Drone in Agriculture

DIY Drone Mapping Workshop for Agriculture

Cutting-edge solutions to improve farming outcomes

Cohga has teamed up with University of Southern Queensland, Land Solution, and Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland / Queensland Farmers’ Federation, to put on a free half day workshop on key concepts of using drones for smart farming and agriculture purpose.

This workshop will be held on 22 April 2021 in Stanthorpe. You can register and find out more details here.

Hear directly from agricultural, industry professionals and researchers in a series of talks and demonstrations. In this interactive workshop you will learn about cutting edge drone technology and how their products can be used to better manage your farms.

If you would like to know more about how Cohga can assist your agriculture business then please Contact us to start the discussion.

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Cohga Joins Northern Territory Government ICT Panel Contract

Provision of ICT Specialist Services

Cohga is pleased to announce that we have been granted lateral entry to the Northern Territory Government panel contract D19-0147 - Provision of ICT Specialist Services.

Cohga was selected for Stream 1 - ICT Packaged Works under the panel, which will allow us to continue providing our Weave software and services in a more effective and efficient manner.

Cohga Manager Graeme Taylor noted “Cohga has been operating in the Northern Territory since 2013 and entry to this contract confirms our commitment to the local ICT industry.  We are excited by this panel arrangement as it will streamline the procurement process and ensure projects are not delayed.”

Some well-known public Weave systems in the Northern Territory include

NRMAPS – https://nrmaps.nt.gov.au/

STRIKE – http://strike.nt.gov.au/

POINT – https://point.nt.gov.au/

If you would like to know more about how to engage with Cohga under the D19-0147 Panel Contract then please Contact us now to start the discussion.

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GDA2020 Upgrade Services

GDA2020 Background

From 1 January 2020 Australia has adopted the GDA2020 datum to represent coordinates on a more accurate and modern global reference frame. As a consequence, spatial information custodians are being encouraged to use GDA2020 as the foundation for their spatial data sets.

For data custodians this will mean converting their spatial data from their current datum (e.g. GDA94) to the new datum, and adopting the associated map projection change.

More information is available from the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) websites on GDA2020 and upgrades to the Australian Geospatial Reference System. Resources include the GDA2020 Technical Manual, FAQs, Fact Sheets and a GDA2020 Forum.

Cohga GDA2020 Services

If you are considering moving to GDA2020 then please contact Cohga to discuss what you will need to do from a Weave perspective. Cohga has a range of upgrade services to suit needs and budget and will work with you to identify what is the best approach for your organisation.

From a project perspective we recommend the following steps:

Plan

It is important to plan this upgrade project well, as the changes being made are significant and need to be carried out in a methodical and structured way. From experience we can advise that the more time spent planning this upgrade the better the outcome, so we encourage you to engage a Project Manager and adopt some Project Planning tools and processes.

Communicate

It is vitally important that your clients – internal and external – are made aware of the changes you are planning as this will assist with the smooth transition to the new system. We encourage a communications strategy that provides clients with timely and informative updates to ensure there are no surprises at any stage of the project.

This communications strategy is also a good opportunity for you to promote yourself and your services by showing your clients that you are working to improve and modernise the system for them.

Test

Your project plan should include conducting a full system upgrade in a test environment before upgrading your production system. This will provide you the opportunity to develop and test all the steps in the process to ensure your system is upgraded correctly and in the most efficient way.

Once you have your plan, scripts and processes defined you will be ready to upgrade your production system.

Execute

If you have planned well and tested your plan then the execution phase should be relatively straight forward and successful. Set aside enough time to roll out the upgraded production system and importantly communicate this change with your clients early.

Take the pain out of the GDA2020 upgrade. Cohga professional services team are ready to work with you and your IT team to deliver a smooth transition. Contact us now to start the discussion.

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Petroleum Onshore Information NT Portal now Available

POINT Portal

On 17 February 2021 Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison and Minister for Environment Eva Lawler announced the availability of the POINT system that provides public access to key information and data about onshore petroleum activities.

This new portal provides information relating to proposed and approved activities, including environmental approvals, environment management plans, monitoring data and compliance reporting.

POINT contributes to the government’s commitment of ensuring transparency in the development and regulation of the onshore petroleum industry. This free mapping portal provides information on the onshore petroleum industry in the Territory, including:

  • The Territory’s regulatory framework
  • Industry codes of practice and guidelines
  • Geological regions in the NT, including Basins and Sub-basins
  • Petroleum titles
  • Petroleum wells
  • Companies with a petroleum interest in the NT
  • Petroleum activities.

The POINT system is the first enterprise level Weave 3 solution to hit the market. Previous Weave 3 implementations have been simple public clients and this POINT solution illustrates the maturity of the Weave 3 platform.

POINT has a clean, intuitive and modern interface on both the desktop and mobile clients. A feature developed for this project is the Data Catalogue which provides a tree like navigation to documents served to it from an external third-party document management system. Within this catalogue is the concept of Relationships, where the administrator can define relationships between entities and let the end user navigate (up and down) through the relationship tree using the Data Catalogue.

Relationships is a core part of Weave 3 and available to all users. Cohga is happy to chat to you about this new capability and how it can be used in your context.

Take the pain out of Weave 3 set up and configuration. Cohga professional services team are ready to work with you and your IT team to deliver a smooth transition. Contact us now to start the discussion.

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Weave Supports SAML

Authenticating with SAML

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is an open standard where you can use one set of credentials to log in to many different websites.

As of Weave 2.6.5, SAML 2.0 is supported by Weave as a means of authenticating users.

SAML is the specification that outlines the steps required to perform the authentication but there are multiple different implementations of SAML Identity Providers (IdP), Weave itself is a SAML Service Provider (SP), this includes:

Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) - a Single Sign-On (SSO) solution created by Microsoft

  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) - a cloud based SSO solution provided by Microsoft
  • Keycloak - an open source identity and access management solution provided by Red Hat
  • Cognito - an AWS identity provider solution provided by Amazon
  • Okta - a cloud based SAML identity provider created by Okta, Inc.

Weave itself uses the Keycloak Java library, which is different from the Keycloak identity provider listed above but is provided by the same team, for communicating with whichever SAML Identity Provider you wish to integrate with. This page documents how to configure Weave so that it will use this Keycloak library to communicate with your chosen SAML IdP.

Learn more about SAML Authentication

Take the pain out of SAML configuration. Cohga professional services team are ready to work with your IT team to deliver a smooth transition. Contact us now to start the discussion.

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Cohga Updates Corporate Web Site

Cohga’s updated web site includes new sections and content.

Some things to look out for:

  • NEW! Solutions menu – showcasing several major solutions developed using the Weave platform.
  • NEW! Resources menu – showcasing a range of useful stuff to assist Weave users and potential Weave users get a better understanding of the capabilities and possibilities of the Weave platform.
  • NEW! Weave sub menus – going into greater detail behind the product.
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Weave 2.6 Released

Weave 2.6.0 has been released on 8 November 2019. This is
important news for customers who are using version 2.5.x as it means we will
now only be providing hotfixes for 2.5 releases, and any new or enhanced functionality
will be provided as part of 2.6.x releases

Note that the Weave 2.6.0 upgrade was aimed at modernising
the Java and Jetty foundation components in line with our continuous
improvement program and road map. By updating the Weave foundation frameworks we
are able to continuously innovate to provide the expected business capability
in an ever changing world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to upgrade to Weave 2.6.0?

Not immediately, but we recommend you start planning for this upgrade soon. Information on how to upgrade can be found on our wiki https://bit.ly/32GrJdo.

What is the benefit of upgrading to Weave 2.6.0?

You will take advantage of more modern Java and Jetty frameworks, which will result in improved performance and capability. Also, you will be able to take advantage of any new functionality developed in Weave.

What new capability/functionality is available in Weave 2.6.0?

The Weave 2.6.0 release has exactly the same functionality as 2.5.30. New release capability can be found on our “What’s New” wiki page https://bit.ly/33EFAlS

How do I upgrade to Weave 2.6.0?

You must install Weave 2.6 to a new location, but you can copy your existing 2.5 configuration over to the new installation and you do not need to uninstall your previous Weave 2.5 instance. Information on how to upgrade can be found on our wiki https://bit.ly/32GrJdo.

Can I upgrade to Weave 2.6.0 myself?

Yes, however some knowledge of your Weave infrastructure and networks is required. To perform the initial installation, you will require the Weave installer .jar file. This can be downloaded from Latest Downloads page https://bit.ly/2KcZKvH if you have a current support subscription.

What if I have custom bundles?

Custom bundles can be migrated to 2.6 easily and quickly, however, that will only be the case while the 2.6 code is still basically the same as 2.5. As more developments are made in 2.6 the less likely it will be that a 2.5 bundle will work with 2.6, which may mean there could be more effort required to get older bundles working.

Can Cohga assist me to upgrade to Weave 2.6.0?

Absolutely. Cohga has a professional services team who can work with you to devise, plan and execute your upgrade strategy. Upgrade effort will be determined by your requirements and your IT/IS rules of engagement as well as on the number of systems you have and the complexity of those system. A typical upgrade conducted by Cohga should take no more than 3 – 5 days. In addition, Cohga provides a 30-day warranty on all our upgrade services so you can have peace of mind that issues will be resolved quickly and effectively if they arise.

For further details and upgrade service enquiries please
contact:

Peter James
Business Development Manager
Mobile: +61 (0)400 385 131
Email: pjames@cohga.com

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Weave Mobile Saves Water for the Northern Territory

After a poor wet season across the Territory, water resources have not been refilled and the Department of Environment and Resources is working to get the message out to the community that everyone needs to do their bit to reduce demand on the groundwater resources.

In recent years, 10% to 15% of Darwin’s urban drinking water supply has been sourced from groundwater aquifers in the Darwin rural area resulting in some groundwater systems operating at critical levels. At this rate some bores in the rural area will become unserviceable this dry season which means, amongst other things, rural residents may need to purchase and store drinking water if this happens.

As part of its natural resource management plan the Department of Environment and Resources has created an initiative called “Help stop the Drop!” https://denr.nt.gov.au/land-resource-management/water/water-resources/help-stop-the-drop which includes marketing activities and community consultation, as well as tools for helping residents understand bore water usage. One of these tools is the Know your bore web application based on the Weave Mobile Client.

Figure 1 – http://nrmaps.nt.gov.au/knowyourbore.html

This is a simple Weave Mobile Client that allows the public to search for and review the status of water bores in the Territory. Bores can be located using the standard pan/zoom touch capability of the map interface, or a simple search can be conducted using a property address or bore number. Once a bore is identified the relevant information about that water resource is displayed.

Future releases of the Know your bore application are being planned to allow licensed bore owners to record water meter readings.

The Cohga Weave solution includes all the necessary code and configuration files to develop Mobile Web Applications for searching, reviewing and editing information from all mobile devices – tablets and phones – using their native web browsers. The Weave mobile client makes use of all the existing Weave resources such as maps, data, indexes, searches, etc., meaning mobile web applications can be developed and deployed very quickly.

In addition, all the security associated with an existing Weave system continues to be used which removes the risk and effort of implementing another security protocol.

“Cohga Australia provided a simple and effective mobile web solution that exceeded client expectations. Under an extremely tight deadline, they developed a product that was cost-effective and most importantly, re-usable in other applications. Despite the time pressures, Cohga’s customer service was always polite and solution-focused.

This company has proved themselves to be a leader in spatial systems integration and mobile web development.”

Ross O’Campo, Geospatial Services Branch, Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Know your Bore Web Application

Clicking the Search Button opens the Quick Search tool to enable the user to search for a property or bore. In this case the search term is “Secrett” which returns all the properties in Secrett Road.

Figure 2 – Search Button

Figure 3 – Quick Search

Selecting a property from the drop down list will zoom the map to that property (in this case, 160 Secrett Road) and show the water bores in the vicinity (shown as red, orange, green and blue points). By clicking on a bore the relevant details are displayed.

Figure 4 – Water bore locations

Figure 5 – Details of selected bore

The View report and More information hyperlinks will open new browser pages with additional information.

Finally, clicking the Layers button on the home page presents a set of base map layers under user control.

Figure 6 – Change Layers Button

Figure 7 – User controlled map layers

Positive Outcomes

The launch of the Know your bore tool includes both a desktop browser client and a mobile client. Weave has the ability to determine what platform is being used and serves the relevant client as appropriate.

Since its launch the Department has been monitoring the use of the system and notes that over 90% of access to the site is via mobile devices, which accords with their understanding of current user preferences.

Given that Territorians are the highest water users in Australia and that across the Territory about two thirds of water is used on gardens, it is important to communicate as widely as possible the need for everyone to do their bit to reduce demand on groundwater resources.

By making this information resource available via the Know your bore mobile application the Department has greatly broadened their public reach thereby potentially influencing many more people about the urgent need to conserve water.

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Cohga wins Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards

Successful Partnership wins Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards

Cohga (www.cohga.com) in partnership with Iconyx (www.iconyx.com) was recently presented with three awards for spatial excellence at the Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards (QSEA) 2013. Cohga and Iconyx collaborated on a joint submission to the QSEA 2013 Industry Awards for two categories – Spatial Enablement and Technical Excellence. The Cohga/Iconyx partnership was rewarded for their effort with the following awards:
  • 2013 Industry Award for Spatial Enablement
  • 2013 Industry Award HIGHLY COMMENDED for Technical Excellence
  • 2013 Industry Award – JM ‘Mac’ Serisier Award – for Overall Excellence.
The J M (Mac) Serisier Award is the ultimate award and is conferred, by consensus of the Judging Panel, for the highest level of attainment in the Industry Awards nominations. The J M ‘Mac’ Serisier Award recognizes Mac Serisier’s enormous contribution to the professional and business communities in spatial information, surveying and mapping. Cohga and Iconyx have developed a strong working relationship over the years and these awards highlight the effectiveness of bringing together the products and services of two organisations to create an outcome that fully satisfies a client’s needs.

Queensland Spatial Excellence Awards

Celebrating Queensland’s Excellence in Spatial Information, QSEA is an annual event presented by the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA), the QSEA are unique to the Queensland surveying and spatial industry. As the only introduction into the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), the QSEA are widely recognised and participated in by public, private and academic sectors.

QSEA key principles

  • Recognise and acknowledge excellence in the spatial information industry;
  • Celebrate excellence before an audience of industry peers;
  • Encourage activities that create a stronger, larger and more relevant industry;
  • Embrace the achievements of the industry and its related industries and professions;
  • See the industry as a whole grow and mature through its achievements in innovation, business and in project management and professional practice.

What does QSEA achieve?

Recognising excellence is an important marketing tool for both individuals and organisations in every sphere. Celebrating that excellence in full view of peers and colleagues encourages activities and behaviours that make the industry stronger, bigger and more relevant. Participants and observers alike can see the industry as a whole, understand its strength and potential, see it as a growing and maturing sector proficient at key business and management competencies – as an innovative and exciting prospect for future investment.
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Councils are benefitting by moving from EView to Weave

Cohga’s Weave business integration framework is proving to be a very cost effective replacement for Australia’s ageing EView system with a number of Australian councils making the change so far and many others are considering changing. While EView was a great product in its day the technology and architecture of the product is old and no longer fits a modern council’s need for systems integration and web mapping. In addition their supplier no longer develops EView which puts organisations at risk and increases the costs of running an ageing system.

The architects and developers of EView are those who left to become the core of Cohga and who built a second generation system in the form of Weave, which means the upgrade from EView to Weave is an easy and quick process. “We have been able to migrate client configurations from EView to Weave in as little as one day” said Shaun Forbes, one of the architects. “Having a deep knowledge of the EView architecture has allowed us to develop a set of tools to transfer the significant investment our clients made in the configuration of EView into Weave in a very rapid and cost effective manner.”

Aaron van Herk, the other key architect, says “Our experience with clients that migrate from EView to Weave is that they are happier as they now have a modern, open and flexible technology solution with a lower cost of ownership.” Aaron goes on to say “We are continually excited and encouraged by the innovative solutions our clients develop once they have the means to do so. Given that we have a client driven road map for Weave we are happy to include client innovations into the core Weave product thus making them available to the whole Weave community.”

Examples of the Councils that have upgraded from EView to Weave to date include the large councils of City of Melbourne and City of Greater Geelong.

Please contact Cohga for more information on how your organisation can benefit from moving to Weave.

Benefits of Weave

Increased return on investment in data

With a short implementation cycle, Weave provides online access to spatial and other database content to all authorised users (role based access control). As a result, the information can be quickly made available to a wide range of staff without significantly increasing the administrative overhead, and with an improvement of the return obtained from the data.

The powerful database integration capabilities provide the foundation for the creation of value added information products, enhancing the use of the data, and the value of that data to the organisation.

Increased revenue generation

Rapid visualisation and the cross-linking of data means that existing corporate data stores can be tested for accuracy and compatibility. Each individual database can be validated against others. More reliable data leads to improved quality of service and better client satisfaction, which can result in higher revenue generation.

Spatial data can be made accessible to other stakeholders such as customers, business partners and suppliers, featuring in visually compelling e-commerce applications.

Capital cost savings

The utilisation of a development environment well accepted in the IT world (OSGi, J2EE, Ajax, JSON, SQL, XML) allows the IT group to administer the system without the need for specialised knowledge, leading to overall capital cost savings.

The use of free Web browsers as the interface to the integrated data allows organisations to deliver the information to a wider range of staff without additional costs. The cost per seat is kept low and the system is extensible.

The Weave server supports internal users as well as users or customers on the Internet. Another licence to support such separated activity does not need to be purchased. In addition the Weave server is not licensed per user, and can be used to the maximum activity that the infrastructure can support.

Further savings can be achieved by minimising the number of applications required throughout the organisation. This is typical of places using desktop applications for inquiry and reporting, which Weave replaces with a web browser, saving maintenance dollars.

Increased productivity

The easily configurable SQL/XML interface facilitates the rapid fulfilment of “change requests”, e.g. change a search; integrate more databases, create new reports, etc. This reduces IT staff workload and enables improved productivity in the broader workforce.

The facility provided to all users for the generation of reports relieves specialist staff of the associated workload. This allows the specialist staff to focus their activities on tasks more aligned with their business objectives such as data maintenance and improvement that are likely to benefit a wider audience.

Users only require a web browser for accessing Weave, while providing significant introductory and analytical GIS capabilities (e.g. buffer, geographic feature selection, reporting), which can significantly increase staff productivity.

Output from Weave can be easily incorporated into company documents. It takes little time to implement a user-specified search, report, or map, thereby significantly improving staff productivity and the effectiveness of presentation material.

Managers are provided with a much improved view of the organisation’s corporate data, as Weave makes the key elements of the business visible through a more integrated view of the business information. This results in faster and better informed decision making.

Operational cost savings

New users are productive using the default Weave client interface within minutes, as it is highly intuitive. This represents a major cost saving compared with the training required to use traditional desktop applications provided by the decision support systems currently in use.

Staff qualified through a three-day training course can administer Weave. This enables organisations to avoid the outsourcing of this activity if desired. This can lead to operational cost savings through reduced system administration costs.

By encapsulating the linkages between various corporate datasets in a simple, open SQL/XML system, business rules are captured and preserved, holding business knowledge openly within the application itself, not fractured by groups or personalities, and helping to minimise retraining costs in the case of staff loss or transfer.