My Business

Bill Collins

Professional Profile


Having studied physical geography at the University of New England in Armidale NSW, Bill embarked upon a career in surveying. He then worked for private surveying firms in Beechworth (Vic), and in Melbourne, where studying at RMIT, gained qualifications in surveying and survey drafting. Bill's keen interest in Land and Geographic Information Systems has been augmented by GIS Short Courses, also at RMIT.

Bill has lectured in surveying at RMIT TAFE College in Melbourne, for subjects included in the Associate Diploma of Surveying and Mapping.

Employed for a number of years with a Melbourne-based company Geocomp, Bill became Surveying and Mapping Bureau Manager. During this time he developed considerable expertise and capability in the areas of computer-based surveying and engineering, CAD, LIS/GIS, and large digital cadastral mapping projects.

In 1990 Bill established Australian Land Power, a digital mapping and consultancy business.Through this business, Bill undertook a very broad range of work for a wide spectrum of clients - from small surveying firms through to Local, State and Commonwealth Government agencies. The projects involved GPS surveying, digital mapping, geo-processing, programming, and various types of consultancy work.

Stemming from his surveying background, Bill's particular interest has been focused in the area of the accuracy of data acquisition in digital cadastral databases (DCDBs) for parcel-based information systems. The focal point of some of this work involved the application of GPS in the co-ordination of DCDB information. Bill has done various research projects in this controversial area, and has written articles and presented papers pertaining to this and other issues at national and international surveying and GIS-related conferences.

The ACTMAP databases are a comprehensive set of digital spatial databases covering the whole of the ACT, the cadastral component of which is arguably the most accurate cadastre in Australia, if not the world. ACTMAP proved irresistible, and Bill joined the ACT Government where, after spending time as the Data Co-ordinator of the ACTMAP database maintenance team, he worked as ACTMAP Manager, ACT Land Information Centre (ACTLIC). In this position, Bill was responsible for the human, financial, physical and technological management of ACTMAP, and responsibility for data co-ordination, database administration, research and development, and customer services in the areas of data provision and supply to internal and external clients.

Bill became Manager of Business Development in ACTLIC, responsible for the alignment of ACTLIC surveying, mapping and spatial information products and services with customer requirements, the development and project management of new business opportunities, ACTLIC products and services development on the Internet, and other spatial information Internet development, development, update and maintenance of the ACTLIC web site, as well as promotion and marketing of ACTLIC products and services, developments, technology and new business opportunities.

Bill has represented the ACT on a number of national committees, including the Public Sector Mapping Agencies (PSMA), Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) Working Groups, and the Australia New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC) Advisory Committee. He actively participates in all areas of land information issues, and has a keen interest in the development of systems for the access to spatial and land information over the Internet, and other Internet-related issues.

Bill has extensive knowledge of surveying and CAD software, and the use of GPS in survey field work. Bill is believed to be the first person in Australia to co-ordinate a DCDB for an entire city using GPS, having done so for the NSW City of Dubbo in February 1993. His level of computer literacy is very high, and is augmented by skill and knowledge in a wide range of software, including word-processing, spreadsheet, database, file management, communications and Internet software, as well as image-processing, graphics and programming software. Bill has a high level of relevant hardware and software knowledge in the area of PC-based survey/mapping/CAD/GIS applications, and Internet communications, with knowledge and skill in HTML, JavaScript, XML and web-based information and mapping systems. Bill has developed and continues to maintain several web sites. During his time with ACTLIC, he was responsible for the maintenance, updating and re-design of both the PALM and ACTLIC web sites, as well as project management of several spatial data-based and map-based web sites.

A move to Brisbane saw Bill as National GIS Manager for Egis Consulting Australia (now GHD), one of the largest multidisciplinary engineering/environmental companies in the Australia/ Asia-Pacific region. Bill was responsible for GIS technology, and the development of GIS business within the company, a role which included marketing, promotion, and the delivery of quality GIS products and services. Bill gained extensive knowledge in MapInfo-based data and system architecture during this time, as well as a good understanding of the application of GIS to environmental work, and the GIS requirements for oil and gas pipelines.

Still based in Brisbane, Bill worked as a private consultant, specialising in LIS/GIS consultancy, spatial technologies, digital mapping, graphics and image processing, and web technologies. As Principal Consultant for "The Bill Collins Group", he was extensively involved in general spatial consultancy work, the use of GIS technology, mapping, re-development and maintenance of GIS-based gas pipeline systems in Queensland. He was instrumental in the development of the Spatial Information System (SIS) Project for Maroochy Shire Council (MSC) on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. His work included the implementation of policy and systems for cadastral mapping, spatial metadata, data custodianship, spatial data standards, the adoption of the Geocentric Datum of Australia within Council, Bill developed a 'Spatial Data Register' Intranet web site, and also developed a Council-wide Spatial Data Register (SDR) database system, which includes output of ANZLIC-compliant metadata records. Bill also developed for MSC a workflow, records management and document management system for the management of Council's Spatial Data 'Licence Agreement and Data Supply' (LADS) system, using MS Outlook and internal e-mail.

Work in 2005 included a contract position with SEQWater, and in this role Bill was responsible for MapInfo-based mapping work, GIS analysis and production of GIS Maps, Expert Advice, Data and System analysis, Data input, update, and maintenance, and the Development and production of the 2005 'Corporate Atlas' Series, which involved the generation of over 50 maps at various scales and spatial layers/themes.

A contract position in 2006 with the Energex SEQ natural gas network included consultancy work for documenting and streamlining spatial system procedures, spatial data analysis, and data quality and integrity checking. The ArcGIS/ArcFM-based work included updating the Gas Network database to clear backlogs, as well as investigations into the use of Google Earth technology within Energex.

Bill worked with AECOM Australia from October 2006 until November 2012, and was the QLD GIS & Spatial Systems Co-ordinator. Whilst at AECOM, Bill worked on a number of major projects, including Surat Basin Rail (SBR) project, Southern Freight Rail Corridor Study (SFRCS), Petrie-Redcliffe Multi-modal Corridor study, Queensland Transport Metropolitan Four-track Investigation, Queensland Rail Electrical Network asset data capture and mapping, Gold Coast Airport Runway Extension, Gladstone-Fitzroy pipeline, Brisbane City Council CitySmart Regional Carbon Sink study, Coopers Gap Wind Farm study, and most recently the QLD Transport Network Restoration Program (TNRP) resulting from the 2011 Queensland floods.

Whilst at AECOM, an 11-month secondment to Queensland Rail (QR) saw Bill as the acting GIS Manager, responsible for management of GIS technology and systems, co-ordination of spatial data management, and development of further technology to support GIS throughout QR.

Bill has undertaken a number of projects for the Australian Department of Defence, and holds a 'Restricted' security clearance.

Bill has re-launched his GIS & Spatial Systems consultancy 'The Bill Collins Group', and is currently undertaking contract GIS project work.