Real-time mapping technology to transform mining industry, says visiting US expert

April 03, 2014 -- One of the world’s leading mining geospatial experts is in Australia to advise resources companies on how cutting-edge mapping technology could change the future of the industry.

During industry briefings around the country, Esri Mining Solutions Lead Willy Lynch will reveal how new real-time Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can help Australia’s mining industry lower costs, raise productivity, improve health and safety operations and meet environmental obligations.

Mr Lynch said having access to real-time intelligent mapping capabilities is a “game changer” for Australia’s mining industry.

“Information previously stored in databases, and recorded as text or numerical information, can now be visualised and analysed on a ‘live’ dynamic map,” Mr Lynch said.

“By mapping and analysing live feeds of asset data from a wide ranges of sources – such as the location of vehicles, mobile assets or employees –  GIS technology provides mining companies with a clear and precise understanding of their operations.

“For the first time, organisations can pinpoint the exact location of an asset on a map – not just a coordinate which says it’s at location x and y – and see it move around in real-time.

“By making full use of the technology, decision-makers can be confident they are drawing on the most accurate, up-to-date information available – which is essential for Australian mines looking to contain costs and improve safety standards.

“For example, the ability to know the location of operational staff at any given moment can lead to better safety outcomes in an emergency situation.”

Mr Lynch said resources companies in Canada and the US have been early adopters of the technology and have already seen significant benefits.

“Streamlining operations is just one way in which real-time GIS is benefiting resources groups,” he said.

“There’s an aggregate mining company in the US which is using the technology to instantly share information on their mine operations across the entire organisation, from the mining engineers, to the mine manager, all the way to the truck driver.

“They are now equipping their truck drivers with iPads which contain maps of all the information they require for pick-up and delivery to customers.

“It means the drivers can quickly and easily see exactly where they need to be and when they need to be there – saving the mine time and money.”

Mr Lynch is in the country as a special guest at Esri Australia’s Directions 2014 seminar series – the region’s largest spatial technology roadshow.  

Further information on the event is available at esriaustralia.com.au/directions




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