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Her area of expertise is GIS database design though she retains a special interest in GIS analysis in natural/ecological applications. Rachel’s current research includes development of a historical GIS database for the 1917 battle of Messines. Since 2009 she has concentrated more on GIS applications in the natural environment particularly in noise assessment and its visualisation. She has done work mapping sound inside military vehicles and the results have been embargoed by NZ Army for 5 years, however they have led to a change in military training practises since 2013. She has also diversified into the field of vehicle driver behaviour using GIS analysis. However this project is in the early stages and requires significant amounts of time developing hardware and software to capture the data. Analysis will include driver behaviour in the environment which has not been approached before.
Rachel Summers has been at Massey University since 1989. Together with Derek Williams she developed the Graduate Diploma in GIS which has now been closed, and taught into a Second Specialisation in GIS (now discontinued) in the BRP. She continues to teach GIS as an integral part of the 100 level BRP. She also teaches three out of four papers for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts(GIS). Her teaching focus is to nurture in students the ability to think in a spatial context and to develop in them, the skill set to use GIS in their planning work.
The application of GIS to the physical environment, This includes the physical/built environment as well as the social environment.
Resource Development and Management
Field of research codes
Acoustics and Acoustical Devices; Waves (020301):
Built Environment And Design (120000):
Classical Physics (020300):
Other Technology (109900):
Physical Sciences (020000):
Regional Analysis and Development (120505):
Technology (100000): Technology not elsewhere classified (109999):
Urban Analysis and Development (120507): Urban and Regional Planning (120500)
A list of some of Rachel's expertise follows:
Promoting understanding of the nature of our physical world through spatial analysis has been Rachels' goal for many years.