Project: Accurately Modelling Tasman River
We knew that we could efficiently provide a full 3D model of the river channel from stopbank to stopbank. We just needed a local authority willing to give it a try.
Local Authorities grapple with the challenge of accurately modelling large areas of riverbeds cost-effectively. Traditionally this modelling has been based on cross-sections of the river corridor measured at specified intervals along the river. While a time-honoured method, it is very labour intensive and does not give a full picture of the channel.
Due to our spatial expertise, we were convinced that we could efficiently provide a full 3D model of the river channel from stopbank to stopbank. Full channel mapping would be a big leap forward, enabling better flood management and aggregate resource management. We just needed a local authority willing to give it a try.
In 2020, that opportunity arose with Tasman District Council (TDC). After lengthy discussions, Fox & Associates was engaged for a trial that involved 30km of the Waimea and Motueka Rivers, covering an area of 9km².
Planning went into high gear to ensure that all the necessary equipment and other logistics were in place. The fieldwork component of this project involved three staff working over two weeks.
While the fieldwork was taking place, the aerial data that had already been acquired was processed. This meant we could direct the field team to areas where additional GPS or USV survey work might be required.
Once the field survey was complete, our challenge was to merge LiDAR data, aerial photography, and GPS data into a single dataset, and to come up with an elegant and effective process for calculating water depth from the aerial photographs. Solving this problem was a major technical feat.
This project is a testament to Fox and Associates spatial expertise. The client received a newer and richer dataset including a 3D point cloud, aerial photography, a full digital terrain model of each river channel as well as a set of the traditional cross-sections. The client’
An Award-Winning Project
Fox and Associates won the Innovation – Small Business Award at the 2021 Spatial Excellence Awards for this project. We won in this category at the APSEA New Zealand awards and the overall APSEA Oceanic awards. You can learn more about this project in our blog: Our Innovative Tasman River Project.