Welcome to Geospatial - the use of skills, tools and data by people in Canterbury

Welcome to the Geospatial field trip for Term 2, operating from 28-30 May 2013. This trip is supported by LINZ - Land Information New Zealand and The New Zealand Geospatial Office. For similar topics go to the Field Trip Chooser.


The Canterbury earthquakes have had a major effect on the lives of just about everyone in the region and have been tragic for some people. The disruptions to infrastructure, commerce, education, recreation and day to day living have been profound. For many homeowners in the eastern areas and in the hill suburbs damage to land has meant that their homes have become uninhabitable. Many large commercial and historic buildings thoughout the CBD have been damaged and a large number have already been demolished. However, the rebuild is under way and is expected to gather momentum as a new vision for the city is realised.

This field trip is the second of three that will follow the rebuild of Christchurch over the next 3 years looking at the special systems and tools used in the redevelopment of the CBD, public facilities and the suburbs.

Soon after the earthquakes it became apparent that organisations had to work closely together to make rapid repairs to services and begin the process of rebuilding. See how land movement has changed the city and discover how experts are planning to build a new Christchurch. 

Watch the Geospatial Introductory Video - small version (8Mb mp4 file). Large version (20Mb mp4 file).

Look at the Geospatial Preview, a slideshow that gives students an overview of the field trip - PDF (2Mb).


Christchurch city is located on the edge of the Canterbury Plains on the east coast of the South Island. Damage to the city of Christchurch occurred after a series of earthquakes. The first earthquake in September 2010 was centred 40 kilometres west of the city, near the town of Darfield at a depth of 10 kilometres. The damaging aftershock which occurred on 22 February 2011 was centred near Lyttelton, 10 kilometres from the centre of Christchurch at a depth of only five kilometres.

View the LEARNZ Homepage Map for a more detailed map location.

Field Trip Plan

Monday 27 May

Travel Day: Read the diary about Shelley and Alvin's journey north from Dunedin to Christchurch for the Geospatial field trip and discover what's new in Christchurch. View the wintery panoramas and read about Alvin's adventures.
Tuesday 28 May

Explore Christchurch and brave the winter weather to see how geospatial information is helping with the rebuild of Christchurch. Read the diary to see how information about the land is collected, shared and used to decide where to rebuild. View the panoramas of how land levels and land use have changed since the earthquakes. Read about Alvin's adventures. Watch the videos to see how changes in the land are measured and recorded. Get the questions and listen to the audioconferences.

Wednesday 29 May

Watch the videos to discover how topographical maps are used and who needed them after the earthquakes. Read the diary about how to use and read topo50 maps in both paper form and on mobile devices. Get the questions and listen to the audioconferences. Read Alvin's update and view the panoramas.

Thursday 30 May

Watch the videos to see how land elevation is measured. Read the diary to find out how the Port of Lyttelton was affected by the earthquakes and discover more about hydrographic surveying technology, nautical charts and tide gauges. Get the questions and listen to the audioconferences. Read about what Alvin got up to today and view the panoramas from high on the Port Hills.

What's New

Wednesday 26 June

Newsletter 5 was sent to all enrolled classes.

Wednesday 26 June Congratulations to Blue Mountain College for winning the evaluation prize draw. Teachers you can still complete your online evaluation for this field trip.
Friday 26 April Check out the Geospatial Preview and Background Reading Pages.
Friday 26 April The Geospatial website is now online.