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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Australian Telecom builds entire cable system around GIS

August 14th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Ben Somerville, Spatial Systems Manager for Thiess, Pty, Ltd. In Queensland, Australia, talked about the work they are doing with the Australian Telecom at the Esri UC 2013 Survey Summit. He began by saying that Australia is 70% the size of the U.S. and has a population of 23 million. Less than 1 % of the population is connected by cable. They have over 45 million yards of cable designed with a project estimated cost of $40 billion which “may be different in reality.”

The GIS includes:

  • 9 FTEs
  • 500 field users
  • 700 desktop users
  • databases totalling 230 GB
  • 25 ArcGIS services
  • 2 SOEs
  • 1 custom iOS app

“Our goal is to write the minimum amount of code,” said Somerville.

What does “fast internet” mean for GIS as an industry? He asked.

To be able to

  • Move 10GB in under 14 minutes
  • move 16GB in under 2 minutes
  • move 100 MB in 8 seconds

Right now you can move 10GB in days, move 1GB in under 12 hours, move 100 MB in under one hour in theory. GIS underpins the design and construction phases.

This entire project built around GIS. “If the GIS goes down we lose $25/second,” said Somerville.

Everything on the project is driven through iPads. “We move more data, and instead of dumb images we ship all the vector data or the true image with all of its bands,” he said.

“It opens a true client server relationship.”

Somerville said that it has to work on iPads. They have had more success with iPads because they are less expensive and the field staff takes care of them better than they do ruggedized tablets, which are $3,000. Besides the iPads have games on them.

The field staff had to field verify every piece of design. They got up and running within two weeks. Somerville said they use their geodatabase and server to drive the front end and have to beware of connectivity.

“When we go back into the design we need CAD technicians there,” said Somerville. There is clearly a synergy between the GIS underpinning the design and construction and the CAD part of the project for design.

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Categories: Esri, mobile

2 Responses to “Australian Telecom builds entire cable system around GIS”

  1. Peter Corlett says:

    It would be more accurate to state that the population of Australia is 23 million rather than 2 million.

  2. Susan Smith says:

    Thank you – corrected!

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