This year marks Spatial Vision’s 10th year of operation. To recognise this milestone we asked Glenn Cockerton, Managing Director of Spatial Vision to reflect on the objectives and achievements of the last decade:
Established with assistance from RMIT University and initially located in a spare laboratory on campus Spatial Vision commenced business in July 1999 with five founding members (Stephen Farrell, John Heskins, Phill King, Ian Miller, Milos Pelikan). Spatial Vision quickly outgrew the laboratory and moved into our current premises at Level 2, 170 Queen Street only nine months later in April 2000.
Our initial aim was simply to provide “innovative geospatial solutions”. Although the technology has changed substantially, our client base and services vastly expanded; our aim today remains the same with some 50 staff serving clients across Australia.
A key lesson from the last ten years has been the importance of partnerships. Like most, the success of our company is in many ways due to the relationships we have built. Our experience has highlighted that the best outcomes come from strong partnerships and this is demonstrated by some of the major projects we have delivered in the past decade.
The award winning Vicmap Book series is the result of a successful partnership between Spatial Vision, DSE and CFA. The resulting product is used by all Victorian emergency services; putting them all on the same page when responding to events. We have had to face a number of challenges to create this product, not least of which have been issues associated with data availability and quality. However, the partners have worked through these issues and the outcome has been significant improvements to the product and the State’s digital map base.
Another partnership important to Spatial Vision is the relationship we have developed with members of the water industry. Spatial Vision established the GIS Water User Group (GWUG), a forum for GIS officers in water authorities to regularly meet and exchange ideas and experiences. This forum has also helped Spatial Vision to better understand water industry needs for spatial information and technology. In 2003, we initiated a survey of the use of GIS in the water industry. We are now completing the 2009 national water industry survey, the third in the series, which will provide water authorities with the latest benchmarks regarding the adoption of GIS technologies in their industry.
The Living Links project that we have just completed for the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority is a recent example of one of our partnerships with NRM organisations.
Increasingly, as Spatial Vision embraces more complex and demanding projects, we believe that such partnering arrangements will be essential both for our company’s future and to deliver the comprehensive solutions required.
Spatial Vision places a high level of importance on the development of knowledge and promotion of the capacity of the spatial industry. In addition to our own internal R&D investments, we have been active participants in the SI industry’s centre of innovation (the CRC-SI) particularly through our design and development of the National Data Grid, a project aimed at expanding the capacity of Australia’s spatial data infrastructure.
Spatial Vision is an inaugural member and active supporter of the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA). Members of our staff support the activities of our industry’s professional body, the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI).
We recognise the special role played by tertiary institutions training future generations of spatial technologists, and future company employees! Accordingly we have sought to support both RMIT and Melbourne universities through course advisory committees, guest lecturing, and course materials. For the last five years, we have also operated an industry cadetship in many cases drawing on the graduates of these institutions.
Climate change, emergency management, biodiversity, planning for infrastructure, and social equity issues are key challenges to our times. At Spatial Vision we look forward to working with our clients to deliver the solutions needed.