Landslide of international success comes for Melbourne student’s tech idea

Aug 17, 2018

A Melbourne university student has developed a ground breaking, forward thinking mapping assessment tool, using world-class advanced technology that could change the safety and efficiency of our infrastructure and city planning future.

Adrian Darmawan of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has been recognised for his innovative thinking, advancing the capabilities of technology in his project – Using Drones to Assess Landslide Susceptibility and Displacement.

Focusing on how to utilise drone and GIS technology to assess factors including slope stability, rainfall and weather conditions, displacement and susceptibility of landslides, as well as accuracy of results, Mr Darmawan’s project greatly differs from traditional land assessment methods.

Looking into the safety of workers, Mr Darmawan says that whilst traditional surveying can be considered inefficient, costly and time consuming, through the use of advanced location-based analytics, his proposed new model can greatly reduce the risks for infrastructure teams by condensing the level of physical work.

“If you do it manually in the traditional surveying sense, it can be dangerous. When you are using drones you have a more holistic view of the land slide,” Mr Darmawan said.

“It was about looking at the challenge from a different perspective. We want to do things with GIS that make life work more efficiently.”

Looking forward to his future, Mr Darmawan says he looks to become an innovator in GIS technology, focusing on understanding why something exists on our planet and solving problems with an open, globally-focused mind.

“Over the past three years of study, I have realised that ArcGIS is more than just creating maps. Geospatial science is about analyzing the location, giving us the ability to assess limitations and improvements of a particular place.

“Being geospatial is more than being connected to maps, it's about trying to mitigate some of the problems the world faces.”

Following this, Esri Australia awarded Mr Darmawan the 2018 Australian Esri Young Scholars Award, allowing him to showcase his project at the world’s largest spatial technology conference – the Esri User Conference – in California last month.

Managing Director of Esri Australia and South Asia Brett Bundock said he could clearly see how Mr Darmawan drew on spatial thinking and technology to solve a real-world issue.

“Inventive spatial thinking is changing our world and the way we think. Mr Darmawan’s use of ArcGIS shows how this technology can be applied to everyday work.

“Mr Darmawan’s work demonstrates the innovation of spatial thinking. His project encompasses the forward thinking that tomorrow’s leaders need.

“With the demand for geospatial disciplines within Australian universities increasing, it is pioneering to see young people like Mr Darmawan looking to deliver advanced work for the future.