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Graham Hinchliffe

Associate Investigator



Auckland University of Technology

Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau

A Bit About Graham

Graham Hinchliffe is a Chartered Geospatial Professional with 10 years of experience working in the UK private sector. He joined AUT in 2015 to further develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Geospatial application areas. Graham has interests in Geoprocessing, UAV Full Motion Video (FMV), Multispectral Point Cloud analysis, Open-Source GIS tools, Disaster Risk Reduction & Response, and the use of spatial data in VR visualization.

At AUT, Graham leads three postgraduate courses, including the capstone Geospatial Internship program, where students work on real-world projects with AUT's industry partners. He supports geospatial teaching and research within the Department of Environmental Science and undertakes UAV flight operations while working towards his PhD research on "Low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle full motion video applications for marine and ecological survey." This research involves developing techniques and field applications for drone-captured spatial video, allowing accurate location of any point on a video frame. The process is being applied to a wide range of research areas, including coral, seaweed and octopus habitat survey, dynamic feature tracking, beach metrics, and wave energy analysis.

"I love that my research has a variety of applications and uses off-the-shelf technology, allowing collaboration with many AUT students, community groups and some amazing field trips around New Zealand and beyond."


Graham's Story

In 2020, Graham had an opportunity to visit the Solomon Islands while supervising two AUT honours students. The proposal investigated novel UAV methods combined with snorkel transects at Kolombangara Island. The methods investigated have the potential to bring increased spatial accuracy and speed to near-reef coastal survey and to enable local communities to monitor changing ecosystem conditions.


The methodology was further refined during the recent 2022 trip and incorporated the use of a Diver Propulsion Vehicle "Scooter" to hold more GoPro cameras and provide increased survey speed and safety. Repeat survey of previously covered locations allows for a multi-temporal change analysis between 2020 and 2022.


Additional survey work by AUT MSc student Grace Martin allows for investigation of substrate composition over the reef flat and remote sensing classification.


Connect with Graham

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