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What can you do with GIS data?

Mar 2023

This GIS Day, we're exploring the ways industry experts are applying GIS data to drive real world outcomes and create societal change.

Mar 2023

Mappy GIS Day, from Nearmap to you!
GIS Day is an international celebration of Geospatial Information System technology, and what its community accomplish with it.
This year, we're spotlighting the inspiring ways our change-making customers in the GIS community are using GIS data to make a real difference in our society.
Looking at the incredible real-world applications of GIS data, we know it can unlock huge potential.
With GIS data, you can...

Help prevent drownings and injury

Over the past year, 55 people have tragically downed on Australia’s New South Wales coastline.
Surf Life Saving NSW (SLS NSW) and its lifeguards and lifesavers do an amazing job of managing the safety of members of the public that visit the 150 beaches throughout the state.
However, a combination of increased population growth – particularly around regional coastal areas – and increased use of the coastline as social media draws people to beautiful yet isolated locations, has increased the use of high risk sites.
For SLS NSW, it has raised the following questions – ‘How can we reduce the risk of drowning and injury?’, and ‘Are we providing services and support at the highest risk times of the year, and day?’.
The Coastal Insights: Safer Coasts for the Future project is working to answer these questions using GIS data. It aims to reduce the risk of drowning and injury at beaches, shore platforms, and coastal waterways throughout New South Wales through risk analysis models and frameworks and providing insights and recommendations to coastal safety stakeholders.
To do this, it leverages GIS data to identify exposure elements – namely the number of beach and water users; and the vulnerability element, the hazard awareness, behaviours and competence of those groups that use particular sites.
Before using GIS data, personnel would record the number or people on the beach and in the water during patrol times, and therefore, only at patrolled beaches. Over peak summer periods where the primary task is managing the safety of members of the public in the water – collecting this data becomes incredibly difficult and subsequently deprioritised.
With high resolution aerial imagery, SLS NSW can identify different types of beach and water users that have different risk profiles associated with them.
Combined with data around hazards of the environment and the vulnerability of beach users, SLS NSW can quantify the risk of drowning and injury at all beaches along the NSW coast.
This informs the provision of lifeguarding services, surf lifesaving services, and support operations, now and into the future. These insights and recommendations also aid coastal safety stakeholders in their decision making.

Rebuild cities destroyed by wildfire

Green Top Planning, Development and Research, is using GIS data in wildfire recovery in southern Oregon after the Almeda Fire perimeter tore through the cities of Talent and Phoenix.
The wildfire burned through 3000 acres in just a matter of hours, ultimately claiming three lives. In all, over 2600 residential properties were impacted – most of which were destroyed - as were nearly 200 commercial properties.
  • Identify how the fire happened and how it transferred from building to building – so the impacted cities can be built back to a higher standard of resiliency against urban wildfires
  • Take pre-fire structures and join them with damage assessment data to get a view of exactly what was destroyed in the city
  • When combined with building permit activity data, understand where recovery is taking place and where it's lagging
  • Look at post-fire building footprints and post-fire tree overhang, to target specific structures that, with canopy maintenance, can be made more fire-resilient
  • Identify what canopy was lost during the fire and to plan out urban forestry accordingly
  • See what kind of vegetation has regrown in the impacted area and identify where any invasive and highly fire prone plant species can be removed and replanted with fire resistant vegetation

Create generational change for the safety of road workers

Altus Traffic is one of the largest suppliers of traffic management in Australia, employing around 3000 staff.
Millions of vehicles pass through its works sites every year, and for the road workers staffing these sites, split seconds can be the difference between life and death. In the last two years, four traffic controllers tragically lost their lives.
To be able to give a road worker an extra three seconds of notice that a vehicle is hurdling towards them could save their life – and Altus Traffic use GIS data to do just that.
There are thousands of sites active daily – each one requiring a traffic plan indicating where every device and sensor that goes out should be placed. Previously, this required driving around cities all over the country, looking at sites, taking photos, sending them back to planners, who would then come up with a plan for treating identified issues.
Altus Traffic uses GIS data to see its thousands of active work sites in a central spot, and collect the data from those sites so they can proactively manage the safety of not only its people, but of its customers and of the members of the public.

Learn more about how your peers are using GIS data

These customer stories and more are currently exclusively available to those who registered for the Nearmap NAVIG8 2022 event or On-Demand access.
Visit the Nearmap NAVIG8 2022 platform and start watching the Solutions Sessions to find out more about what you can achieve with GIS data.
You can also visit our customer stories for more inspiring applications of GIS data.

What else can you do with GIS data?

Have a chat with our team about what else you could acheive with GIS data.

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