28 October 2019
The mining engineer puts down her cup of coffee and reaches for a headset. Immediately her desk, filing cabinet and rubbish bin disappear and are replaced by rock formations and machinery. The temperature doesn’t change, but her body tells her she must be underground. Slowly she looks around the space, taking in the fact that the wall of the mine appears to be far away from her outstretched hand. Graphics start to appear that lead into a training session…
This is the world of spatial data visualisation, one of the fastest growing and most valuable aspects of modern mining:
What is spatial data visualisation?
Spatial or geospatial data is all around us – it represents positions on the surface of the earth through numerical values in a geographic coordinate system. Technologies we use every day rely on geospatial data: web mapping services, weather maps, geotagged tweets, and airline routes.
How is it used in mining?
Spatial data is being used more and more in the mining industry, with spatial data models and maps becoming more detailed and clearer than ever before. Today, we are seeing breakthroughs in three-dimensional (3D) modelling, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) technology.
These new technologies allow us to design new mines more efficiently and makes it possible to experience what it’s like to work in a mine without being out in the field.