Babcock International:
HMS Devonport 3D GIS

HM Devonport dockyard—3D GIS buildings for facilities planning, design, logistics & communication

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HM Devonport Royal Dockyard is approximately 4km2 in size with thousands of buildings and structures located in the ‘yard’. As you can imagine, this large a site takes a fair bit of managing, and is very resource intensive.

Babcock International (who manage the whole site facility) needed a way to streamline and enhance their approach to save time, improve reliability of decisions, enhance engagement with stakeholders and improve site logistics.


Jason Kenyon, BIM Manager ( Babcock) for the marines & Submarines department had developed an Autodesk InfraWorks 3D model of the Devonport site.

The 3D model included Ordnance Survey base mapping, a Digital Terrain Model (DTM), aerial imagery and 3D ‘blocks’ of buildings derived from building footprints and LiDAR height data. The cranes and other asset information had also been included as 3D models.

Although this was a functional model, it’s down falls were accuracy, consistency and comments that the model didn’t look like what was on the ground. The buildings did not have roof detail and this minimised reliable 3D analysis and also decreased the visual aesthetics for the stakeholders to engage with what was being communicated.


CartoConsult were commissioned to produce smart 3D GIS buildings models of the existing built infrastructure. The buildings were ‘smart’, as they had data ‘burned’ into the attributes of each building increasing their value to the client. Any custom building information was input as well as the building numbers as they are on the site for ease of identification.

The 3D models were produced to a accuracy from aerial imagery. Taking in to account security sensitivities, no data had to be captured on site and taken away externally. We were also able to ‘auto-texture’ the buildings using existing angled (oblique imagery) imagery adding value to what was an already impressive dataset.


From this smart 3D GIS model, the Digital Engineering department were able to streamline workflows for planning proposed development on the site by analysing and visualising the effect of a proposed building on site, ensuring that reliable decision making happened before a spade hit the ground.

Logistics have improved by knowing what type off access is available to move plant machinery around and also communication between the stakeholders, who are the ultimate decision makers.

Dave Rowe

Dave Rowe, Principle Developer, The Carto Group.

About the Author

Dave is an open data advocate, always looking to deliver as much value as possible from clients data.

Microsoft Certified in cloud Azure stacks, Dave is an awesome GIS Software Engineer that takes web GIS applications to the highest level.

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