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Governments and corporations have come to realize that accurate and up- to date spatial information is a fundamental piece of infrastructure

AAMHatch has a legacy built upon eight decades of professional experience, development and service delivery by two leading Australian spatial information organisations. Brian Nicholls, General Manager, AAMHatch
Brian Nicholls
General Manager
Email: [email protected]

AAMHatch has a legacy built upon eight decades of professional experience, development and service delivery by two leading Australian spatial information organisations. These two organizations of AAM Surveys Pty Limited and Hatch Associates’ Land Technologies Division have merged to form AAMHatch Pty Ltd. AAMHatch boasts of a heritage of shared culture of commitment to quality and innovation. Each has proven capabilities in researching and developing new technologies, with both companies having won the prestigious and internationally recognised Australian Excellence in Surveying Award. GIS Development brings forth a brief and candid discussion with Brian Nicholls, General Manager, AAM Hatch, who shares his views on the Surveying and Geospatial discipline and market, the organization and its offerings.

AAM Surveys and Hatch Associates’ Land Technologies Division have merged to form AAMHatch. With both companies having won the prestigious Australian Excellence in Surveying Award, how would you encapsulate the present key capabilities and strengths of AAMHatch?
We believe our key strength is our ability to really understand our clients’ business objectives. Through this understanding AAMHatch delivers spatial solutions that integrate seamlessly with our clients business processes. AAMHatch’s other key strength is derived from the economies of scale that flow from merging two leading spatial information businesses. AAMHatch continues to invest substantially in both the latest technology and in our people. We are committed to having the best people in the industry working with us. We are rigorous in researching, developing and applying the latest, innovative technologies to provide a full suite of spatial solutions for our clients. Our early adoption of Airborne Laser Scanning (LiDAR) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning and most recently Airborne Digital Imaging demonstrates our commitment to making the latest technology available to our clients.

AAMHatch has a surveying legacy built upon 8 decades of professionalism. It has a vision ‘to create, analyse and manage spatial information’. May you elaborate upon AAMHatch’s evolution and growth since its inception?
Following the startup of AAMHatch our initial priority was to continue ‘business as usual’ I knew that it was vital that we continued to provide our clients the outstanding levels of service that they have come to expect. My role was to make absolutely certain that our operations were customer focused and enhanced by the merger process. AAMHatch has and continues to evolve at a rapid rate. This year we have invested in a range of exciting new technology particularly in the area of Airborne Laser Scanning. This investment positions us as market leader on throughout Asia and the South Pacific. We have also decided to focus on several key vertical markets including Forestry, Power Transmission, Transport Corridor Mapping, Water Management and Flood Modeling. Our Information Systems team has developed a range of tools that deliver complete spatial solutions for these vertical markets. Our focus is not simply the creation spatial information but it includes analysis and management solutions for our clients.

In the present changing world of constant innovation, developments and technology upgrading, how does AAMHatch match its technology base?
AAMHatch is a technology-based company. We take innovation, and new technology as our starting point – in fact, we believe that managing innovation and new technology is one of our core competencies.

Our approach is to look at our clients’ issues and listen carefully to their needs. We then apply the most appropriate technology to deliver that requirement. Our solutions are customized to meet our clients needs. For example, one of our clients has a requirement for constant monitoring of vehicle positions within a complex industrial environment. In this case we are have designed a combination of ground based sensors, GPS, inertial sensors and specially developed software to provide a real-time positioning system. This is a unique solution made possible through the passion AAMHatch has for embracing and incorporating new technology into our design solutions.

May you mention some your interesting and worthwhile case study services?
Increasingly, Airborne Laser Scanning (LiDAR) is becoming the most popular method for data acquisition on large-scale design projects. AAMHatch has on-the-ground experience in Malaysia, and South Korea with Urban design projects. Our team of ALS experts have mapped entire metropolitan and extended suburban areas of major international cities to assist with infrastructure planning and telecommunications network design.

In areas with dense forest canopy, common in tropical and sub-tropical climates throughout Asia, AAMHatch has been able to rapidly compile highly detailed Digital Terrain Models (DTMs). Previously highway survey in these heavily forested regions have been forced to rely entirely upon ground crews trudging the entire length of the project. Now, using Airborne Laser Scanning, AAMHatch has helped speed-up the design processes.

Probably the most interesting new development has been in the field of Power Distribution. A major advantage of Airborne Laser Scanning over Photography and Photogrammetry is that individual powerline wires can be mapped. This is opening up a whole new methodology in the way that electricity distributors monitor and optimize their assets. By measuring the catenaries of powerlines, electrical engineers are optimizing powerline performance.

Your comments on the South Asia Pacific region in the domains of spatial information use and as a market for AAMHatch?
As economies throughout Asia continue to develop at a rapid pace, there will be an ever-increasing demand for spatial information to support new infrastructure (eg transport, land use management, environmental management). Much of this infrastructure requires spatial information at very high resolution. We see a significant role for AAMHatch in major project design and management. Additionally, as new infrastructure is developed asset management becomes vitally important. As a supplier of Information Management Solutions (eg GIS) AAMHatch plays an integral role in asset management. We also believe that our 80 years of combined experience in spatial information management will enables us to provide high level consultancy on a range of projects. AAMHatch will not necessarily perform all the work, but rather we will provide project management and consulting expertise.

What do you forsee as the potential application areas of geospatial sciences to the national, regional and local communities and government of the Asia Pacific region?
Governments and corporations have come to realize that accurate and up- to date spatial information is a fundamental piece of infrastructure. As spatial application platforms become increasingly open and spatial information is increasingly ‘shared’ across multiple organizations; the use of this information will become ubiquitous. The range of potential uses are far too numerous to mention and have been well documented previously.

At AAMHatch our vision for the future places great emphasis on the quality and timeliness of spatial information. The information and independent advice that we deliver is a fundamental input into decision-making processes at local, national and regional levels across both government and the private sector.

AAMHatch is convinced that our future lies in Asia. We believe that the growth in demand that we are presently experiencing mirrors the opportunities and growth throughout the region. We are delighted that the services we provide contribute in some small way to the future of our region.