wide applicability to the general public, planners and developers, and researchers alike. 

For the general public, the Tool offers a quick and simple way to find parks in your local area and see what facilities are provided. Users can find closest parks to an address, locate a park with certain facilities or simply browse for parks using the intuitive map interface.

For planners and developers, the POS Tool provides support for local and regional planning decisions focused on the provision of parks and park amenity. Users can visualise and assess the spatial distribution of POS (including parks, nature and bushland) by suburb or local government authority and analyse summary data on POS provision, park amenity, gaps in current provision and future needs.

For researchers, the POS Tool provides an opportunity to assess POS-related information for use in research projects requiring data on POS (including parks, nature and bushland, school grounds, and residual areas). POS variables can be exported and used in combination with other information sets such as census or your own data.

Instructional Product Information
Using the simple search tool users can search for POS by address, POS name or by suburb and LGA. Once identified, the location of a POS can be visualised in the map viewer and information concerning the facilities and amenities provided by a POS can be examined. An example of a single POS search is shown in the figure below. 

If searching for POS by suburb or LGA, statistics concerning the number of POS, the distribution of POS facilities, area and number of persons living within a certain distance (catchment) of POS is returned. This information can then be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet for use in reports or linked with additional information. An example of a suburb search is shown in the figure below.

POS Tool also offers a suite of advanced functions that can be reached following a quick registration process. These include the ability to draw a user defined area of interest directly on screen and the ability to upload a user defined region as a GIS shapefile for which POS statistics are then calculated. In addition, the POS Tool allows users to scenario test the relationship between changes in population structure for a user defined area and the provision of POS. An example of the POS scenario testing tool is shown in the figure below.

Recently, the POS Tool has been nominated for a Planning Institute of Australia WA Innovation Award and is currently being used to examine the relationship between POS access and health outcomes by the researchers at the Centre for the Built Environment and Health. Outside the Centre, research informed by POS Tool includes the influence of POS on housing prices and the relationship between airborne pollutants, POS and men's health. 

Getting started
Please refer to the deployment guide (link coming soon) on instructions on how to download and build the POS Tool.

There are a number of manual and document resources available:

Product re-usability information
The POS Tool was developed as a standalone web GIS application drawing upon open source java script libraries and a geographic web framework in conjunction with an object-relational database management system. The system may be of interest to those delivering geographic information through open source web based GIS applications. Whilst the application in its entity is less useful to developers, the specific GIS data manipulation and query components written in Python may provide solutions to complex spatial data handling and query problems including network catchment calculations and dasymetric mapping approaches often implemented in proprietary GIS. 

Contextual Product Information
POS Tool is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License. As POS Tool has been developed through feedback from a number of stakeholder workshops, targeted stakeholder interviews and user assessments of the software, the application is considered mature and fit for purpose. Although the sustainability of the product has been considered throughout the project and POS Tool has been designed to function with limited intervention, maintenance may occur in a number of ways as appropriate:
·        GAIA Resources will provide 2 years of web hosting and hardware warranty.
·        An automated data upload procedure has been built-in to the system allowing for data updates to be implemented by CBEH staff without intervention from GAIA Resources.
·        The team at CBEH may continue to identify new components to be added to POS Tool extending the applications spatial analytic capabilities.
·        Further enhancements and fixes may be conducted by GAIA Resources as additional funding opportunities become available.
·        The code is open source so that other groups can draw upon our innovations.
·        The system has extensive documentation to explain the use and design of the system as well as data collection and manipulation.