15 September, 2020

How can GIS technology help you work remotely?

For years, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing methods have been utilised in various industries for visualisation, monitoring and management. However, the potential to use GIS to work from home or the office is increasing in popularity as we face various levels of restrictions and safety precautions due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.   

These technologies enable access to reliable and important information occurring over the Earth’s surface without having to make physical contact. As the technology continues to evolve, the work that previously required people being ‘in the field’ can be done remotely. This opens up a multitude of opportunities for businesses to save time and resources when it comes to requiring physical presence on work sites.

So, how can GIS and remote sensing methods help us work from home or the office? We have identified three key options for you to consider.


1. Earth observations

Earth observations (EO) is the method of using satellite imagery to monitor changes and global events and provide geospatial insights at rapid speed, all from a birds eye view. Organisations can monitor areas of interest on the ground, validate information and discover trends relevant to their industry. 

In Australia, mining, agriculture and utilities dominate the industrial landscape. By leveraging EO and remote sensing methods, these industries can gain insights and make better operational decisions remotely. EO can be used in each industry to: 


  • Monitor and assess each phase of the mining cycle, from exploration, operation, closure, reclamation and rehabilitation
  • Monitor the status of surrounding roads for any disruptions restricting access to mines 
  • Assess the impact of mining activities to ensure compliance with environmental regulations 


  • Identify patterns in agricultural data not visible elsewhere 
  • Provide a valuable birds eye view of crops and fields for farmers to identify areas of importance and act quickly
  • Observe biomass across farms and make reaction times quicker if crop health changes are detected 


  • Conduct asset monitoring, forecasting and assess risk management
  • Monitor when infrastructure maintenance is required on assets such as street lights and power lines
  • Ensure that operations are meeting compliance standards

Discover how NGIS’ technology partner and satellite imagery provider, Planet, provides data that can be used to monitor and assess changes despite limiting COVID-19 travel and health restrictions: 


2. Intelligent digital twin 

Intelligent digital twin solutions are digital replicas of a physical entity. This pairing of the virtual and physical world allows the effective monitoring of systems to address problems before they occur, develop new opportunities and plan for the future from anywhere in the world.

Skyline is a market-leading intelligent digital twin platform and NGIS technology partner that combines extensive, real-time data integration with advanced visualisation capabilities to provide detailed and immersive outputs for users in various industries. 


  • Leverage Skyline digital twin for shutdown planning, stakeholder relations, health and safety training, inductions, 3D GIS, rail analytics, heritage monitoring and dewatering planning 
  • Enable near real-time insights and augmented machine learning capabilities
  • Integrate Skyline with UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) data for dynamic terrains as well as outputs from geological modelling to enable an intuitive, self-service approach to operations

Planning and infrastructure

  • Make approval decisions for new works by showing the impacts of a proposed development
  • Understand line of sight calculations and shadow analysis more easily by inputting scale models into true-to-life 3D world
  • Measure volumes accurately, visualise noise impacts and see who is affected by any proposed changes in your project.


  • Digital twin enables the utilities industry to interrogate their network data and operations
  • From 3D asset management to vegetation analytics and maintenance program management, a multitude of network-based data can be integrated, visualised and analysed as an intelligent digital twin
  • Perfectly suited to utility groups looking for a low cost and rapid digital twin deployment

Explore the ways you can stream and use digital twins to make more informed business and operational decisions from home or the office: 


3. InSAR

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a remote sensing technique that maps changes in ground height to detect and measure displacement over time. This technology can help prevent environmental accidents, improve safety, and maintain operational success - all from our desk. 

Market leader, 3vGeomatics, uses InSAR techniques to detect and measure ground and infrastructure displacement across large areas. In partnership with 3vG, NGIS can provide customised InSAR services across a range of industries including mining, transport and infrastructure, oil and gas, and agriculture.

Listen to the NGIS Location Matters podcast episode with 3vGeomatics to learn more about InSAR and how it can be used in Australia and New Zealand to monitor ground displacement remotely. Here are some additional resources about InSAR that are also available:

Want to find out more about how you can make effective operational decisions remotely? 

COVID-19 has reminded us how useful GIS and remote sensing technologies can be when working remotely in a time of crisis. It can be used to help report, explore, monitor and solve problems from a safe distance. 

Get in touch with our team if you want to learn more about one of our technology partners and their product. We are happy to have a chat!

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