The Geospatial Council of Australia

Member dashboard

Access your account details and member services

Manage CPD points

View and manage your Continuing Professional Development points

Member events

View and attend our events

Member support

Please contact our Membership Officer with any queries



Industry insights

Great minds, industry leaders share hopes for the future

The Geospatial Council of Australia asked geospatial professionals to volunteer their opinions, insights and hopes for the future of the sector. Here’s what they had to say:

What are the top three challenges for the geospatial sector right now?

Dr Zaffar Sadiz Mohamed Ghouse

Dr Zaffar Sadiz Mohamed Ghouse
Director, Advisory & Innovation
Woolpert Asia-Pacific

  1. Fragmentation of niche services into united niche offerings. More coalition of niches to offer one-stop geospatial services.
  2. Invest in capacity and capability development at the school level to address digital twin and digital transformation requirements.
  3. Recognition of Geospatial Skills by the government and private sector. Eg. GISP is listed as a parameter in procurement.
Alexander Wiechert

Alexander Wiechert
CEO Vexcel Imaging

  1. Discovering young talent: Attracting promising young talent to the aerial survey industry is a challenge due to the lack of visibility and recognition of this dynamic field.
  2. Overlooked contributions: Despite the significant contributions that the industry makes to society, it remains largely unrecognized and invisible to the public eye.
  3. Standardisation issues: The lack of well-defined standards for end products can lead to misleading outcomes and poses a challenge for the industry to meet expectations.
Darren Mottolini

Darren Mottolini
Director Spatial WA, Landgate

Personally, I only see two main challenges for our sector:

  1. Challenge One: How can we embrace the digital change that has already informed and influenced the next generation coming through, so we ensure that geospatial capabilities and excellence remains a domain that people want to get involved in, and not simple be taught through Chat GBT and other online resources. This is a question of relevance in a digital age.
  2. Challenge Two: Is to ensure we build a single, accessible body of knowledge, known through a single voice so ‘geospatial’ remains a skilled domain, that future generations want to be involved in. We are already seeing undergraduate degrees in geospatial fields be consumed by other fields of knowledge and I don’t believe this will change any time soon, yet the opportunity exists to embed critical skills into many domains now. How we embed our value into many domains will be through the art of communication, awareness so value is perceived by others and not simply by what we say.
Graeme Kernich

Graeme Kernich
CEO FrontierSL

  1. Attracting, training and retaining the skilled workforce needed to meet the growing and evolving demand for spatial information
  2. Educating leadership that the challenges of today relating to better preparedness to our changing world, require a robust and increased use of space based and spatial information within their decision-making frameworks. To be more effective in terms of resource use and impact will require more timely, more frequent and better-quality data.

What’s your advice to young geospatial professionals?

Jacinta Burns

Jacinta Burns

Digital Innovation Lead, CitiPower and Powercor
Board member, Geospatial Council of Australia
The spatial and surveying sectors offer such a wide variety of roles working with a broad range of industries, so you will constantly have the chance to expand your knowledge and skills. Embrace every opportunity that comes your way, and actively seek out and make your own opportunities to learn and grow. Even if something sounds like it is outside of your comfort zone, have the courage to say “yes” to any opportunity you are given. You will accomplish a huge amount if you have a go, certainly a lot more than if you don’t try.
Daniel Paull

Daniel Paull

General Manager
Nearmap Australia & New Zealand
I’ve dedicated my career to geospatial because it has so much to offer — I’ve never imagined myself in any other field. If you’re starting out, I’d recommend focusing on becoming a well-rounded professional. You will never regret having a sound understanding of all the technical aspects of data collection, processing and analysis. But make sure you balance that with knowledge of business acumen, practices and management. As geospatial experts we spend much of our time absorbed in imagery, maps and data, but it’s really the people that make this industry so rewarding. Make sure you maintain those important connections. There is no limit to what you can achieve, so think big!

What are you looking forward to seeing happen in your field of practice?

Michael Giudici

Michael Giudici
Surveyor General, Tasmania

I am really looking forward to the harmonisation of national competency standards in the land surveying sector. This work, which is being driven by the Council of Reciprocating Surveyors Boards of Australia and New Zealand, will flow through the tertiary education institutions and into post graduate training programs, and is critically important to minimise the time for post graduate qualifications and registration to be achieved. All jurisdictions are feeling the reality of skills and workforce shortages and this work compliments the obligations of Automatic Mutual Recognition, facilitating transferable skills.
Mary-Ellen Feeney

Mary-Ellen Feeney
Director Solutions Delivery
Yokogawa Australia and New Zealand ·

  • The next generation of geospatial and survey technologies and their interoperability with a range of sensors, IIOT, engineering solutions. .
  • The directions of AI and machine learning in information, data and process automation and the harnessing of cloud and edge computing..
  • The diversification of spatial digital twins to simulation and process as enablers of predictive analytics..
  • A diverse and equitable workforce.
Alistair Hart

Alistair Hart
General Manager

I’m most excited by the emerging impact of Moore’s law on 3D digital LiDAR – we’re going to witness insane improvements in LiDAR performance – channel counts / point cloud density, sensor size and affordability. We are at a pivotal moment in time for the LiDAR sensor industry. Watch this space…

I’m also really looking forward to increasing unification of very precise and rich dynamic field data. I see this integrated in real time across mobile, desktop and web platforms, linking project managers and surveyors in the field. I see this increasingly happening regardless of location due to low earth orbit communication platforms like Starlink.