GIS Mapping

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are available to provide huge amounts of data for coastal NSW. As well as existing data layers, information collection during site visits is added to the GIS. This enables maps to be produced that are accurate, current and clearly display the information required about a site.

When mapping a site, the process generally involves:
1/ verifying the site address and lot boundaries, using data provided by the client and cadastre boundaries from the State Government.
2/ producing a set of maps that display existing data for the site, including aerial imagery, biodiversity values, plant community type, IBRA region & sub-region, LEP layers, Strahler stream order, native vegetation extent, and so on.
3/ gather site data, using a GPS and a tablet, to accurate record where attributes occur on the site
4/ combine the existing data and new data with proposal plans, to precisely evaluate potential impacts of development, and of conservation gains

Tony Hastings’ experience with GIS dates back to the age before computers were used, and layers were traced by hand on drafting film. The first computerised GIS system became available in 1995, during the pre-regional forest agreement negotiations. This revolution in mapping included vegetation types, predicted fauna habitats, and disturbance levels, which were tested by conducting surveys in the field.

Thanks to the Reichstein Foundation granting funds to Friends of the Earth in Melbourne, in 2004 Tony was employed to help create and distribute a GIS for East Gippsland’s forest, and train others in its use. This was largely based on the State Forest Resource Inventory (SFR103) dataset, which included stand level mapping of the forests. Tony was able to interpret the data to locate precious stands of old-growth forests, sites likely to contain large hollow-bearing trees suitable for owl breeding habitat, rainforests and other high conservation value areas, and overlap these with proposed logging plans. All of this information was vital to help conservation groups have meaningful negotiations with the forestry department.

More recently Tony was employed by a large environmental consultancy, and used GIS to complete scoping surveys for large proposed energy farms, to produce accurate site maps for BAM survey reports, and more.

Tony Hastings, Environmental Consultant, is pleased to be able to offer the latest technology and data in GIS services to you.