Train station

Metros & Urban Rail

Building geospatial collaborative systems for transport infrastructure

Auckland station

According to Keri Niven, Geospatial Service Lead, Aurecon, collaborative technologies are increasingly becoming the foundation for how transport/ infrastructure will interact throughout the life of project design and delivery, and on into the asset management lifecycle.


“An application’s ability to work in an integrated manner with collaboration tools will be a key requirement for adoption into businesses and projects,” says Keri.

“We utilise the latest geospatial technologies and associated methodologies to deliver projects focussed on achieving our clients' objectives. We aim to partner technical solutions with strong relationships to maximise the benefits our clients derive from this technology,” adds Keri.

Applying GIS to a range of disciplines

Aurecon’s team specialises in the design and implementation of leading edge collaboration and project management tools. Currently, Aurecon is driving a programme to deliver BIM and geospatial document management principles for clients to further enhance project outcomes.

“The Aurecon client offering takes the application of geographic information system (GIS) to a range of disciplines including engineering, asset management, environmental science, telecommunication, 3D modelling. We provide strategic direction and systems analysis, and we are experienced in working with our clients to develop GIS tools that integrate spatial information with other business systems,” says Keri.

“Our team uses the latest mobile and web technologies to enable total integration of spatial data with document management, project control and scheduling tools, and to provide a streamlined approach to integrated project workflows,” adds Keri.

Rail and Metro projects derive benefits from GISRail and Metro projects derive benefits from GIS

By focussing on GIS-based systems, it is possible to provide project support systems that streamline and co-ordinate the management of information, promote collaboration and facilitate more efficient reporting and project control.

The critical component of Aurecon’s solution is the provision of a single, centralised environment for the storage, organisation, and visualisation of all spatial data and project documents. 

This GIS system can be linked with many other systems, for project controls, reporting and risk management to provide a total solution for creating more efficient, effective project management.

On the City Rail Link (CRL) project in Auckland, Aurecon utilised experience with 3D GIS tools to transform data into real world views. 

The team created a suite of photo-realistic cityscapes and modelled complex sub-surface geological structures. As a result, Aurecon was able to provide the client and project team with a suite of visualisation options ranging from real-time interactive models to videos and movie simulations.

“On CRL, we built and published 3D GIS models which could be ‘shared’ across the design team through our enterprise GIS architecture. Our secure cloud environment enabled publishing of models and data across geographies using desktop, web and mobile interfaces. By sharing information in this way, we facilitated the making of key decisions in a collaborative environment,” says Keri.

Aurecon GIS is a total project lifecycle solution for transport projects:

  • It delivers project support systems that streamline and co-ordinate the management of complex information
  • Promotes collaboration and facilitate more efficient reporting and project control
  • Operates in real time, 24/7, from anywhere – in the office and on the move
  • Delivers secure, component based solutions that are underpinned by spatial technologies to add location intelligence
  • Delivers a whole of life cycle approach and support the entire design, construct process through integration with BIM and Asset Management
  • Provides a one-stop-shop for visualisation of complex engineering drawings, data and models in 2D, 3D and 4D

Mining data to deliver added valueMining data to deliver added value

For transport projects, Building Information Modelling Infrastructure (BIMI) represents a paradigm shift in the way we organise and use engineering data.

Aurecon identified technologies which have a profound impact on the transportation/infrastructure sector and is incorporating these to drive collaboration, support BIM methodologies and streamline mobile access to enterprise data.

As a tool, BIMI is in its infancy but it is becoming clearer what such a system might look like and how it may operate in the near future. The idea offers compelling benefits to the consultants, clients, government and asset owner/operators.

There is no ‘out of the box’ solution for BIMI. The best approach currently is to consider a federated data structure with disparate applications working together to produce data rich models, consumable by the designers and the end user. These models are then aggregated into an application like Bentley Navigator or Autodesk Navisworks where design reviews, clash detection and construction sequencing can all be carried out.

The advent of usable portable devices such as tablets, combined with cheap access to ultra-fast mobile networks allows businesses like Aurecon to extend from the office to the work site. These technologies coupled with ideas like augmented reality will combine to provide mobile users with access to an integrated suite of tools that enables them to see, record and design on the go.

“In Australasia Aurecon’s Geospatial Group has developed expertise in the provision of enterprise tools, systems and methodologies that integrate with BIM workflows to support all aspects of construction, transport and environmental projects,” says Keri.

“We already deploy cutting edge mobile and web technologies to enable seamless integration of spatial data with document management, project control and scheduling tools and provide a streamlined approach to integrated project workflows.

“Within our group are professionals who are proficient in the application of GIS to a range of disciplines including engineering, asset management, environmental science, telecommunication, 3D modelling. We also provide strategic direction and systems analysis, and we are experienced in working with our clients to develop GIS tools that integrate spatial information with other business systems.”

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