Geospatial data takes centre stage at leading infrastructure event

The pivotal role of geospatial data in enabling a fully digitalised built environment and its deployment to resolve the challenges faced by large asset owners will be explored by Adrian Burgess, PCSG’s CTO and Stephen Crompton, CTO of GroupBC at Digital Construction Week (DCW).

With vast volumes of data about the built environment now available, how best to leverage it, structure it and deploy it to maximise its value for asset owners, managers and contractors and enable them to achieve the best outcomes is a critical question for the industry.

Geospatial and its role in that debate has been identified as one of six key trends at next month’s DCW event, where industry leaders and opinion makers from across the industry – from Google to the Government – will exchange ideas.

PCSG is at the forefront of work to connect built asset data with 3rd party data and identified early-on the huge value to be gained from linking – and making easily accessible – data about built assets with data about the surrounding environment.

A focal point of Adrian and Stephen’s presentation, will be GeoConnect+ – a new cloud-based platform which helps connect BIM (asset) information with accurate and trusted geospatial data. Its objective is to enable large asset owners and operators to take better, quicker and more cost-effective decisions throughout the lifecycle of their built assets from the planning stage forwards.

Developed jointly with Ordnance Survey and GroupBC, it connects BIM data with countless geospatial datasets via a common geo reference so the asset owner / operator can gain valuable context to inform their decisions – from understanding ground conditions, surrounding natural and built environment constraints and boundaries to social-economic data about the local communities.

Assets can be viewed on the map interface, layered with open data sets. Though this data has always been available it was previously expensive and timely to access. With GeoConnect+ it is available to any team member on a web browser.

At the planning stage, GeoConnect+  has huge potential in enabling developers to present and planners to interrogate the all-important context of a development – its connections with the surrounding environment and interactions with other factors.

Early adopters of the solution, Thames Water, Mackley the civil engineering group and Wienerberger, the UK’s leading provider of building material solutions, have given strongly positive feedback.

“Having the ability to connect your proposed design or as-built data to geospatial data sets so they are instantly available and all in the same place is saving time and helping with better decisions,” said Adrian. “There are many examples where it useful to have contextual data about the surrounding, built and natural environment, at your fingertips, but never more so than during the planning stage when the potential impacts on local communities are key –  especially on controversial schemes.”

Adrian believes there will be significant demand to connect a vast array of data in the future, and from what we have seen from Thames Water, Mackley and Wienerberger, connecting geospatial data is just the start.

The DCW event, on the 18th and 19th October, will feature a ‘Geospatial Zone’, focused on examining the role of geospatial data as it feeds into the digital built environment, exploring the latest trends in geospatial technology and pinpointing its link to areas such as smart cities and autonomous transport systems.

Other speakers at the event, which covers engineering, design, manufacturing and operation, include Mark Bew, PCSG’s chairman and lead of the Government’s Digital Built Britain programme. John Twitchen, PCSG’s Head of Cities and Communities, will present on the need to digitise planning and how this will transform consultation and community engagement and ‘help industry explain why infrastructure projects and built environment schemes are done for people, not to people’. 

Adrian and Stephen Crompton will also be presenting on GeoConnect+ at the GeoDesign+BIM event in Amsterdam in November. The event will bring together geospatial specialists, architects, engineers and construction professionals.

To find out more about GeoConnect+ and to learn how PCSG can help you to extract more value from built environment data contact