Linear Infrastructure Modelling – WWF

With thousands of projects being proposed as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the WWF sought assistance in the development of a Linear Infrastructure model.

This was to determine the likely routes these projects would take considering asset class, elevation, slope, terrain and existing infrastructure.

The model was to be submitted as an ESRI file geodatabase with estimated routes of up to 2000 linear (road, rail, pipeline) projects.

WWF chose Compass Informatics to model the impact of proposed infrastructure projects globally.

About WWF

WWF is the leading global environmental charity, and aims to bring our world back to life.

With nature in freefall, WWF are urgently tackling the underlying causes that are driving the decline.

The also excel finding solutions so future generations have a world with thriving habitats and wildlife.

Project Requirement

The Belt and Road initiative is unprecedented in scale and is referred to as a “21st century silk road” consisting of a “belt” of overland corridors from Southeast Asia into Europe and maritime “road” shipping lanes.

The initiative is set to cost over $1tn across 71 countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

With little information available regarding the environmental impact of the initiative, the WWF, using coordinates for the origin and destination of the projects, sought to model the likely trajectory of these projects in order to assess areas of particular risk.

Compass’ Solution – Linear Infrastructure Modelling

Compass Informatics approached the challenge in four stages:

  • Data Collection, Collation and criteria evaluation

The first stage of the analysis was to collate a combination of data provided by the WWF and open sources’.

  • Reclassification

Next the “business rules” of the model were defined, identifying which data sets would be the most important to generate useful insights. 

  • Implementing the multi-criteria analysis

To provide consistency across multiple datasets, data was then formatted into a common data type (raster), important elements of the each dataset was then reclassified, prioritised and overlaid in the GIS decision support system.

  •  Route Selection and Evaluation 

The model could then be implemented to provide a selection of possible routes for each project for evaluation.

Solution Snapshot

About TGI

Tracsis Geo Intelligence, a sister company of Compass Informatics, emerges with a sharpened focus on Earth Observation, Sustainability, and the UK Market.

Building upon the expertise and experience of Compass Informatics, Tracsis Geo Intelligence offers a comprehensive suite of geospatial solutions.

Compass Informatics is a leading provider of geospatial solutions, specialising in the application of GIS, IT, and mobile technologies across various sectors, including transportation, environment and natural resources.

Tracsis Geo Intelligence and Compass Informatics are both part of the Tracsis Group.

To learn more about this project, and how the solution provided may benefit your organisation, please contact our team at


‘Compass and TGI proved to be highly efficient and technically robust. Delivering quickly a well thought out and neatly annotated model aligned to our brief.’

Head of Conservation Intelligence – World Wildlife Fund - Linear Infrastructure Modelling – WWF