Sir Edmund Hillary


Sir Edmund Hillary died on Friday at the age of 88. He was a hero and a man of the people and I wanted to join the millions of people speaking his praises and remembering his deeds. He is remembered by most people as the man who conquered Mt Everest and many other peaks around the world, but he did so much more.

Most people who climb mountains (and I am wildly generalizing here) spend most of their lives climbing, travelling writing books and  enjoying their sport. Very few give something back, unless you consider the litter they leave on the beautiful mountansides as a legacy.

Sir Edmund left a poor country much richer for his efforts. He appreciated the assistance that the Sherpa people gave him and formed the Himalayan Trust to help them help themselves. Through the generosity of other people and under Hillary’s guidance the trust built 2 hospitals and 27 schools. A better role model and representative you would struggle to find, especially for a sporting personality.

He was a humble man and one of simple needs. His philosophy was along the lines of, if you are going to do something, do it well and do it quietly with little fuss.

In New Zealand the public has been clambering for a public holiday in his honor, or perhaps a Hero’s Day where we could remember him and other people who have left a legacy worthy of recognition. I’ll probably get shot down in flames for saying this, but I would propose that Waitangi Day, the day we remember the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and the Maori people is turned back into New Zealand day where we remember all the people who made this country what it is, from the sailors and settlers to the great leaders of Maoridom through to the athletes, the scientists and everyoe that makes a difference in a positive way.

Back to Sir Ed, please don’t misconstrue this, but I found him to be a particularly boring writer, but struggled through his biography of his quest and success in the scaling of Mt Everest. It was a dogged slog of a read, but I guess it also indicative of the singlemindedness that made him successful. I think the only sports book that I have read that was on a par to that would be the Sir Richard Hadley biography which was a list of statistics, which again illustrated the dogged one track focus of a highly successful and much loved sportsman. I loved to watch you play, but I struggled with your book sir:)

So Sir Edmund, it is now time to rest. Your body lies In State and people are lining up around the country to sign books of remembrance and I think your family will still be surprised at the depth of feeling and fondness Kiwi’s have of you. You will have a State Funeral which you wouldn’t want in a thousand years, but it’s no longer up to you. Rest in peace and know that the world is so much better off for the time you spent with us and your legacy will never be forgotten, in New Zealand, in Nepal and anywhere that people climb mountains both personal and physical.

Carbon Emission savings and Mapping Technologies


This is from my blog at GeoSmart Maps Ltd in Auckland where I am gainfully employed in Business Development.

We’re helping you reduce your carbon footprint The movement towards reducing carbon emissions is growing daily and New Zealand’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol in practical terms means that it is going to be high on the roadmap for New Zealand businesses and government. The data we are collecting and providing in our products and services is helping people in simple and practical ways to reduce their vehicle kilometers driven on NZ roads.

With the high cost of petrol and the expectation that it will continue to increase, there are already incentives to reduce the distances we drive in our cars. With more and more evidence of global warming and our commitment to doing what we can to reduce carbon emmissions, especially from our motor vehicles, GeoSmart is doing its part to help.

Many of our products and solutions involve data which can help people travel from A to B more efficiently. For example:

  • Car Navigation is an obvious one. I frequently hear stories of people without navigation in their cars getting lost and driving much further than they should be. Add this to the well warn stories of ‘men don’t ask directions’ and ‘women can’t read maps’ which is proven to be true over and over again and the fact that quality portable navigation devices are now available for under NZ$500 at retail, their is no excuse for this anymore. Add up how many extra km you drive due to error or being lost and especially for business people, these devices will pay for themselves in no time flat. What about all the thousands of Mums and Dads taking their kids to away games on the weekends?
  • Fleet Management. Vehicle tracking solutions combined with our Route Optimisation web services can have a rapid impact on reduced travel with the bonus of increased productivity, reduced maintenance costs, fuel costs, and as a good corporate citizen, reduced fuel emissions.
  • Directions for web mapping. One of the API’s that GeoSmart offers with SmartFIND Web Mapping is the ability to generate printable driving directions from A to B based on the fastest route. There are now hundreds of web sites in NZ using this service. The most well known is of course http://www.wises.co.nz. Going a step further, sites like http://www.aamaps.co.nz allow you to create and print an entire itinerary with turn by turn instructions to take with you in the car. These are no also used i n a number of call centres around the country to provide directions to people on the road.
  • Vodafone Live does the same on your mobile phone so you never have an excuse that you didn’t have access to the Internet. Need your nearest ATM or petrol station, just tell your phone where you are and you will receive turn by turn directions and a route map on your phone.
  • For those who don’t have a problem reading maps, GeoSmart generates map books for Wises as well as the NZ Automobile Association which gives away a HUGE number of maps to members. Of course you do have to use them, but again, why not save your money as well as care for your environment.
  • Doesn’t apply to you? That’s wonderful, but be honest, I’m sure you will recall a time recently where you drove further than you could have.

There have been discussions in the media recently that a Carbon Tax might be applied as a petrol surcharge. Do you need any more incentive for an investment in time by getting directions from one of our client services or buying yourself a car navigation device? Then how about doing it to do your bit to protect our planet? Many people think “I’m just one person, what can I do?” If we all do the same, it will make a difference. It’s nice to be part of a company that is helping to make that difference.

Hello world!


I’ve just set up this blog and it’s going to be about all sorts of things. I am a songwriter, a futurist, a mobile and wireless computing geek into marketing and mapping and gps and poker and all sorts of stuff so you will see lots of variety here.

Why not subscribe to this blog and see what comes up and of course I will welcome feedback.