Port’s new mapping technology platform

The operators of the world’s largest bulk commodity port have used advanced Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to develop an intelligent multi-layered mapping platform that provides a crystal-clear view of Port Hedland’s existing and future infrastructure.

Port Hedland Port Authority (PHPA) has created the intelligent mapping platform to support the port’s development, management and planning strategy over the next decade. 

The platform draws on world-leading ArcGIS technology to visually represent PHPA’s core business information – such as the location of existing infrastructure, access routes, unused land and development plans – with other data, such as sites of cultural or environmental significance.

The result is a comprehensive view of the port and its operations, helping guide decision making in responsible land management.

Kevin Reece, GIS Specialist and Esri Australia WA Business Manager, said GIS technology would considerably aid and advance PHPA’s infrastructure development.

“By accessing a geographic view of data, PHPA personnel can quickly visualise what is occurring and what is planned across the Port.

“With its map-based interface, the platform provides a ‘single point of truth’ reducing the need to access or request data from multiple, competing technologies or specialised systems.

“The system not only enables PHPA employees to make more informed decisions, it broadens the spectrum of users who are able to make those decisions, as the information is provided in the universally user-friendly format of a map.”

Operating in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, the Port Hedland Port shipped more than 246 million tonnes last year, and plans to hit 495 million tonnes by 2015.

The Port has also set several world records in the past year, including the largest departure of iron ore on a single tide, and was named 2012 Port of the Year at the Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards.

Mr Reece said PHPA are leading the Australian port industry’s expansion of GIS technology across its operations.

“In the context of the current mining boom, it is more important than ever for Australian ports to develop their capabilities by identifying and implementing GIS-driven strategies that will improve their operations and positively impact their bottom-line.”