Several years ago I blogged about finding Cadman Rd in Auckland & wondered if there were any place names with BIM (Building Information Model). Google maps showed just one in New Zealand: Bims Rd in a fairly isolated part of the South Island near Nelson Lakes.
I usually hear Paul Thurrott on Windows Weekly podcast but this week he was in New Zealand for TechEd. This local podcast with Paul, & Aussie Microsoft MVP Alan Burchillis, is worth a listen for Aussie/Kiwis interested in the new wave of products & services from Microsoft.
A special NZ Tech Podcast episode recorded following Microsoft’s Tech Ed 2012 event in Auckland, New Zealand. Featuring discussions with keynote speaker Paul Thurrott (USA) and Microsoft MVP Alan Burchill (Australia). A variety of Microsoft related topics were discussed including announcements and news around Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Phone 8 handsets from Nokia (Lumia 820, 920) and Samsung (Ativ S). Running time: 1:05:35
Thanks to Paul, and Bradley Borrows, this edition of Windows Weekly had a few hobbity mentions
At one point Paul mentions funny Kiwi money. When I first went to the US in 2004 a nz$1 was worth about us$0.60. It’s currently about us$0.82, & climbing, and not because our economy has improved! At least you can see the difference between our notes!
Kathy Sierra asks “Does the US suck at design?” beginning with a comparison of US and Swiss currency. I read the start of the post thinking she’d probably like NZ currency only to find, further on, she does as citing the nz$5 bill which features Hillary and a penguin!
I recently learnt of this event which may be of interest to my Au/Kiwi AEC readers. The event is open to both Australian and New Zealand architects and particularly topical given the rebuild work generated by recent natural disasters.
I just love the poster obviously inspired by Napier's, post 1931 Earthquake, iconic Art Deco architecture and flight.
Australian Architects “Cross Ditch” for Conference
The NSW Country Division of the Australian Institute of Architects will hold its annual conference in Napier, New Zealand next month.
Running from 1-6 October, Across The Ditch will bring together Australian and New Zealand architects to discuss the need for regional cities and towns to retain their individual character and the alternatives to universal anonymous development in order to ensure their future viability.
With many recent natural disasters in Australia, New Zealand and other countries including Japan, the conference will also focus on how contemporary architects can respond to the challenge of creating new communities while maintaining their regional identity and without necessarily replicating the past.
There aren’t many people in New Zealand but we have more cars/head than most (~2.5 million cars/4 million people). Then consider not far off half the population live in one city and it is squeezed onto a narrow isthmus between two harbours*. So we do have traffic and now so do our Google Maps (UPDATE 2012-04-13: and Google Earth):
The area is very familiar, unlike previous South Island & Vietnam cycle trips, Most of it is within a (long) days drive of my Auckland home and the location for many childhood family holidays. I have cycled most the route before but that was long ago (I was 17!). In those days it was ‘proper’ cycle touring pedalling a bike laden with camping equipment and all the gear required to exist on the road.
This trip is not quite as intrepid. It’s a supported tour — bags in a bus, restaurant meals and motel/hotel accommodation — hosted by my favourite cycle tour company: Adventure South (who do the North too!). This will be my eighth trip with them and the group is made up of returning clients, several from my from previous trips. At least Bas, our esteemed guide, will not be able fool me about the terrain this time. He has been known to class the Southern Alps, as “a bit of an undulation”. Northland does not have the South Island’s majestic peaks but there is more than enough up & down to test my puny legs.
Anyway, there is something else happening that week. It doesn’t require you to pedal 690km (now wish I hadn’t totalled up those seemingly achievable daily rides!) and can be enjoyed from anywhere with a web connection. (Un)Fortunately a bicycle on the back roads of Northland is unlikely to provide that facility!
More details on what Autodesk have planned below and registration at:
Join us for this free Autodesk Virtual Event on March 29, 2012 [9am US PT is NZDT Friday, 30 March 2012 at 5am]. See how the latest Autodesk software can help you lead the way in bringing your ideas to life and transforming your business.
Take the lead in working smarter and faster with the latest versions of Autodesk® software. No matter what you design, there’s a software solution built to work the way you do, with customized features for building, infrastructure, product, plant, and factory design.
And now you can hear about the latest releases straight from Autodesk executives—including Lynn Allen, Technical Evangelist—and learn more about the latest Autodesk software, Autodesk suites, and more!
I’ve kept family post(s) re the Christchurch Earthquake over on my other blog but have updated the banner here to show the first picture from my first ride with Adventure South back in 2003. It was along the Port Hills overlooking the quake epicentre Diamond Harbour/Lyttleton on a blustery sunny day. As I watched helicopter shots of the area I couldn’t help but remember that day and the friends, AFAIK all those in the region shaken but safe, that made since getting on that bike. Land changes, buildings can be rebuilt, today it’s all about the people.
New Zealand has been described as 4 million people living along a fault line and last Saturday was literally shocking for the Canterbury Region. At 04:35 there was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake near Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city (pop about 372,000) & the South Islands largest.
I wasn’t affected (as live in Auckland, North Island) but like just about everyone in New Zealand have family & friends in the area. I first learnt of it via text from my Sister & family from outside their home in Christchurch. I couldn’t get them on the phone but later found out, another text, they were shaken but otherwise OK.
While waiting I was following a stream of Twitter messages about the event. It was bizarre that when I spoke to them a little later could tell them more about the magnitude and impact outside their immediate area thanks to the #EQNZ tweet stream than they knew from “official” media sources. Radio & TV did have good coverage as the day went on but it was amazing how rapidly social media responded. This included tweets from official sources like Civil Defence and GeoNet quake reports.
Everyone I know is OK and fortunately, given the scale of the event, there were surprisingly few injuries and no direct fatalities. That’s thanks to the early morning timing, good building standards (for modern structures) and a lot of luck. The shock impacted buildings (CBD historic brick facades especially) and displacement/liquefaction destroyed sections, buildings and underground services in the suburbs & surrounding countryside.
The psychological and economic impacts will be massive as many homes & businesses were destroyed, just about all touched to some degree. I work for a nationwide retail chain and although some Stores & a Distribution Centre were affected there were no injuries reported. After structural checks and a huge clean up effort the stores are trading again and it was awesome to see The Warehouse Group and (related) Tindall Foundation make a one million dollar donation to the Christchurch Mayoral Relief Fund.
While NZ has a (comparatively) strong economy and welfare system the recovery will be a slow process with estimates of several billion dollars property damage. The assessment, rebuild & infrastructure repairs (mainly water, sanitation and roads) are made more difficult as, even today, they are still getting major aftershocks. However there has been an amazing response from the locals, regional & government services and the rest of the country but it’s just the start.
“In conjunction with the Civil Defence, Red Cross staff and volunteers have been sourcing and distributing mattresses, bedding, tarps and assisting at welfare centres. Further assistance has been provided to the New Zealand Police to check on people with medical conditions such as those on life support.” (from the Red Cross NZ site)
Thanks for reading and, by doing that, helping the cause.
Some resources for my Kiwi readers:
Official National & Regional Website:
This afternoon (Wednesday 8 September) Gerry Brownlee, the Minister responsible for the recovery from the Canterbury earthquake, announced a new website to make it easy for the public to find authoritative information. The site centralises links to all information on the quake – both the immediate civil defence actions and recovery operations. It includes links to health, property, essential services, closures, support services, recovery, the latest news and essential contacts.
Today Critchlow NZ who supply The Warehouse, my employers, demographics software (MapInfo) & data created a crowd sourced Google map of Christchurch emergency data. Anyone with info and a Google Logon (Gmail etc) can add/update as needed.
Check out the Christchurch earthquake map created by some members of the Critchlow team to support those affected by the recent quakes. The crowdsource map is built on Google, and maps key information like portaloo locations, water refilling stations, open stores and petrol stations, road closures and much more. Check out the earthquake map, add more info, and pass on the URL to anyone who might find it useful.
www.radiolive.co.nz – Broadcast Nationwide in New Zealand on FM, a Web live stream and web audio archive for a week after first broadcast.
“11:15:- What’s My Line? Architect Pete Bossley has been involved in some major public works such as Te Papa and the Maritime Museum. We discuss the world of architecture and Pete gives us his line-up of the greatest buildings, ever.”
Pete Bossley Architects - Pete Bossley Architects is an architectural and interior design practice with the express purpose of providing intense input into a deliberately limited number of projects
I’ve introduced you to my friend Peter Thomson a few times. Last week, Peter sent me some pictures of an airport Runway End Safety Area (RESA), his team worked on with Civil 3D 2008…
The airport is between a lake and river (mid right of the photo below I took when departing on a stunning day) and surrounded by mountains, That location combined with mountain weather, that can literally change by the minute, means you have an “interesting” flight even on a nice day. Good to see skilled work with Civil 3D improve one of our favourite tourist destinations!
One approach to NZQN brings you over the Crown Range (on the left above and the vantage point for the photo below) towards the Remarkable Range (on the left below) with a right turn (before you hit them!) to line up with the runway on the plateau in the middle of the photo. Miss the approach and you have to scoot up the lake avoiding more mountains as you climb out. Have only “flown” this in Microsoft Flight Simulator and it’s a challenge!