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1998 Entries

In 1998 the Award was broken into three categories; Open Project, Small Project and Final Year Student Project. Entries were received in the Open Project and Final Year Student Project categories. A judging panel considered the entries on the basis of the Technical Excellence, Innovation, Quality of Presentation, Sensitivity to the Environment and Benefit to the Profession and the Community. The presentation of the awards was made at the Annual Dinner of the Institution, at the recent Surveyors Congress in Launceston.

The quality and standard of the entries was very high, with nine entries being received in the Student Project category and eight in the Open Project category. After much consideration the judging panel awarded a winner in each of the two categories, together with Certificates of Merit for each category.


Entries

Open Project Category


Final Year Student Project


In 1992 Skyrail Pty Ltd formally instructed C&B Consultants to proceed and undertake all the necessary survey works associated with the rainforest cableway development.

The survey was extremely dynamic, complex and covered a wide range of tasks. These included; centreline and long section surveys, control surveys using conventional and GPS techniques, tree identification and detail surveys, tower and building construction set out surveys, as-constructed surveys, aerial photo-control surveys and cadastral surveys.

However the challenge for the survey team was to perform these tasks under acute and adverse conditions. The site was covered by rugged terrain, on-site work practices were restricted by a stringent set of regulations, and as the project was considered by some people to be controversial, it suffered from a prolonged campaign by anti-cableway protesters.

c&b_01.gif (11496 bytes)The survey consequently demanded resourceful professionals who could work under these conditions. Not only did they have to react and overcome unique situations, but at the same time maintain their impeccable professional standards. This survey represented a struggle and a will to achieve total professionalism under adverse conditions.

The rainforest cableway is located just 15 kilometres northwest of Caims, Far North Queensland. Stretching for a total distance of 7.5km from Caravonica to Kuranda, it is the World’s longest gondola cableway and is a world first in environmental tourism. It traverses steep mountains, spectacular waterfalls and the rainforest canopy of the Wet Tropics of North Queensland. This is a diverse and sensitive eco-system and is one of only 12 areas in the world to be listed as a World Heritage on the basis of satisfying all four selection criteria of the listing, any one of which would have qualified it on its own.

This development is a world class eco-tourism development and is the culmination of eight years of planning, research and consultation with approximately 23 Government Agencies from all three tiers of Government in Australia. This represented one of the largest and most exhaustive approvals process of any private development in the country. As a consequence of this process, it established stringent environmental controls and guidelines for the project’s development. These were subsequently imposed on the companies responsible for its construction, and in particular, on the survey company and its survey team. The site itself had diffficult natural and physical constraints.

c&b_02.jpg (27998 bytes)Being World Heritage listed area, much of the site was covered in rainforest containing some of the most sensitive and diverse tropical eco-systems in the world, with rare and fragile plant and animal species. In addition, the site was physically constrained, as the levels ranged from 2.5 metres above sea level to over 545 metres above sea level. In fact, the first stage of the project, being 2000 metres long, has an average grade of 27 percent.

In addition to these statutory and environmental difficulties, the project was subject to intense public scrutiny. Various public interest groups both opposed and supported the development. Opposition to the project by some conservation groups was extreme, with a campaign being waged against the cableway right up to its completion. Protagonists camped and lived in trees in the rainforest throughout the duration of the project. As a consequence of this action, it also attracted the media’s attention at a local, state and national level.

c&b_03.jpg (13925 bytes)In response to these factors, a combination of modern and conventional survey and mapping technologies, together with ingenuity, were used to complete the survey component of the project.

Further practical on-site solutions were sometimes used to deal with unique circumstances which presented themselves during its construction. Despite the numerous constraints and pressures, the development was completed on time and on budget.

 

*WINNERS*

Final Year Student Category

Shamsul Izhan Abdul Majid
The MET on the 'Net

The development of Geographic Information Systems - GIS in the world of surveying has enabled many surveyors to move from purely spatial data collectors to spatial data managers. However, while GIS is a powerful tool the lack of real world application to solve specific problems has limited its scope beyond the surveying and related professions. In addition, current GIS software requires a level of specialised knowledge and training to be able to use the programs effectively, something which is beyond the general public.

met_01.gif (29523 bytes)The "Met on the ‘net" project is an investigation into combining a GIS model which will permit commuters to investigate which routes to take, and at what times in Melbourne. This information could be obtained from information kiosks or via the internet.

The aim of the project is to provide GIS on a small and simple scale, to be available to a user with a click of a button. Training and understanding of spatial data manipulation is not required from the user at any level of this project. Anyone with adequate web page navigation skills is able to use this service.

met_02.jpg (39987 bytes)The challenge for this project was to allow users to access information held in the Melbourne Transport System (the Met) databases, combine it with other spatial information such as street maps and calculate the travel routes and times depending upon the user’s choices.

The computer language Java was used to build the system, as it provides a relatively simple programming environment which is fully functional over the internet and importantly is independent of the computer system which the query is run from. A number of Java applets were developed to carry out the tasks of permitting the user to input their departure and destinations, access the text database to determine the transport timetables, compute the shortest route between the departure and destination and display the result to the user.


 

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