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James Cook University

James Cook University uses Open Spatial's Asset Decision Support System to improve maintenance management on campus

James Cook University (JCU) is ranked in the top five percent of the world’s tertiary institutions. Since its establishment in 1970, JCU has expanded into a multi-campus institution with larger campuses in Townsville and Cairns, smaller study centres in Mount Isa, Thursday Island and Mackay and campuses in Singapore and Brisbane. With a strong focus on the tropics, proximity to spectacular ecosystems of the rainforests of the wet tropics, the dry savannahs and the iconic Great Barrier Reef, JCU conducts internationally recognised research in marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tourism, tropical medicine and public health.

Planning for the near and long-term futures, JCU required a campus infrastructure management system that delivered powerful integration with existing space, maintenance and finance systems. Tasked with creating a new campus model to complement the university’s master plan, management needed a system that focused on data quality, custodianship and accessibility to make informed decisions about assets, services and infrastructure.

“Our campuses are developing rapidly to meet the demands of a world-class tropical university,” noted Matthew Joyce, Deputy Director of Planning and Development. “We are planning buildings and infrastructure for the near and long-term futures, and rely on quality information to make decisions about our assets, services, and infrastructure.”

Campus Systems Integration

The Open Spatial Asset Decision Support System delivered JCU a world-class campus infrastructure management system complete with accurate, convenient and reliable use of modern technologies. The backbone of the solution lies within the central management of the campus asset infrastructure which includes a digitally-managed chilled water cooling system, water, wastewater, drainage, electrical networks, roads, parking and pavement network infrastructure.

Virtual Wayfinding

The Asset Decision Support System also provides students, staff and visitors with a virtual wayfinding system, fully integrated with Google Maps and accessible on desktop and mobile devices.

The internet browser visualisation portal application incorporates centrally-managed geographic infrastructure data with aerial imagery, topographical data, photos, drawings and textual data from corporate databases and applications, within a single view point. JCU has experienced added benefits with the ability to embed site plans and perform asset condition assessments since the implementation.

Looking to the Future

JCU plans to extend the solution to manage its environmental assets, for teaching, learning and cultural importance, such as native tree plantings, significant trees and native points of interest on campus. Already planning Phase 2 of the project, campus officials also hope to include the management of fiber communications assets between buildings on campus.


James Cook University

Established 1970

Campus facilities in Townsville, Cairns, Mount Isa, Thursday Island and Mackay, Brisbane and Singapore

Serves approximately 20,000 students



  • A build-up of, and reliance on, institutional knowledge

  • Lack of a reliable, up-to-date wayfinding system

  • Campus infrastructure management system not integrated with existing space, maintenance and finance systems

  • ​Consolidation of campus assets into one complete, reliable inventory database

  • Integration of campus asset decision support system

  • Establishment of  a campus model for more efficient and confident decision making

  • Complete and accurate wayfinding system

  • Increased information sharing


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