Spatial Sciences

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Our world is changing. Fast access to high quality geographic data and information is now critical for decision makers in every industry. By combining geographic data with other business information, organisations can see trends and generate meaningful intelligence to streamline internal processes and improve performance.

GHD's award winning spatial sciences team uses Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to acquire, compile, manipulate, interpret and visualise data to reveal geographic patterns and relationships. By bringing together large volumes of disparate data, decisions that were once largely based on guess work, become more quantitative and can be powerfully presented using map-based tools.

GHD has a reputation for innovation. We can be involved at all stages of delivery - from planning and project management, through to data acquisition, processing, modelling, reporting, map production and web deployment.

Work with us and get a grip on GIS.

Services

  • Spatial data presentation and cartography
  • Constraints analysis and multiple criteria analysis
  • Site and corridor selection
  • Data capture, processing and management
  • Environmental modelling
  • Visibility analysis and visual impact assessment
  • 3D modelling
  • Utility and transport network analysis
  • Remote sensing and image analysis
  • Project management
  • GIS training
  • Web GIS and multimedia
  • Business analysis and GIS implementation
  • Database design and system development

For further information, contact:

Kate Williams
Service Line Leader, Spatial Sciences – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T: +61 3 8687 8778
E: Kate Williams

Andrew Lovell
Service Line Leader, Spatial Sciences – North America
T: +1 707 523 1010
E: Andrew Lovell 

Alternative Water Atlas - Melbourne, Victoria

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GHD was commissioned by Victoria’s Smart Water Fund to explore, cost and quantify the opportunities for alternative water sources across Melbourne, taking into account the spatial variability inherent in these opportunities.

The project analysed four alternative water sources – centralised wastewater recycling, de-centralised wastewater recycling (sewer mining and blackwater treatment plants), stormwater harvesting and rainwater harvesting. The project considered the water demands that these different sources could supply across the Melbourne region, by quantifying and mapping the locations of substitutable demands up to the year 2060. Spatial analysis identified potential opportunities for each alternative water source, and a water supply–demand balance was undertaken to quantify the yield of the alternative water opportunities.

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Critical Water Pipe Analysis

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With the demand for water resources increasing in communities with an aging infrastructure, it is becoming increasingly important for cities to be proactive in developing approaches for preventative maintenance. The Town of Markham is one local authority developing strategies to reduce the frequency of water main breaks and subsequent community impacts.

GHD was engaged to collaborate with the Town of Markham’s Waterworks Department to establish a framework and spatial tool to undertake a semi-automated risk assessment and to identify critical water pipes in high risk environments. Our services included:

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Decentralised Water Master Plan - New South Wales, Australia

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The City of Sydney's decentralised Water Master Plan investigated opportunities to reduce Sydney's dependency on the drinking water supply through targeted water efficiency and use of alternative sources for non-drinking purposes. It also included a comprehensive assessment of opportunities to improve the stormwater system and reduce discharge of pollution to Sydney Harbour, Cooks River and Centennial Park.

Spatial technology was utilised to analyse extensive volumes of baseline data across the Local Government Area (LGA), including the central business district. This enabled GHD to map the distribution of high water users and pollution hotspots and to identify geographic relationships between water efficiency, alternative water sources and water sensitive urban design opportunities, at sub-catchment, catchment and LGA scales.

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Drainage Pipe Network Management - Harbin, China

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GHD's water team was commissioned by Harbin Drains Water Limited to develop a GIS-based process to support improvements to the efficiencies of the city’s drainage system, to streamline management processes and to collect and store the most current and accurate data for drainage services.

The system developed by GHD, integrated remote sensing, GIS, wireless networking and multimedia technologies and allowed real-time monitoring and analysis of the pipe network. The system enabled 3D visualisation of the drainage network and the generation of statistical reports and graphs.

Read More . . .

Great Barrier Reef Social & Economic Profiling System

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The integration and provision of social and economic profiling for decision makers is a fundamental requirement for catchment communities to respond to environmental challenges.

GHD was commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to design and develop an integrated, intranet- based social and economic profiling system for catchment communities within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

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Great Eastern Highway Upgrade - Western Australia

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In an era where project teams are widely distributed between cities or even continents, online mapping provides a mechanism to share and distribute the most up to date geographic information to any desktop, whether it be next door or across the globe. Web mapping is now a core component of integrated information systems and the majority of planning and infrastructure projects rely heavily on geographic data to make effective decisions.

GHD recently developed an integrated web mapping application to support the design and construction of the Great Eastern Highway upgrade in Western Australia. The application provided a mechanism for geographically diverse project alliance partners and the community to view and query high resolution aerial photography, road designs, neighbourhood infrastructure, environmental constraints and property information in real-time via a web browser, with no end-user requirement for expensive or specialist GIS software.

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Groundwater bore atlas

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In conjunction with the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria (DSE), GHD undertook a review of the current groundwater monitoring programs of various agencies within Victoria.

The project aim was to collect, collate and display both specific and overarching program details for future analysis; and to update knowledge of groundwater monitoring and management occurring Statewide. This project also represented a preliminary step in determining what information is available for use in identifying cost savings in terms of monitoring network rationalisation.

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Habitat Mapping of Klamath River Corridor - California

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GHD was commissioned by the Yurok Tribe to improve habitat mapping of the Tribe’s 64,000 acre reservation, which is located along the Klamath River in far northern California. The primary goal was to develop GIS layers that would better enable wildfire risk modelling and to provide an improved basis for habitat conservation planning and forestry practices.

GHD utilised a combination of remote sensing, GIS and field sampling activities to produce a customised vegetation model and habitat classification map. This included an analysis of LiDAR in the context of canopy height, regional geologic and soil data, existing vegetation data, and field validation. An unsupervised spectral classification of 4-band orthoimagery was undertaken to partition the study area into stratified clusters of presumed vegetation categories. Target vegetation classes were then identified via local ecological knowledge, including input from ecologists, timber managers and Tribal members. The result was a preliminary vegetation class model and base map that was used to conduct stratified field sampling for confirmation and training of the model.

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Land management corporation habitat and biodiversity Assessment GIS Services

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GHD was commissioned by LMC to undertake a strategic overview of the biodiversity and habitat values of the corporation’s metropolitan Adelaide landholdings, including the development of recommendations for the protection and enhancement of these identified values.

Through implementing these recommendations, LMC will contribute to increasing, supporting and protecting biodiversity within the Adelaide region. This is in line with LMC’s strategy and Government initiatives documented in South Australia’s Strategic Plan and the Draft 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.

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LiDAR and Capacity Building – Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea

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As part of the Australian Government’s International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) engaged GHD to assist in scoping and defining the technical specifications for the acquisition of high quality topographic and bathymetric data (LiDAR), the development of digital elevation models and other derived products, and the requirements of GIS capacity building programs in Tonga, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Vanuatu.

This work contributed to a series of activities aiming to provide Tonga, PNG and Vanuatu with the appropriate data, supporting IT infrastructure and skills to enable these countries to develop coastal inundation models that would inform an understanding of climate change risk.

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Local Environmental Plan (LEP) Mapping

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Having successfully delivered a Rural Lands Study to Young Shire Council, GHD was further engaged to produce a series of 2009 LEP maps for submission to the NSW Department of Planning (DoP).

Maps were produced for Section 64: Submission of draft LEP prior to public exhibition and Section 68(4); and Resubmission of draft LEP post-exhibition and submissions.

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North Stradbroke Island Fire Access Review

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The integration and provision of high quality spatial data relating to fire access is a fundamental requirement for decision makers making plans for wildfire suppression and in the development of fire prevention strategies. 

Redland City Council commissioned GHD to undertake a review of fire access for North Stradbroke Island. The primary intent of  was to determine, on a strategic basis, appropriate standards of fire access for the area.  This was achieved via an assessment of the current extent and standard of fire access, followed by the development of a series of rules to enable prioritisation of future upgrades and new works. 

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Provincial Data Capture Specifications for Hydrographic Features

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The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) identified a need for mapping specifications of hydrographic features to support accuracy and consistency in the collection of comprehensive GIS data at a large scale (1:1,000 to 1:5,000).

The GIS data to be collected according to these specifications is used operationally by Ontario Government Ministries, Conservation Authorities, Municipalities, and private sector agencies, and is necessary to support a wide range of Ontario government priorities and Provincial Acts. Conservation Authorities have a particular need for large scale GIS data as they are directly responsible for defining regulated areas (Conservation Authorities Act) and local level water budget assessments (Clean Water Act).

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Recyclable Materials Transportation - Spatial Decision Support System

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The large distances between major population centres in Queensland pose a challenge to the efficient movement of recyclable materials. These large distances impact on existing recovery facilities or recycling plants and affect the overall viability of this recycling industry, with low incentives for shires to operate such schemes and private recyclers to collect material from these areas.

Transport costs vary as a proportion of all costs associated with the recycling of waste materials. But they are typically 30-60 percent of the overall costs of recycling.

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Tea Tree Gully City Master Plan - South Australia

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Tea Tree Gully’s City Master Plan is the physical expression of Council’s vision and objectives for the city during the next 30 years. GHD was commissioned to prepare eight customised maps with associated commentary to reflect the main physical features of the city as envisaged for 2040.

The maps identified opportunities for growth and revitalisation of the City, in addition to illustrating areas of high environmental value and economic activity, urban renewal, cultural interests, community hubs, recreation centres, local and regional connections and open space areas.

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Traffic Hazard Study - Guam

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The territory of Guam’s occurrence of traffic accidents is higher than the national average resulting in property damage, injury and loss of life. Our team was commissioned to conduct an analysis of four years’ worth of traffic accidents throughout the island. A highly interactive, easily updatable GIS geodatabase was developed to identify the island’s most dangerous intersections for targeted safety modifications.

The system required working with the Guam Police Department to review 5000 paper-based traffic accident reports. The team then extracted key information into a database and mapped the location of each accident. The extracted data and mapped locations were linked and an analysis was undertaken to consider the type of accident, severity of accident, time of day, day of week, age of driver and weather conditions. The statistical frequency of accidents was also considered. The results were used to identify and further examine the most dangerous intersections on the island, with a series of recommendations made for techniques to increase the operational efficiency of the transportation system and to reduce the factors that were leading to traffic accidents.

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Vegetation Mapping Extension Study

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Challenge

The effect of urban expansion on the natural environment has the potential to significantly impact the conservation of significant vegetation communities. Particular types of vegetation, both remnant and non-remnant, have specific relevance to conservation planning and bush fire hazard management. Accurate vegetation mapping is of considerable importance in minimising a range of potential impacts on vegetation communities and providing adequate decision support for management and conservation planning in the midst of urban expansion and development.

Read More . . .

Wellington coast land capability study

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Having successfully delivered a Rural Lands Study to Young Shire Council, GHD was further engaged to produce a series of 2009 LEP maps for submission to the NSW Department of Planning (DoP).

Maps were produced for Section 64: Submission of draft LEP prior to public exhibition and Section 68(4); and Resubmission of draft LEP post-exhibition and submissions.

Read More . . .

Work and Asset Management Program - North Carolina, USA

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GHD assisted the City of Charlotte with the implementation of a Work and Asset Management (WAM) program to more effectively maintain, replace and manage water and wastewater infrastructure. This incorporated implementation of a GIS-centric computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) to provide continual end user access to more than 300 employees.

Existing maintenance work flows were documented and future work flows recommended based on GHD’s asset management practices, CMMS system capabilities and the City’s desire to continually improve its maintenance practices. Over 100 service request and work order templates were created to allow users to record work activities, account for project labour, material costs and to coordinate follow-on work related to a specific event. Key functionality included the ability to attach supporting documents, video, images or notes to all service requests and work orders while tracking work status, completion requirements and regulatory requirements.

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Asset/Facilities Management
Assett & Facilities
Contaminated Land
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Forestry
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Geology
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Geotechnical
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Impact Assessment & Permitting
Impact Assessment & Permitting
Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architecture
Planning
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Waste Management
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Wastewater Systems
Wastewater Treament
Water Quality & Treatment
Water Quality Treatment, GHD
Waterways & Coastal
Waterways & Coastal

Kate Williams

Kate Williams

Kate is an experienced spatial analyst and project manager with a focus on applying GIS and remote sensing technologies to support multidisciplinary projects. For more than 16 years, she has taken technical and project management roles for different sectors such as natural resource management, water infrastructure, transport planning, transport infrastructure, Defence, mining, energy generation and energy distribution.

As Service Line Leader for Spatial Sciences, Kate’s focus is to promote the delivery of consistently high standards of service and technical solutions and to ensure that our clients have access to the right spatial services and people, now and in the future.

Service Line Leader, Spatial Sciences – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T:
+61 3 8687 8778
E: Kate Williams

Andrew Lovell

Andrew Lovell

Andrew was GHD's manager of Spatial Sciences in Melbourne, Australia for 13 years until his recent relocation to California, USA. A specialist Geographical Information Systems and Database Analyst, with a background in Environmental and Earth Sciences, Andrew has applied his knowledge to a range of data analysis and information management applications. As a senior consultant, Andrew's focus in recent years is on the coordination of location-based data during large, multidisciplinary infrastructure development projects.

From strategic assessments and options studies to design, construct and decommissioning, Andrew is well-connected across all areas of GHD's business, including Mining & Geotechnical, Environment, Infrastructure, Water, Transportation and Urban Planning. He has also worked across the globe on GHD projects such as London Rail planning, Malaysian environmental flooding and New Zealand data standards.

With all this experience under his belt, Andy has a proven ability to bring together a team and build positive and productive working relationships with GHD’s clients and stakeholders.

Service Line Leader, Spatial Sciences – North America
T:
+1 707 523 1010
E: Andrew Lovell

Australia

Megan Stanley - Brisbane

Megan Stanley

With 11 years in the geographic information system (GIS) industry, Megan provides high quality expertise to clients with a professional output. She has solid experience in data management techniques including capture, review and analysis of spatial data while presenting innovative and professional techniques and products to clients. Megan has contributed to multiple environment and infrastructure projects such as Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project, Lower Fitzroy River Infrastructure Project, Cumulative Impact Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements and Approvals.

Senior Geospatial Analyst/Team Leader, Spatial Sciences – Brisbane
T: +61 7 3316 3274
E: Megan Stanley

Glenn McDiarmid - Newcastle

Glenn McDiarmid

Glenn is the coordinator for the Northern NSW Spatial Science team. He is a Principal civil engineer located in the Newcastle office, with more 20 years' experience in geospatial analysis. He was also a foundation member of the Spatial Sciences Institute.

Glenn has extensive experience in the design and implementation of GIS to support multi-discipline projects. His GIS experience includes a large range of aspects including multi-criteria analysis for site selection and route selection, environmental constraint analysis, demographic analysis, 3D and 4D analyses and network analyses. He has been responsible for the creation and implementation of GHD’s quality systems as they relate to spatial sciences and GIS. Glenn has supported a diverse range of service groups within GHD including water, transportation, environment, contaminated lands, mining, infrastructure and planning. Glenn has also been responsible for the creation of customised spatial analysis tools for various clients and projects.

Service Line Coordinator, Spatial Sciences – Newcastle
T: +61 2 4979 9944
E: Glenn McDiarmid

Neal Smith - Perth

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Neal is the Service Group Manager for our Surveys group in Perth. He is responsible for the management of the group and responsible for all surveys projects undertaken by our Western Australia practice. He has more than 30 years' combined experience in management, project management and all facets of engineering surveys.

Service Group Manager, Surveys – Perth
T: +61 8 6222 8657
E: Neal Smith

Brook Hambly - Sydney

Brook Hambly

Brook, as Principal Geospatial Consultant, leads the Spatial Sciences team for GHD’s Sydney operations. Over the past 15 years Brook has provided innovative geospatial solutions in the fields of environmental management, planning, engineering and design.

Brook has extensive experience working with large multi-disciplinary teams to support the collection, interpretation, analysis and visualisation of spatial data. Brook interacts with professionals from various backgrounds on a daily basis and in doing so has developed ways to effectively communicate technical issues to non-technical people across a range of disciplines.

Principal Spatial Scientist – Sydney
T: +61 2 9239 7153
E: Brook Hambly

Chile

Cristian Vásquez

Cristian is the Service Line Coordinator for Spatial Sciences in Santiago, Chile. He is a qualified geographer with significant experience in the use of spatial technology to support geology, geomorphology, dynamic risk assessment and visual impact assessment projects.

Service Line Coordinator, Spatial Sciences – Chile
T: +56 2 2433 5438
E: Cristian Vásquez

New Zealand

Joy Chen

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Joy has 26 years of experience working in the spatial sciences and hydrology industries. Her career focus to date has included inundation modelling, spatial data management and spatial infrastructure development. She is experienced in the development of innovative and high quality GIS products, including GIS based infrastructure corridor analysis, map design, 3D visualisation, spatial data management, catchment studies, asset management and project quality assurance and control (QA\QC).

Service Line Coordinator, Spatial Sciences – New Zealand
T: +64 9 370 8356
E: Joy Chen

Robert Parsons

Robert has more than 10 years of experience in the mapping and transportation industries within Asia Pacific, United Kingdom and North America. Having worked in the engineering, software, education, local and regional government and defence sectors, Robert has experience in the delivery and support of web and desktop mapping systems, transportation analysis and planning, spatial data collection and management, and 3D modelling and visualisation. His work enables clients to better understand and visualise the world around them to make informed strategic and operational decisions.

Senior GIS Analyst, Spatial Sciences – New Zealand
T: +64 3 378 0955
E: Robert Parsons