GIS and geoinformatics research
Crowdsourcing of geographic information
We are developing methods to extract geographic information from social media, for purposes including river monitoring, assessment of perceptions of marine environments and disaster management, as well as actively crowdsourcing similar kinds of information.
Geographic information systems
Our expertise is in the storage and analysis of geographical data. We specialise in digital mapping, cartography and spatial analysis. Massey hosts one of the largest collections of digital spatial data in New Zealand. We undertake Digital Terrain Analysis using LiDAR and terrestrial LiDAR.
Geographic knowledge representation and reasoning
Our research is exploring the representation of human geographic knowledge in information systems, and developing methods to emulate human spatial reasoning. We are addressing the issue of uncertainty in this knowledge, using approaches including fuzzy logic, Bayesian belief networks and modelling of complex aspects of geographic knowledge.
Māori perspectives and geographic information science
We are developing methods to model and capture indigenous geographic knowledge (which may be qualitative and include representations such as oral histories) and incorporate it in existing environmental monitoring systems, considering Māori worldviews and perspectives of the environment.
Precision agriculture and livestock management
Our research in this area works to enhance the economic and environmental performance of land, including the application of new and emerging technology to improve agricultural systems.
Research focuses on GIS, precision agriculture and resource management. This includes investigations of fertiliser use, animal tracking, resource management, remote sensing and identifying nutrient content and delivering fertiliser by air.
Remote sensing and Earth observation
Our work focuses on capturing data and change detection by monitoring the Earth’s surface through satellite, aerial, proximal sensing and drone surveys. This includes ground and field validation of airborne and satellite imagery.
We are integrating science and data management solutions to effectively manage and conserve New Zealand’s natural resources, including studying the spatial distribution and movement of marine, fluvial and coastal environments and species, and modelling the effect of human actions on the environment.
Find programmes with a research element, including the PhD.
- Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Geography)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (Agricultural Science)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (Earth Science)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (Geography)
- Master of Agriculture
- Master of Arts (Geography)
- Master of Environmental Management
- Master of Information Sciences (Information Technology)
- Master of Science (Agricultural Science)
- Master of Science (Earth Science)
- Master of Science (Geography)
- Master of Science (Soil Science)
Search for an expert
Search our staff database for an expert or area of expertise.
An exploration of the effects of the built environment on depression in the Wellington Region
Rose's master's project explores the relationship of walkability and mental health amongst adolescents in the Wellington Region. The study demonstrated an association between walkability and symptoms of depression in adolescents. The study demonstrated an association between walkability and symptoms of depression in adolescents. It also showed that a walkable neighbourhood may help to reduce depressive symptoms.
C-Dax invests in Agri Tech
The C-Dax pasture robot, developed in conjunction with students at Massey University, has been designed to help precisely measure pasture autonomously, saving both labour costs and the over fertilisation of land.
Cow GPS aids sustainable grazing research
This research monitored cows over three consecutive winters at Massey University’s Tuapaka farm to get baseline measures of how the beef cows used the 8 to 12 ha paddocks.
The research found that, even in extensive hill country paddocks, cows avoided walking uphill. Instead the cows followed the contours of the hills and concentrated their grazing on the flatter areas. The movement of the cows was largely unaffected by cold, wet weather.
Debris flow and flank collapse at Mt Ruapehu
This Natural Hazards Research Platform-funded project seeks to understand debris flow and flank collapse processes and hazards at Mt Ruapehu. This project integrates remote sensing, geophysical imaging and numerical simulation to map out zones of elevated hazards from future flank collapse processes.
Enabling airborne hyperspectral and thermal imaging for geothermal exploration and hazard assessment
This project is gathering insights into interaction and surface manifestation of the geothermal processes at Hipaua and Waiotapu geothermal sites using airborne hyperspectral and thermal imaging. This will provide insights into managing risks at such locations
Foraging range of fur seals
This project investigated the foraging range of New Zealand fur seals at three breeding colonies in the South Island. We equipped females with satellite data loggers, investigated their feeding habits through the use of fatty acids and stable isotopes and assessed the spatial overlap between fur seals and fisheries using GIS tools.
Geographic information systems and unpersoned aerial vehicles camp
This project aims to foster an education and community outreach initiative that expands high school students’ complementary competencies in science, technology and critical thinking through a multi-day geographic information systems (GIS) and unpersoned aerial vehicle (UAV or drone) camp.
Ira Moana - Genes of the Sea
The Ira Moana Project aims to deliver a searchable metadatabase for our genetic and genomic data (from both old and next-generation sequencing techniques, for terrestrial and marine critters, as well as environmental samples).
The metadatabase will ensure the kaitiakitanga of our data– creating opportunities for data synthesis, data re-use, and to inform our future research directions.
Role of rights-based geographic information science in heritage mapping at Tongariro National Park
This research traces cartographic assemblages to gain insight into connections between Indigenous peoples and rights-based approaches to UNESCO World Heritage mapping processes. A combination of archival research, critical mapping and GIS approaches are used to investigate 1) how Indigenous/human rights policies can transform cartographic processes and 2) what implications cartographic process may have on the perpetuation of rights-based heritage.
Typical New Zealanders
Dr Jeff McNeill’s research looks at the NZ Division’s participation in the WW1 Battle of Messines, and considers whether these Kiwi soldiers were “typical New Zealanders”. His work draws on documents from both sides of the conflict, and uses GIS to examine the battlefield terrain for clues to the events of the battle.
Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
This course is designed to meet CAA requirements for RPAS operators with little or no aviation experience who want to enter the industry or further develop their understanding of the use of RPAS in the aviation environment. The course is designed to bridge the gap between RPAS operators and aviators to enhance the safety of your operation. It delivers a syllabus centred around safe operating practices featuring hands-on scenarios and practical demonstrations by industry experts.
We have expertise in deploying radio-controlled, multi-rotor helicopters (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs) carrying cameras and multispectral sensors to provide high-resolution data for new research initiatives.
Fenix Hyperspectral Imaging System
As part of the "Pioneering to Precision" PGP project with Ravensdown and the Ministry for Primary Industries, Massey University purchased a Fenix Hyperspectral Imaging System (Fenix). This is the only Fenix owned outside of the UK and Europe. Flown in a fixed-wing aircraft, the Fenix obtains images from over 450 wave bands including visible, near, short and infra-red. These form maps of nutrient content and concentration, pasture quality and areas of poor drainage, can identify species and cultivars and is used internationally to determine water quality and algae detection. The Fenix can cover large areas in short periods and enables surveys of previously-inaccessible areas.
Currently the New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture has a quadcopter and an octocopter in the fleet. They are equipped with GPS, altitude control, telemetry, position hold and waypoint flying. Both machines were purchased and assembled by Aerobot in Australia and they run the Mikrokopter flight systems, based in Germany. The quadcopter has a maximum payload of 1kg and the octocopter can technically lift 5kg, but for a decent flight time a maximum payload of 2.5-3 kg is more suitable. The quadcopter has a maximum flight range of 250m from the start point whereas the octocopter has the commercial licence GPS and can fly 1000m from the start point.
The Trimble fixed-wing UX5 is launched via slingshot off a rail and flies on an automated flight path (set by the user). It takes visible or near-infrared photos which are knitted together to create a mosaic of the sampled area. When the flight is completed, the UX5 will land automatically once the cue from the pilot is given. The UX5 is most useful for obtaining clear, accurate images and contours of an area, and for generating 3D imagery. It also provides a very accurate Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the area. The camera mounts inside the hull of the UX5 and take two photos per second.
The Geoinformatics Collaboratory is a virtual research centre. It brings together Massey University scientists across disciplines who work with geographic information and conduct research in geoinformatics. The Collaboratory hosts a virtual research environment as a resource for research, education and collaboration in Geoinformatics, providing data sets, virtual seminars and other resources to researchers and students.
Massey AgriFood Technology Partnership
The Partnership is focused on working with industry on research and development to provide relevant, leading-edge agricultural and horticultural technology. We have an active postgraduate student programme and provide site-specific consultancy.
New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture
New Zealand Centre for Precision Agriculture (NZCPA) creates practical land management solutions through the use of leading-edge precision technology tools. Whether you are an individual farmer or a large corporation or government agency, we offer relevant, leading research and site-specific consultancy to help enhance the economic and environmental performance of your land.
Hyperceptions is a spin out company of Massey University and Massey Ventures Limited offering specialist hyperspectral imaging and remote sensing services to a variety of industry, government and professional groups. Work has been focused on-farm and in forestry using hyperspectral imaging to identify and quantify nutrients, quality attributes of pasture and crops and disease detection.