• Sydney Ports Corporation

    Sydney Cove

    Sydney, Australia

Project Summary

To ensure shipping operations meet stringent performance standards, Sydney Ports Corporation needed to regularly survey and map all shipping channels and berthing boxes. Maps would need to show accurate depth soundings, bathometric contouring, symbolized navigation aids, objects, submarine cables, and land features that can be easily identified by pilots.

The mapping process is complex and involved, but using Bentley’s global positioning technology, they can take hydrographic surveys with ease. Recorded depths and associated coordinates are downloaded from the onboard echo sounder into MicroStation. The soundings data is imported into Power InRoads to create surface models and bathometric contours for mapping purposes. Specific cross section and longitudinal profiles of berthing areas are created, as are volume calculations to determine required dredging.


MicroStation has enabled Sydney Ports Corporation to standardize and separate geographic data to about three hundred levels in the areas of detail survey, utilities, cadastral and hydrographic data, contour, and plan information. Using Power InRoads has led to increased functionality and seamless transitions when importing raw sounding data, weeding and analyzing the soundings and producing hydrographic plans like Sydney Cove.

Sydney Ports Corporation is using Power InRoads and Bentley Descartes in conjunction with MicroStation in innovative ways, particularly in the areas of triangulation, bathymetric contour generation, cross sections, contour analysis and geospatially referenced aerial photography. The software can process large sounding data sets quickly and efficiently. Integrity of the digital database is achieved through the use of a relational database with each record linked to MicroStation using ODBC. Each element can be traced back to its original source.
  • Graphic data is now separated, standardized, managed and maintained in a controlled, customized CAD-GIS system.
  • MicroStation enables Sydney Ports Corporation to standardize and separate geographic data to some three hundred levels of detail.