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Further Acknowledgments

Besides those specifically referenced in the 'History' section, along the way, many people have helped to refine the vision - often through forthright criticism, as well as support based on their own belief in the value of the virtual world.  In no particular order, our special thanks go to the following people.  Their roles at the time are included to give readers a clearer picture of the range of expertise involved in the development of the VANZ Concept.

Peter Verwer, CEO at the Australian Property Council, has long been a strong advocate for 'virtual modelling technologies' as a way to reduce costs, speed development and deliver better outcomes across the property sector - to make our cities more productive, liveable and sustainable.  His reticence to support VANZ until its value proposition - and why Government needed to be involved - could be "succinctly expressed in one page" has been a major driver in the development of this web site's 'home' page.

Ian Harper, Principal of Geodata, was particularly helpful in explaining how a legal 3D Cadastral model may enable users to reliably dimension and position new developments in an authorised 3D modelling space, without the need to access and input data from other sources (which currently causes errors and delays).  As a result, a legally enforceable 3D Cadastral model has become a key requirement for VANZ.  Ian also explained that while surveying was about 'location' and 'measurement', the profession was also key to intepreting and applying property law relating to drainage, overlooking and access rights, etc.

Steve Appelby, BIM / IPD Leader and Bill Thomson, GIS and Spatial Systems Leader at AECOM and Carolyn Pappin, Service Line Leader - Spatial Science at GHD, each provided valuable insights into the data management challenges faced by consulting engineers and expressed strong support for VANZ as a means of addressing them. Their assistance in helping to establish an industry Steering Committee is also greatly appreciated.

Karl Hanmore, Assistant Director Operations for Australia’s National Computer Emergency Response Team, gave valuable advice about the rising threats of cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism that must be addressed in the design of VANZ.

Chris Linning, Building Information Manager for the Sydney Opera House, explained how BIM is helping to greatly reduce the cost, time and errors that previously occurred in managing the Opera House complex on a day to day basis.  This example of 'here and now' value is a key demonstrator for the long term benefits of VANZ across the whole economy.

Amanda Finnis, Manager Online Strategy for Dept of Business and Innovation, after direction from the Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips to investigate VANZ, has been a strong advocate for the project within the Victorian government.

George Havakis, Managing Director of GISSA, has for a number of years been leading a program within Local Government aimed at developing data management standards across all facets of the built environment – independent of technology.  His expertise and advice in this area has helped to ensure the Framework has been specified in a way that is not tied to any specific technical solution.

Bruce Thompson Chief Information officer for the Victorian Dept of Sustainability and Environment, which has responsibility for whole of government spatial policy.  Bruce has been a long-time advocate for integrated spatial data management and was an early supporter of the VANZ concept – helping to show the many difficulties faced in trying to get co-ordination amongst hundreds of legacy systems and regulatory frameworks.  It is this challenge that has demonstrated the urgency of acting on 3D data now… before different jurisdictions and departments go creating their own laws and solutions – without regard for how it all fits together.

Tony Sleigh, recently retired Director, and John Moore, Manager Building and Infrastructure Project, of the Emergency Information Coordination Unit with the NSW Land and Property Management Authority, have done excellent work in delivering a 3D model of Sydney buildings and services for use by emergency services, and were open about the struggles encountered in trying to maintain current data in the absence of a uniform framework – providing a clear value proposition for VANZ.

Ben Searle, General Manager of the Federal Office of Spatial Management, was an early supporter of the project arranging for Michael to speak at spatial@gov and also helping to organize the original workshops set up to explore the viability of a ‘Virtual Australia’.  Ben has since moved to the Australian Bureau of Statistics as its first Spatial Specialist where he has been instrumental in developing a new strategy aimed at making ABS data easier to correlate by location.

Carlos Campino CEO, and Alan Humphreys Chair of the Association of Dial Before You Dig Services Ltd, provided the opportunity to present to the National Board of the Association.  This led to strong endorsement for the idea of an 'authorised' data set that their members (State Authorities, Utilities and Local Government) could rely on, while retaining control of their own asset models, with no liability to third parties who are granted access.

Anne Barker, Managing Director, City West Water (one of three Victorian Government owned retail water businesses in metropolitan Melbourne), became an immediate advocate for the current VANZ Concept - as the 'underpinning' Framework for asset management - for use by the business, and its customers.  Having reliable data not only for their own assets, but also all other utilities assets within underground service ducts, was seen to offer huge cost savings as it would greatly mitigate against accidental damage.

Maurits van der Vlugt, Spatial Information Strategist and Director of Mercury Project Solutions Pty Ltd, and Director of the Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA), was a forceful critic of the early VANZ Concepts.  His views about the need to let the 'market' innovate and evolve delivery of the vision were fundamental to shaping its current form.  His strong endorsement now, is for these reasons, very much appreciated.

Richard Simpson, Director of Metabola, is internationally recognised within the geo-spatial industry for his foresight and 'outside-the-square' thinking. He is joint author of "the world's first manifesto of the Digital Earth | Virtual Nations | Data Cities 'movement'.  This movement applies post-Google Earth (environmental simulation) technologies to the challenges of planning and managing the Earth's resources to accelerate climate change solutions".  Richard has been promoting the virtual world for many years as 'the tool' for addressing some of our major global threats. His early support for the project and his current acknowledgement of VANZ as a concrete way of meeting the major data management challenges has been a motivating force in keeping the vision alive.

Michael Ridout, Communications Director, and Helen Summers, Communciations Officer, at the CRC for Spatial Information, were instrumental in the design of the web site.  No matter how good a concept VANZ may or may not be, it is of little value if it cannot be communicated. Their inital layout and 'tweaking' has without doubt made the site a much more user-friendly  space.

Dr Ben Guy, CEO of Urban Circus, a company he set up to engage stakeholders in meaningful planning processes based on accurate and realistic 3D models.  Ben has been an early supporter of VANZ as a way to simplify the process and improve the quality of his work.  The demonstrated value he already brings to the plannng process (in terms of dramatically reduced timescales and improved outcomes) has been a major driver to achieve the ultimate VANZ vision.


this page is still being developed...

To everyone mentioned, and to the hundreds of others who have given feedback on the emerging concept, at conferences and in meetings - thank you.

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