Using the power of a location to make meaning


28 November 2018

Cardno: November 14 is Global GIS Day and the Cardno GIS team is out to raise our spatial awareness about how the technology is making a difference to people’s lives.

GIS Operations Manager Liz Fulton is a passionate advocate for the power of geographic information systems (GIS) technology and the meaning the practice can bring to our world.

“Maps have been part of our lives since early human history when we used them to show how to get from one place to another or where a good fishing spot was located.

“Today we can use geographic, or spatial data to create a representation of the world and also to analyse and present it for use in fields like transport planning, logistics, demographic studies and environment– just to name a few.

“GIS technology is a great way to view things visually because it lets us see patterns and display data in a way that makes sense to people,” she said.

“Every time you book an Uber, check into a location on Instagram, look at traffic conditions for your morning commute, or play Pokémon Go with your kids, you are using a GIS.


Here at Cardno, the team bring together expertise in surveying, RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems), spatial analysis, cartography, and BIM (building information modelling) and CADD (computer aided design and drafting) visualisation to make informed decisions about building and managing infrastructure and developments.

“One of the projects we’re most proud of at the moment is the Calderwood Valley project for Lendlease, which is set to become one of the largest masterplanned communities in the Illawarra region.

“Cardno has been involved in the 12-stage residential subdivision since 2003, providing multi-disciplinary services including spatial data management, drafting and design, geotechnical support, contaminated land studies, environmental services, project management, integrated design, BIM design, and survey.

“As part of our work we have integrated data from disciplines like flood modelling, civil design options and layout plans into a central spatial database which generates maps, analysis, planning and data rich 3D models.

“This data has been used to develop industry leading deliverables such as automated individual sales plans, visualisation of the area through Autodesk Infraworks, and augmented reality visualisations using RoundMe software.

“We’re proud of the fact that our data is helping to create a community for around 4,800 homes that is registered for the Green Star Communities PILOT rating and targeting a 6 Star Green Star rating,” she said.

After 17 years in the GIS industry, Liz has seen huge advancements in GIS technology but believes that there’s still more to come.

“The technology is continuing to evolve and we are seeing more and more opportunities to develop our services – it’s an exciting time for the industry.”

As a member of the Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of NSW, the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute and a GIS Educator, Liz is always looking for ways to engage people spatially.

The Surveying and Spatial teams will be participating in a number of industry conferences in November. Liz and her colleague Amy Steiger will be speaking at the ESRI Australia conferences and will be participating in the SSSI NSW Regional Conference in Wollongong. The teams will be sharing information about how Cardno is utilising spatial technology on infrastructure and land development projects.

Find out more about our Surveying and Spatial expertise,




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