Well it’s been a big day for the team at Esri Australia!
Today we launched KoalaMap with our community partner The Australia Koala Foundation (AKF). We held a media launch at the Esri Australia head office in Brisbane and welcomed lots of media, including AAP, Channel 9 and Ten (to name but a few of our favs).
We’ve already seen the story run on Channel Ten – very exciting! (Although it was reported that the development of KoalaMaps was the result of an $8million software investment – it was actually a partnership that took advantage of our not-for-profit program). But regardless, it’s great to see GIS and modern sophisticated maps get media coverage. It’s also getting picked up lots by newspapers/websites including The Australian, Courier Mail, Herald Sun, ABC – there are many media outlets picking this up so keep your eyes peeled! Maps are going mainstream!
So what is this cool new map all about? In a nutshell, KoalaMaps is a new interactive mapping website designed to mobilise communities to help identify, improve and protect koala habitats. Our work with the AKF has focused on taking an massive pool of data compiled by the foundation over 25 years, and giving it geographic context. In simple terms, we’ve taken thousands of pieces of data, put them into a map, posted the map online and invited the community to add their own information to the site.
The purpose of the exercise has been to empower concerned community members to get involved in making a difference in the preservation of koala habitats. So go ahead – get involved and do your bit for our cutest nation emblem! From a technology point of view, KoalaMap isn’t your every day map. For one, it’s interactive and the story it tells around the state of koala habitats is very powerful. It has been developed using the same sophisticated software we used to create the predictive flood maps for the Brisbane floods earlier this year, and the same software now being used to aide emergency response in Japan.
This is an exciting launch for the Australia Koala Foundation and one that we at Esri Australia, are proud to be involved with. Congrats to Deborah and team at the AKF and thanks to the team at Esri Australia who worked to get this off the ground – Mark Billing, Peter Lambert, Anton Delporte, Vince McClarty and Marshall Allen. Checkout KoalaMaps at http://koalamap.savethekoala.com/ or found out more in our media release.