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March 3, 2015
Smart Maps Chart a Course to Cut Red Tape

March 3, 2015 — Smart mapping technology is helping one of Australia’s largest ports to better manage and use quality data for their business.

Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) is experiencing improved efficiency in managing its data and information just three years after implementing its cutting-edge mapping system.

Developed in partnership with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology giant Esri Australia, the customised platform has incorporated multiple operational systems – such as security, bathymetry, environmental and utility management – into one centrally-controlled platform.

GPC's GIS officer Scott Ledingham said the introduction of the system – termed ‘GeoPort’ within the organisation – had simplified regulation and environmental management requirements.

“The investment has been worthwhile with genuine savings due to sharing of spatial information between parties,” Mr Ledingham said.

“It has also improved staff time management.
“When it comes to environmental management, for example, the industry is regulated by numerous pieces of legislation and accountable to multiple levels of government agencies and external stakeholders.

“Previously, our environmental advisor undertook manual checks on multiple registers to compile an approval request for dredging or vegetation removal, which often took considerable time.

“Now, we can use GIS technology to layer the information from those registers onto interactive maps – allowing us to complete environmental search and analysis in a very short time frame.”

Esri Australia ports specialist Andrew Highley said the technology is a powerful solution for Australia’s heavily regulated ports.

“The technology helps to simplify workflows, enabling decision-makers to see up-to-date and authoritative data via a single, user-friendly map interface,” said Mr Highley.

“The intuitive nature of smart mapping technology means everyone throughout the organisation can use the system without having to be a GIS expert.”

GPC’s implementation of GIS technology mirrors a trend now found in some of the busiest ports across the globe, including Port of Rotterdam and Port of Long Beach.

Mr Ledingham said GIS technology would be central to developing the port’s future plans.

“Senior management have embraced GeoPort because it provides them with an up-to-the-minute geographic view of their operations,” Mr Ledingham said.

“We now aim to use the technology to develop a strategic plan to manage, develop and operate the port facilities over the next 50 years.”

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