Industry Q&A: AAM Celebrates 60 Years of Geospatial Innovation
The mining industry has undergone significant technological change across the last decade and the geospatial information space is a prime example of this, where digital tools and new methodologies have transformed how businesses can collect, process and analyse data into valuable insights.
Despite this rapid transformation, AAM have managed to stay ahead in its field for over 60 years, utilising experience and strengths developed across a range of industries to foster innovation in mining, oil & gas, utilities, infrastructure, Government and environment. Reflecting on this great achievement, Austmine recently caught up with AAM’s CEO Mark Freeburn to explore their success story, discuss the changes in the geospatial industry and to look forward to what lies ahead in the future in this space.
1. Congratulations on the 60th year anniversary of AAM! This is an amazing achievement and no doubt something that is a source of pride. How has AAM been able to remain leaders in your field throughout this time?
As you know, the key to any successful organisation is the team that you have behind it. AAM have been supremely luck to have people and staff who have always been passionate. Passionate about being the best in acquiring, processing and presenting meaningful geospatial information to our customers.
2019 - An exciting year for AAM
In an age where innovation is often used as a buzz word, or as a method of gaining positive press, AAM have put the money where our mouth is. We have embraced and promoted new technologies, not because it is a new shiny toy, but because we know it will bring real and measurable benefits to our customers.
2. What key lessons have you learnt along this journey? How will you utilise these in the current industry environment, where the pace of change is faster than ever before?
The pace of change is faster and the technologies we use are transforming quickly but some lessons remain constant. Throughout the major industry change we’re seeing, a central point of pride for AAM has been building and creating long-lasting customer relationships. Staying relevant, talking to our customers, listening to their needs and building on their expectations are lessons we try to relearn every day. We have made this a part of our business practice, and we find that this close relationship and feedback from our clients helps to create our renowned innovation culture.
3. With this rapid change in mind, largely brought about through digital disruption, how has this impacted geospatial services? What benefits has this derived for customers?
Geospatial information is a model of the real world. Digital transformation has allowed us to build more accurate, more precise and more current models for our customers. The mining sector has benefitted through faster supply, better presentation and easier access to all forms of measured digital information.
4. Looking ahead, what do you believe the technological landscape in the geospatial area will look like 10 years down the track? What improvements will this enable for the mining industry?
Clearly the mining sector is embracing all facets of automation. True and pervasive automation requires consistent and accurate real-time geospatial data. Over the next decade we will develop and deploy precise real-time integrated geospatial delivery that will be tailored and analysed to suit directive and, even predictive, mining automation.
The mining industry is set for an exciting future and we’re looking forward to continuing to lead the innovation conversation.
5. AAM are not only leaders in mining geospatial information, but also across many other industries. What are some current projects elsewhere that really excite you?
We are really excited about the concept of the “digital twin’, which has permeated all parts of the resource and engineering sectors. Our customers in the mining industry and beyond are recognising the huge benefits of managing assets and the environment through an adaptive digital model. We are seeing across a range of industries, from utilities to forestry, from city planning to agricultural land management, the recognition and the use of geospatial models as fundamental infrastructure in the creation of the digital twin.
6. Over this 60 year period, there is bound to be some highlights and success stories for the business. Would you like to share one of these that makes you particularly proud?
AAM has always been a leading innovative and we were one of the first companies to deploy digital remote sensing, bringing both airborne laser scanning and large format digital photogrammetry to Australia. We have built on this heritage and now have the largest airborne laser scanning fleets in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest aerial survey fleets in the world. We are extremely proud of this achievement and exceptional growth.
7. Is there any other comments you would like to add?
AAM positions itself within close proximity to our mining customers with resources deployed regularly in regions like the Pilbara, Bowen Basin and the Hunter Valley. We are an adaptive company, staying close to our customers, building long term relationships, delivering quality information.
We look forward to bringing our expertise to the Austmine network and continuing to show leadership in geospatial information.
Find more information about AAM here.