Thank you to all those who came along to the seminar held at AECOM’s offices in Bristol on 14th March 2016.  For a free event, it was great to see such a high percentage of those who signed up. Read on for Jeremy Hidderley's review.

An unexpected theme that came out of the seminar was “safety” and how mobile and geospatial technologies can contribute to getting everyone home safely at the end of the day.  Both Matthew Leaver (ARCADIS) and I demonstrated that in making use of mobile technologies for data collection, the time spent in high risk environments can be substantially reduced, or removed altogether. 

We also touched upon BIM, and its integration into GIS.  From Matthew Leaver’s perspective, we saw the simple wins being achieved in using online web mapping to act as a portal to access BIM models for specific projects.  The ability for engineers to design in a BIM environment is becoming increasingly common, and something that data management professionals need to be able to take that information and use it to manage assets. 

Gerwyn Macey’s (AECOM) research indicated (and I do hope I did his presentation a little justice) the integration of BIM data into GIS was achievable, albeit with some minor issues.  I feel the key messages to come from this piece of research are that whilst AutoCAD Revit is a great piece of software for design and visualisation, it is not seen (rightly or wrongly I don’t know) as a place to manage that data after construction has finished.  Likewise, traditional GIS packages and online mapping is still seen as the place for managing data once the assets are being operated; in part due to the familiarity that GIS can offer (think Google Maps). 

Neil Moloney (Pin Point Mapping) then took us on a slightly different tract, looking at how GIS professionals do business.  Challenging a few of us to put into words, how do we define what we do, and more importantly, how do we explain that to others.  Food for thought I suspect, especially if you’re involved in the development of business opportunities.

As I mentioned during the event, if there is a particular theme that you would like to see at a future AGI event in the south west, do let me know.  Likewise, if you have some great project work that you would like to share with others, or you want more opportunities to network other professionals, then let us know.

Jeremy Hidderly is Senior Analyst in the AECOM Water Asset Management Team