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GIS in practice: Using spatial data to add value

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a powerful tool that provides the ability to gather, manage and analyse spatial data. Below are some examples of how our GIS team has used data in a spatial form to add value and clarity to our projects.

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse workforce gaps in agriculture

We conducted research for Agriculture Victoria to identify where Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities are co-located with agriculture industries and understand the workforce gaps facing these communities. To locate these regions we analysed and mapped ABS Census data to determine where key agricultural regions overlapped with areas of high CALD community settlement. We were also able to analyse how this has changed over time.

Map_Oats

An example of a GIS map of oat production in Victoria, which was compiled using data from the ABS Agricultural Census 2015-16.
Yarra Ranges Domestic Wastewater Management Plan

We conducted a spatial risk assessment for Yarra Ranges Shire Council to locate areas where the risk of domestic wastewater impacts on the environment, public health and amenity were highest. We utilised spatial data sets that showed the key risk factors and combined the datasets to determine an overall risk value.

Barwon rivers discussion paper

We worked with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Barwon Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) to produce a discussion paper, Our living rivers of the Barwonthat aimed to capture the community vision for the rivers of the Barwon and identify opportunities to shape the way the catchment is managed into the future. We produced the maps that feature in the paper, which provide visual and location context. See the Barwon River Action Plan for more information.

Barwon_Basin_A4_Legend

A GIS map of the Barwon Basin produced by RMCG.
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority sustainable agriculture future directions paper

RMCG undertook a spatial assessment to identify the main agricultural land uses in the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) region and determine how they intersected with the priority natural assets in the region, including habitat, waterways and revegetation priority.

The purpose of this spatial prioritisation was to identify and justify where in the landscape the CCMA should work with private land managers on sustainable agriculture activities. It aimed to highlight areas where potential high-risk agricultural land uses and practices coincided with high value natural assets.

Shepparton East agricultural land use options 

RMCG produced a series of maps that formed part of an analysis into agricultural land use options in Shepparton East. The maps offered further context to the research by helping to visualise data, which provided a better understanding of what was happening in the region. Maps showed elements such as land use, planning zones and overlays, lot size and property ownership size, soil and agricultural land suitability. The maps and spatial analysis helped understand current land use and inform future land use. This project was conducted for Greater Shepparton City Council and the Victorian Planning Authority.

Wannon Water Environmental Improvement Plan

We have prepared a number of site Environmental Improvement Plans (EIP) for recycled water sites owned by Wannon Water. A key component of this work is to produce the site maps that support the document. We produced a series of maps that show the different characteristics of the site. They include:

  • Site location
  • Site layout plan
  • Irrigation layout
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Surface water
  • Groundwater
  • Buffer zones
  • Soil type.

Team

Kelly Ross

Kelly Ross

Consultant

B.Env.Sc., B.Soc.Sc. (Env.), M.App.Sc. (GIS)

Kelly has recently joined RMCG as a Project Officer – GIS and Cartography. She is a specialist in the preparation of maps to support consultants working in a wide range of fields including land use planning, natural resource and water management, agriculture and regional development.

During her previous employment at Rapid Map Services Kelly used specialised programs to develop, verify and maintain spatial data sets for local councils throughout Australia. These data sets included parks and open space assets, storm water drainage, signage and footpath surveys. Kelly also worked with Zoos Victoria to help develop and maintain a GIS data set at three different zoo locations. This enabled Zoo’s Victoria develop and better manage their GIS data so they were able to understand how many assets they have and how to manage them more efficiently.

Duncan Wallis

Duncan Wallis

Associate

BEng (Ag), MEng (Env), CPEng.

Duncan is a Chartered Engineer with 25 years’ experience in environmental, irrigation, agricultural, drinking water, domestic wastewater, sewerage, trade waste, recycled water and catchment management engineering in the public and private sectors.

He specialises in water related infrastructure planning and investigations and uses skills and tools such as GIS mapping, spatial data analysis and network analysis to develop practical solutions to complex problems and uses the ‘power’ of spatial data analysis to convey information effectively.

He can communicate technical concepts in non-technical forums and has experience consulting and working with farmers and landholders, government departments and wider community on route planning for pipelines and shared trails including rail trails. He has recently prepared successful EPA works approval applications for major food processing companies and expert witness statements in agricultural settings.

Duncan is currently involved in Australian Water and Wastewater’s mentor program and reviews articles for their Water Journal. He previously helped run the Institute of Engineers’ EngQuest regional program for students.

Steph McNulty

Steph McNulty

Consultant

M.Env., B.Sci. (Marine Biology)

Steph has ten years’ experience working in environmental management. Key areas of knowledge include general ecology and environmental policy. She has specific skills in GIS analysis, project management and stakeholder consultation. Steph’s work has focused on the delivery of balanced, practical and effective environmental interventions.

Suzanne Pollock

Suzanne Pollock

Consultant

B.App.Sci. (Env.Mgt.)

Suzanne has had experience across a wide variety of projects, from loss assessment to town drainage studies and has experience in data collection, soil analysis, irrigation management, land capability studies, GIS mapping and groundwater analysis.

Michael Tempest

Michael Tempest

Senior Consultant

B Env

Michael is involved with projects relating to land use planning and environmental assessment and monitoring, including effluent reuse. He is also an Accredited Bushfire Hazard Practitioner.

Samantha Gadsby

Samantha Gadsby

Senior Consultant

BSc, M Env Man.

Samantha specialises in water resources and delivers services in natural values and development approvals. Samantha’s main work at the moment is delivering a dam safety audit project for Taswater.