From submarine wrecks to drones - find out what a Geographic Information Systems Specialist entails


Meet Kieran our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist

As the GIS Specialist for Hornsea Project Three, I’m responsible for collecting and visualising the spatial data to aid the project team in designing all aspects of the offshore wind farm.

Although I sit within the technical team, I work very closely with the wider team and I am involved in developing all aspects of the proposal, from the turbines to our grid connection at Norwich.

I do tend to make a lot of maps, like the interactive map that we made for this project. But I also create maps used at external meetings and at our community consultation events, however, the job is so much more than that! I also analyse a lot of data which assists the project in deciding what goes where, this includes studying submarine wrecks and geological features at a resolution never seen before.

GIS technology has advanced considerably in the past decade and I enjoy trialling out new tools, which allow us to present project information in new and exciting ways. I’m currently obtaining two surveys, one using a drone and the other with a plane, which will generate detailed and up to date information on the proposed cable corridor.

Geographic Information Systems Specialist Map
Image above show how a GIS map could be developed. Renderings of 3D buildings are placed on a map to show spatial awareness.

I am also working with a specialist company to create a fully interactive 3D model of the offshore wind farm, including the onshore cable corridor and the proposed sites for locating the onshore HVAC booster station* and Onshore Substation**. This model will be available online shortly and at our next set of community consultation events. These types of tools are really important to enable members of the public to see what the wind farm might look like when it is built.

It’s exciting working on such a large-scale project from the very beginning and knowing that if successful, and taken forwards by Ørsted, the dots drawn on our maps may end up as spinning turbines out at sea.


*The High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) booster station is a giant transformer which increases the current to reduce resistance and therefore electrical losses over longer distances.

**The Onshore Substation is where the electricity generated by our offshore wind turbines will connect into the National Grid. It is transmitted from the offshore wind farm to the shore by cables buried under the sea, then onshore by cables buried underground.