Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

GIS Opportunities

You may think that no-one knows your land better than you do but modern technology has an eye to opportunities that even a person with the most detailed knowledge may fail to see.

A good example to illustrate this has come from Network Rail, who had need of two highly specified sites to create new High Output Operation Bases, known in-house as HOOBS.

These sites are used to park special trains called High Output Plant Systems that basically manufacture rails but at 23 vehicles long their requirements are naturally very special.

The Carter Jonas Mapping Team was tasked with scanning 900 square miles in the Thames Valley and East Midlands to house trains assisting with main line electrification upgrades. Size and shape in relation to the trackside were very specific and there were 30 other constraints such as proximity to the road network, slope, flood risk, and Green Belt to be taken into account.

Using GIS, the team scoured the area and identified 150 sites that met the criteria, some in areas that Network Rail had previously discounted. This has now been distilled to 20 sites, each of three acres, each with an aerial image and contours maps.

Equally impressive was the delivery of the results for half of the allocated budget, thanks to the expertise of the Mapping Team.

It demonstrates how technology has moved on in recent years and how GIS can be used in many more ways that may be imagined.

On a more localised scale, giving an overview of your land holding may help you identify previously missed opportunities. With commodity prices struggling and land values high, getting maximum return on investment has never been more important, the reason so many land owners are looking to diversify.

With so many variables, such as roads network, population dynamics, and local planning constraints, GIS can be employed to uncover solutions that may have been missed or never imagined, as the experience of Network Rail clearly demonstrates.

andy williams

Andy Williams

Partner - Head of Mapping and GIS

Andy deals with all aspects of measured survey including Building Information Modelling (BIM) and flood risk assessment. He has extensive experience of drones and satellite technology for land class...

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