Category Archives: Data Management

Greater London Authority

Meeting rising demand for school places across London

In a ground-breaking project initiated by the London Mayor’s Office, the Greater London Authority has launched an online atlas of London schools, across its 33 London boroughs. The unprecedented clarity of information in the atlas will help the capital meet rising demand for school places, as well as allow families to make better-informed decisions when selecting schools.

London boroughs can understand the cross-boundary flow of pupils to better anticipate demand for school places

Education providers have evidence to justify their funding applications for new schools and expansion projects

Families can see consistent information about all schools and make the right choices for their children

The Challenge

In just eight years’ time, by 2025, London is predicted to need as many as 160,000 additional school places. This phenomenal growth is significantly faster than any other area of the UK and presents a significant challenge for the 33 London borough councils, which are responsible for providing school places in the capital. The complex relationship between population growth and demand for places varies hugely by location and over time, as ‘bubbles’ of growth can work their way through the school system. Understanding the picture spatially is vital because as many as 20% of young people cross borough boundaries to go to school each day.

The picture is similarly complex for parents in the capital who have to decide which schools to apply for or which new area to move into. Although some local authorities publish guidelines or catchment maps, their approach varies, making it difficult for parents to compare the likelihood of getting into different schools and the onward flow from primary schools to secondary schools.

“ ArcGIS gave us the robust platform we needed to openly share the findings from the Mayor’s Educational Inquiry recommendations

Paul Hodgson – GIS and Infrastructure Manager, Greater London Authority

The Solution

Recognising these challenges, The Mayor of London launched an Educational Inquiry and recommended the pan-London collection and analysis of data about school places. The Greater London Authority (GLA) used Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop solution in combination with other products to analyse anonymised data from the National Pupil Database, which comprises information on 8 million pupils, gathered over a five year period. “There aren’t that many systems which can handle the breadth and complexity of pupil and location data that we wanted to analyse and visualise,” says Paul Hodgson, GIS and Infrastructure Manager at the GLA. “ArcGIS gave us the robust platform we needed to openly share the findings from the Mayor’s Educational Inquiry recommendations.”

The organisation then used ArcGIS Server and JavaScript to create a customised, highly intuitive and interactive online map to display its data. This map, named the London Schools Atlas, shows for the first time the areas where pupils from particular schools live, historic catchment areas and feeder schools. Parents can click on their address and select a nearby school to see not only what percentage of children from their area attend this school, but also view the exam results and Ofsted inspection grades for this school and even calculate the journey time by foot or public transport.

The GLA supplemented the London Schools Atlas with data on birth rates, moves in and out of the capital, building developments and other factors that will have an impact on the net growth in pupil numbers in the period 2015-2025 to create graded maps that clearly highlight those areas of London where additional school places will be required in the future, to support critical education planning.

“ One of the GLA’s core missions is to provide strategic coordination across London. This project is a good example of how the GLA is fulfilling that role and adding value for Londoners

Paul Hodgson – GIS and Infrastructure Manager, Greater London Authority

The Benefits

Clear information for parents and carers
Following the launch of the London Schools Atlas, parents and guardians have a single point of reference for consistent, accurate information about all primary, secondary and specialist schools in London. They can access the interactive map from any desktop, tablet or mobile device and easily find the information they need to ascertain the probability of getting places at different schools. “There’s often a lot of anecdotal information at the school gate about how close you have to be to schools to get a place and which secondary schools primary pupils generally feed into,” Hodgson says. “The London Schools Atlas enables parents to make informed decisions when making and ranking their six school choices as part of the school application process.”

Accurate evidence to support future planning
Critically, The London Schools Atlas gives London’s 33 borough councils the evidence they need to approach the Department of Education for central government funding for new schools and school expansion projects to meet the population growth. Likewise, free school groups and academies can use the data presented in the London Schools Atlas to make sure that their proposals for new schools are in the right locations to fulfil projected demand. “It has been estimated that 4,000 new classrooms of 30 children will be needed in London over the next ten years, but not all in the same place at the same time,” Hodgson remarks. “The London Schools Atlas helps all education providers to understand at a local level, where and when places are required.”

Added insight coupled with reduced administration
Education managers working within borough councils now have added insight into demand for school places in their boroughs, because, for the first time, they can clearly see the cross-border flow of pupils. The project also saves time in education departments in boroughs right across the capital, because, as Hodgson says, “instead of publishing schools information 33 times in 33 different formats, it is just done once.” Indeed, individual boroughs will now be able to spend less time looking for and analysing information and can focus instead on meeting pupil needs and raising education standards.

Exemplary public sector coordination
In many ways, the London Schools Atlas is a beacon of best practice for London, as it demonstrates how the London Mayor’s Office and the GLA can provide leadership to improve efficiency and optimise public services in the capital. Hodgson says: “One of the GLA’s core missions is to provide strategic coordination across London. This project is a good example of how the GLA can fulfil that role and add value for Londoners.”

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Digital Transformation eBook

Digital Transformation

Working smarter WHERE it matters

eBook

ArcGIS empowers decision makers to focus on the most effective customer centric strategies. This disruptive technology enables analysts to work with layers of data to uncover hidden insights and trends. The ability to share these insights with all employees on any device, and at any time, creates a highly efficient and agile workforce. Paired with innovative minds, the capabilities are endless and extremely exciting.

Satisfy customers by exceeding the expectations of your customers by knowing them better than anyone else. Work smart, and build an agile workforce with access to accurate insights, wherever they are, all of the time. Drive innovation and nurture uncompromised thinking and challenge the status quo to gain and retain competitive edge.

Read our ‘Digital Transformation’ ebook to discover how location technology is helping transform businesses and industries.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download eBook

Download our Digital Transformation eBook free now to find out more

Crossrail

Improving efficiency in a complex £15 billion construction project

The Crossrail project uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform to manage hundreds of simultaneous programmes of work and account for millions of new assets. The organisation has created a range of web, mobile and 3D GIS apps that help manage cost efficiency, ensure site safety and share information securely.

ArcGIS improves the productivity of Crossrail’s Asset Protection Engineers by up to 80%

The Challenge

The £15 billion pound Crossrail project is delivering a new railway for London and the South East of England. Europe’s largest infrastructure project, it encompasses 42km of tunnels and 10 new stations. The finished railway will be an accessible route of 40 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through central London, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

A project on this scale requires a geographic information system (GIS) to record and manage the ever-changing inventory of assets and many simultaneous programmes of work. Crossrail’s existing GIS needed to be updated to ensure it was fully compatible with modern browsers and operating systems. The proposed new solution also needed to be more time efficient and offer the cutting-edge capabilities needed.

The use of a temporal slider tool in ArcGIS helps to improve estates management

The Solution

Following a thorough competitive evaluation, Crossrail Ltd entered into an Enterprise Licence Agreement (ELA) with Esri UK. With support from Esri UK’s Professional Services team, it then used Esri’s ArcGIS platform to develop an integrated suite of server-based, desktop, web, mobile and 3D applications in 14 months. The organisation now uses:

  • ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server to prepare data and perform specialist data analysis
  • Portal for ArcGIS to make comprehensive, up-to-date information available to employees, designers and contractors via a secure intranet
  • ArcGIS Mobile and ArcGIS Collector App to allow field-based personnel to see and correct the locations of assets, using mobile devices
  • ArcGIS 3D capabilities to deliver three dimensional visualisations of facilities and their surroundings
  • ArcGIS Online and Esri UK’s Open Data Portal to publish selected content for the general public, media and third parties

Crossrail also elected to use Esri UK’s Data Service, which streams Ordnance Survey background mapping and other contextual data directly into Crossrail’s corporate GIS. The use of this service has rapidly improved the quality of background mapping and reduced the need for time-consuming data management, saving several hundred hours of effort per annum.

An ArcGIS Mobile GIS solution helps to improve site security and public safety

Benefits

The ArcGIS platform has given Crossrail the flexibility to innovate and introduce valueadding GIS services over time. The first of its new solutions are already delivering benefits for the business, such as:

Increased employee productivity
Crossrail’s Asset Protection Engineers now use an ArcGIS-based app to help them produce ground movement reports in response to claims where settlement issues have potentially arisen. The engineer can use the app to select, collate and present all of the information required, resulting in up to 80% less time spent on the report.

Effective estate management
The responsibility for construction sites passes from one contractor to another in different project phases. By using a temporal slider tool in ArcGIS, employees within the organisation can easily see which contractors are responsible for which parcels of land at any one time. The solution therefore improves understanding of liability and reduces the risk of unauthorised occupation over a multitude of construction sites, avoiding unnecessary delays and cost overruns.

More cost efficient operations
In another initiative, Crossrail is using ArcGIS to model facilities in 3D for the first time and prepare an invaluable 3D asset record for the new station operators. The 3D capabilities of ArcGIS have enhanced the understanding of the relationships between assets and facility spaces, enabling them to be maintained more cost efficiently. Infrastructure Managers can also identify and analyse issues on the ground with greater understanding than before.

Improved safety and security
When Crossrail’s employees survey construction sites they use the ArcGIS Collector App on mobile tablets to check the exact boundaries against land records, and enter any observations or on-site variations. Crossrail can then ensure that hoardings are correctly placed to secure sites and help keep the public separate from the works taking place on site. The 3D mapping of stations may also prove critical in the future for helping the station operator.

Clear communication with external audiences
Using the ArcGIS platform, Crossrail can easily share data about its routes, assets, tunnels and stations with third parties, the general public and the media. In the future, the organisation plans to make it possible for partners, such as Transport for London, to consume its data as web services or gain secure access to Crossrail’s central GIS portal. This approach will not only improve collaboration with partners; it is expected to also decrease the time that Crossrail spends managing content for third parties and reduce the risk of decisions being made on the basis of out-of-date information.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

National Grid: Gas Distribution

Re-energising a business with fully integrated GIS systems

National Grid has rolled out Esri’s ArcGIS platform as part of a business transformation programme that is expected to lead to cost savings of around £35 million per year. Up to 5,000 employees now use ArcGIS to work more productively, improve operational efficiency and make better informed decisions.

– Gas Distribution –


Case study – Gas


The Customer

National Grid plc is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. It owns and operates gas distribution assets, which deliver energy to millions of homes and businesses right across Great Britain and the North East USA.

National Grid’s Gas Distribution business has replaced 40 business systems with just four – one of which is ArcGIS – to simplify and optimise its systems landscape

The organisation is saving time and improving its overall efficiency in areas including network design and data capture in the field

The integration of GIS with SAP eliminates data duplication and makes more accurate information available to support decision making

The Challenge

In an industry that is heavily monitored and increasingly competitive, the judgments of the regulator are of utmost importance. Ofgem’s comparator ratings of National Grid’s Gas Distribution business had fallen significantly behind those of its UK peers. Furthermore, National Grid’s customer satisfaction statistics in this division were also lower than both its own expectations and the industry average.

These factors together provided National Grid with compelling evidence of the need for change in its Gas Distribution business. The company wanted to urgently improve its standing with Ofgem, but it also had to start to prepare for the new challenges it would face in the future.

Pete Massey, Director of the company’s Gas Distribution Transformation Programme, explains: “We were not performing as strongly as our peers in the industry, but this wasn’t our only concern. We saw that the world was changing to be much more customer focused, more innovative and cost-conscious. This new world that we were moving into was going to be even more challenging and would stretch our capabilities to the limit, so we knew that we had to transform.”

“ Most of our activities are location based, so we could see we needed to get more of our processes on digital maps and make GIS capabilities accessible to employees right across the business

Pete Massey – Director of Gas Distribution Transformation Programme, National Grid

The Solution

As a core part of its business transformation, National Grid took the radical decision to reduce its business systems from forty to four to create a simplified, standardised and integrated systems landscape. National Grid had been using Esri Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions for many years, and this was the only solution carried forward to the new IT environment. Here, Esri’s ArcGIS software was integrated with the SAP Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system, the SAP Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) and Syclo mobile applications.

The organisation recognised that Esri’s ArcGIS technology was the most intuitive way for users to work with network asset information, so it decided to make mapping technology accessible to the majority of its 5,000 UK employees, including its customer call centre staff and mobile engineers. “Most of our activities are location based, so we could see we needed to get more of our processes on digital maps and make GIS capabilities accessible to employees right across the business,” Massey says.

“ We have reduced a complex nine-step business process to six integrated stages, which has improved our efficiency significantly

Pete Massey – Director of Gas Distribution Transformation Programme, National Grid

Benefits

National Grid has succeeded in fundamentally changing the way that it works. It has redesigned many of its most critical business processes, to significantly improve cost efficiency and employee productivity. National Grid estimates that its entire transformation programme will deliver a cost saving of £35 million per year. “The use of GIS is a key part of this saving and provides new insights into our asset and business performance,” Massey says.

Previously, National Grid created designs for network extensions and replacements on paper and then manually generated the corresponding work orders. Now, engineers design new networks directly on maps in ArcGIS, and the work orders are produced automatically from these digital designs. “We have reduced a complex nine-step business process to six integrated stages, which improves our efficiency,” says Massey. “Our new integrated process also enables us to improve the accuracy of our cost estimates and cost tracking, create more precise network designs, make planned network changes more visible to the entire business and reduce the likelihood of manual errors.”

The use of ArcGIS on portable computers enables National Grid’s mobile engineers to locate assets and jobs much more easily and work more productively. If the ‘as-built’ infrastructure differs from the network plan, data capture technicians can easily mark up any changes on the asset map while in the field. These changes are sent automatically to a central quality assurance team and, from there, asset updates are fed directly into SAP. “The whole process is much slicker and a lot more efficient,” says Massey.

The integration of GIS with SAP eliminates data duplication and inconsistency and makes more accurate asset information accessible to support decision making. Highly intuitive, the GIS design solutions and simpler business processes have been a hit with employees.

“ The whole process is much slicker and a lot more efficient

Pete Massey – Director of Gas Distribution Transformation Programme, National Grid

The Future

National Grid is now considering the creation of online mapping solutions and GISbased ‘apps’, enabling consumers to more easily check the status of works in their neighbourhoods, book appointments and report faults. These new customer services, together with the efficiency and process improvements already achieved, are expected to lead to higher Ofgem rankings, stronger performance against industry peers and rising customer satisfaction.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Joint Aeronautical Geospatial Organisation (JAGO)

Sharing intelligence and improving situational understanding in theatre

Part of the Ministry of Defence, JAGO provides vitally important geospatial services to support the British Armed Forces. The organisation used solutions from Esri’s ArcGIS platform to develop a mobile GIS capability that is transported into war zones to provide military teams with up-to-date, accurate situational intelligence.

The Customer

Within the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Joint Aeronautical Geospatial Organisation (JAGO) is responsible for providing geospatial capabilities to support British Forces. In particular, the organisation develops, supports and manages geospatial Information Systems for use by 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) in operations at home and overseas.

The GIS solution, named DataMan, provides British Forces with a single, authoritative source of geospatial data – a common operational picture – for military operations

The 42nd Engr Regt uses DataMan to quickly produce accurate, customised briefings in hostile situations, such as conflict zones

Commanders can make faster tactical and strategic decisions, with the assurance that they are acting on the most up-to-date data and intelligence

The Challenge

The geospatial analysts of 42 Engr Regt (Geo) are required to employ their geospatial analysis and cartographic skills in cramped and very basic conditions in some of the world’s most inhospitable and dangerous environments. Operating with limited resources in small numbers, they work closely with UK forces and their coalition partners to collect local intelligence, analyse data and produce up-to-date mapping and briefing services for commanders.

Over time, the volume of data handled by the organisation had grown rapidly, leading to a number of data management challenges. Like many organisations, JAGO had built its capability around many individual desktop systems with no central data repository. This was resulting in multiple versions of the same data sets. “We needed to manage our data better to create a single view of the truth,” says Keith Mosley, capabilities development manager at JAGO. “At the same time, we also wanted to take advantage of new web services architectures to deliver data more effectively to military personnel, at home and in theatre.”

“ We needed to manage our data better to create a single view of the truth. At the same time, we also wanted to take advantage of new web services architectures to deliver data more effectively to military personnel, at home and in theatre

Keith Mosely –  Capabilities Development Manager

The Solution

JAGO developed a joined-up solution to extend and optimise its existing geospatial systems. It called upon Esri UK to help develop a new centralised system using Esri ArcGIS Server technology. The system called DataMan provides a central repository for all of JAGO’s geospatially referenced data and delivers data and mapping services to users via an easy to use web-browser interface over secure networks.

JAGO also received support from Helyx Secure Information Systems, a specialist defence consulting firm and Esri UK business partner. Mosley said: “We have a very close relationship with both Esri UK and Helyx and receive an excellent service from them.” When they are dispatched into hostile environments, teams from 42 Engr Regt (Geo) take everything they need to deploy DataMan within a set of ruggedised green boxes. An integral SQL server database manages the data; a web server handles the SharePoint web portal; and a GeoProxy facilitates the connection to the external network. The whole system can be active and accessible within hours.

JAGO also built a browser based application called GeoViewer using Esri’s Flex application programming interface (API) to access web services remotely and securely. GeoViewer makes it easy for engineers to add and manage data, perform analysis and print on demand. JAGO has developed different versions of its GeoViewer to meet the needs of teams in specific regions, such as a “Helmand GeoViewer” for use in southern Afghanistan.

“ Esri UK has helped us deliver a new level of understanding. We couldn’t do what we do without the support we get from Esri UK and Helyx

Keith Mosely –  Capabilities Development Manager

The Benefits

DataMan was launched in March 2010 and within nine months was receiving over two million hits per month from a wide range of users throughout the command chain. This rapid take-up is testimony to its ease-of-use and relevance to day to day operations. Users at all levels, with little or no GIS experience, can quickly access the same data – whether they are in barracks, on a training exercise or in theatre.

Users connect to DataMan and know that they are looking at the latest information. In the past, analysts would have worked from data CDs which meant it was difficult to track versions. “DataMan provides a single authoritative source of geospatial data for military operations,” says Mosley. “When anyone pulls data from DataMan they know that it is the best available, the most appropriate and the most up-to-date.”

This capability enables 42 Engr Regt (Geo) to quickly produce customised briefings in theatre, displaying information on everything from the likely locations of roadside bombs to the ethnicity of local communities.

Other organisations and agencies have been encouraged by the rapid adoption of DataMan and share data through the system. There are now over 350 data layers ranging from aerial reconnaissance and intelligence from ground patrols; through to information that was held by external organisations in spread sheets, such as lists of medical facilities in Afghanistan. This data is accessible to all units and partners working in the vicinity.

DataMan is used by commanders to inform orientation exercises, assess threats, plan missions, determine patrol routes, organise operational and tactical activities and conduct post-operation reviews. Because it delivers a wider range of reliable and current information – it is improving the quality and speed of tactical and strategic decision making. Mosley explains: “DataMan helps to improve situational awareness and understanding. Commanders can make better decisions about where they go and where they don’t go, based on a better understanding of current threats. It’s helping to save lives.”

“ DataMan helps to improve situational awareness and understanding. Commanders can make better decisions about where they go and where they don’t go, based on a better understanding of current threats. It’s helping to save lives

Keith Mosely –  Capabilities Development Manager

The Future

It has long been JAGO’s goal to deliver a common geospatial picture to the widest possible range of users – not just geo specialists. With the development of DataMan, JAGO believes that it is well on the way towards achieving this goal. It is extending the reach of its new capability, so that it can add value across more defence organisations.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

WSP Global

Creating an informed enterprise

Engineering company WSP Global has used Esri’s ArcGIS platform to make spatial data and GIS capabilities accessible to 2,800 employees in its UK business. This enterprise-wide solution, named iGIS, helps the company to work more efficiently, save money and deliver a higher quality of service for its customers.


Case study – Private Sector


The Customer

WSP Group plc is a global management and engineering consultancy. Whether designing, building or maintaining roads, bridges or civic amenities, knowledge of the built and natural environment is essential to their business and that of their clients.

Consultants can arrive on site better informed and produce high quality presentation materials, helping to improve customer service

The company saves money by eliminating unnecessary duplication and data management costs

iGIS allows employees to work more productively, so tasks that used to take hours can now be completed in a fraction of this time

The Challenge

When planning new road links, staff need to know the location of existing transport routes and centres of population; when designing new amenities, they need to know what environmental constraints might exist. The challenge was to make this information readily available to support staff in their day-to-day role.

Previously, WSP had a single data repository (including Ordnance Survey, NAVTEQ and demographic data), but used two different Esri tools for working with it: ArcIMS for around 100 non-specialist users, and ArcGIS Desktop to provide advanced functionality to around 300 specialists. WSP wanted to make data available to all 2,800 employees, irrespective of location and level of GIS expertise. Consequently, any new system had be intuitive and easy-to-use.

“ We wanted to give our employees easier access to maps and enable them to obtain the geographic information they need without having to ask a GIS specialist 

David Edem – UK GIS Manager at WSP

The Solution

Esri’s ArcGIS Server was identified as the best solution, partly because the Flex API (Application Programming Interface) in v9.3 makes it easy to create customised mapping applications, combining web services from ArcGIS Server with other web content, for delivery over an intranet or the web.

In addition, WSP chose Google Maps API Premier to provide access to background mapping and Google AJAX Search API for location finding.

Within four months, WSP developed a corporate mashup called iGIS to deliver GIS services to its UK employees. It integrates Google base maps and location services with the WSP’s geographic data assets and the powerful geo-processing capabilities of ArcGIS Server, which makes many terabytes of data instantly accessible across the entire UK operation.

The result is a user-friendly mapping application that allows users to perform such tasks as query population statistics by area, undertake proximity searches, sketch site boundaries and print maps on demand.

“ iGIS is rapidly becoming an essential business tool that is used regularly by a wide range of employees 

David Edem – UK GIS Manager at WSP

Benefits

Adoption was rapid (760 staff in the first fortnight and more than half the 2,800 UK staff within months) and the benefits too.

Data and functionality previously available to a few specialists is now available to all, taking GIS to new areas of the business. The intuitive iGIS interface, coupled with standard templates for figures and plans, has enabled GIS novices to produce high quality work for clients, including simple site location plans, analysing the demographics of an area, or undertaking complex spatial searches.

What previously took hours to pull together is now available in a fraction of the time, which is important in a business where many projects are charged on an hourly basis. iGIS allows WSP consultants to arrive on site with better knowledge of likely ground conditions and to offer a quicker, lower cost and higher quality service to clients.

ArcGIS Server has revolutionised data management: by having a central online data catalogue, WPS has saved money by eliminating unnecessary duplication and monitoring group spend more effectively to negotiate better rates.

Directors at WSP have been very impressed: “This is an exciting development of our GIS capability, which will materially improve the speed and efficiency of the delivery of a wide range of our project technical activities, calculations and presentation material,” says Mike Sheehan, Director, WSP Group. “iGIS helps to keep WSP competitive and stand out in the marketplace.”

Driven by positive feedback from staff and high demand, WSP plans to expand iGIS in the UK by adding further datasets and functionality and to roll it out globally across the entire group.

Recent improvements include adding new environmental and cultural heritage datasets and there are plans to add a geological map library catalogue showing where paper-based mapping has been purchased and where it is held.

In addition, WSP plans to use ArcGIS Server to develop value-added services for clients, whowill be able to access their own data, analyse the results, drill down into layers of information and print their own maps, all via a secure login.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Yarlington Housing Group

Saving time and money when sourcing Ordnance Survey data

After selecting Esri’s ArcGIS platform for its first ever corporate GIS solution, Yarlington Housing Group (YHG) turned to Esri UK for help and advice in sourcing and loading data from Ordnance Survey and other third parties. The support and expertise provided by Esri UK’s Data Services group equipped the organisation with precisely the data it needed saving weeks of effort.

The Customer

Yarlington Housing Group (YHG) provides affordable housing across the South West of England, owning and managing over 9,000 properties in Somerset, Devon and Dorset. Working closely with local authorities, the group provides homes to rent and also offers Government-funded schemes to give people the chance to buy their own home. Based in Yeovil, YHG employs over 300 staff and was established in 1999 through a Large Scale Voluntary Transfer.

Esri UK’s Data Services professionals saved YHG around two weeks of time, by supplying data in precisely the right format for its GIS

The data experts were able to advise YHG on the most appropriate data types to acquire to deliver added benefits for the business

YHG asserts that Esri UK’s data services delivered better value for money than similar services offered by other vendors

The Challenge

YHG wanted to create a new corporate geographic information system (GIS), from which the entire housing association would benefit. By combining data from Housing Management, Asset Management, Workflow Management Tool, Repairs and Services, the company-wide GIS would give a complete view of the business and deliver valuable new insights in order to make informed strategic decisions and for users to quickly access and view information collated from a range of disparate systems in one central location.

With no previous GIS at YHG, the group had already decided to use Esri UK’s ArcGIS as its new GIS platform, but needed the most suitable Ordnance Survey (OS) data to underpin it.

“Embarking on a GIS project with such far-reaching implications meant expectations were high, so we needed the best approach to source our OS data,” explained Chris Reed, GIS Administrator, Yarlington Housing Group. “Customer service, housing specific knowledge, data quality, efficiency and costs were the main drivers behind our search for a supplier.”

After examining the market, YHG concluded that Esri UK could meet its OS data needs and offer other invaluable benefits.

“ The Esri approach presented a seamless OS dataset ready for use, resulting in an efficient integration into the GIS. We were up and running in a fraction of the time compared to buying data on its own

Chris Reed – GIS Administrator, Yarlington Housing Group

The Solution

For our initial phase of the implementation, YHG selected a combination of OS OpenData services, OS mastermap and OS 1:25 000 Scale Raster for its base map data but recently updated the raster data to VectorMap Local following Esri UK’s recommendation. Delivered in file-geodatabase format and already set-up to the group’s specific scale, style and projection criteria, the new data was supplied optimised and cached for their GIS.

“While VectorMap Local was more expensive, we felt it presented better value for money for the organisation. It provided a greater level of flexibility by having a number of different map styles and had all the benefits of vector data, such as the ability to carry out analysis, feature integration and calculations. We were also able to take advantage of a three year contract providing a year’s cost saving compared to an annual agreement,” explained Chris Reed. “Esri provided the OS data in the correct format for our GIS and its bespoke service meant data arrived just for the area we needed, with the correct cartographic layer .mxd files, styled to our requirements.”

At no additional cost, Esri UK also provided a cache of the base-map data, geo-coded property lists and online data services such as OS OpenData, already pre-cached and in the correct format.

“Esri UK’s data consultants are experts in the housing sector and could therefore recommend and supply the most appropriate OS data,” said Chris Reed. “But it was the extra services they offered included in the price that made their solution most attractive. The team is very accessible and quick to help with any queries and we’ve built a strong working relationship.”

Another factor in YHG’s decision was that it already had a contract with Esri UK for the GIS software. Being able to deal with the same supplier for its OS data made the whole process easy and straightforward.

“ Esri UK’s data consultants are experts in the housing sector and could therefore recommend and supply the most appropriate OS data

Chris Reed – GIS Administrator, Yarlington Housing Group

Benefits

Selecting Esri UK’s OS data solution has saved the Yarlington Housing Group’s GIS team a significant amount of time and effort.

No extra work was needed to convert or load the data, match tiles or create the desired symbology, as Chris Reed explained: “The Esri approach presented a seamless OS dataset ready for use, resulting in an efficient integration into the GIS. We were up and running in a fraction of the time compared to buying the data on its own.”

Another major time saving has been realised from the map cache. Previously, when YHG had first received its OS Raster data and master maps, creating a cache had taken them several days due to the caching process and processing issues. Now the team simply load the cache into their GIS and it becomes live the same day, with the GIS performance levels that users demand. The cache will also play a vital part in future plans for new web and mobile-based GIS services.

“Overall, the new approach from Esri UK has saved the organisation approximately 2 weeks of development work,” stated Chris Reed. “We no longer have to convert data, geocode properties, create symbology and build a cache, allowing us to focus on developing functionality, data and services that our users require.”

All of Yarlington Housing Group’s OS data needs were met by Esri UK along with the additional value-add offered by their data consultancy services. Data updates are now also provided on a six-monthly basis via ftp download.

“Esri UK has an in-depth understanding of the housing market and sourcing OS data from them has cut significant costs from the whole GIS process,” concluded Chris Reed. “The total solution has cost us the same as other vendors were quoting purely for the data, so we achieved great value for money.”

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform

Scottish Natural Heritage: Data Services

Saving time and improving quality with online data services

Maintaining the background mapping for its many GIS applications used to be a challenging and time-consuming process for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The organisation is now able to rely on Esri UK’s online data service, which both saves time and enhances the user experience.

– Data Services –


Case study – Central Government


The Customer

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the Scottish Government’s advisor on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland. Its role is to help everyone understand, value and enjoy Scotland’s nature now and in the future. It does this by providing advice and information to support projects that benefit wildlife, habitats and landscapes, or that encourage more people to enjoy nature responsibly.

GIS professionals no longer have to spend hours at a time updating the background mapping for the organisation’s GIS applications

For no additional cost, SNH now has access to a vast library of maps including large-scale maps that would otherwise have cost up to £5,000 a year

Esri UK’s online data service delivers exceptional user performance and can scale up to meet unexpected peaks in traffic

The Challenge

SNH is legally required to “actively disseminate” natural heritage information, but felt that answering inquiries as they arose by telephone, fax and post was not fully satisfying these obligations.

“We wanted to be able to provide a better service to the public, as well as save time and money”, Mark Robson, GIS Manager says. Consequently, SNH decided to develop an interactive mapping service to deliver information, whether about wildlife in the Cairngorms, facts about a Site of Special Scientific Interest or for planning a trip to a National Nature Reserve.

“ We wanted something that we could develop very rapidly, that would offer us ‘Web 2.0’ type capabilities and that could easily be integrated with the rest of the organisation’s website

Mark Robson – GIS Manager at SNH

The Solution

As a longstanding user of GIS, SNH needed a web-based solution that was compatible with their existing GIS architecture. “We wanted something that we could develop very rapidly, that would offer us ‘Web 2.0’ type capabilities and that could easily be integrated with the rest of the organisation’s website”, says Mark Robson, GIS Manager.

Esri UK’s Customer Care team worked closely with SNH’s GIS team to migrate from ArcIMS to the latest version of ArcGIS Server, which includes the Flex Application Programming Interface (API).

Flex made it easy to create web-based mapping applications with the desired look, feel and general style, and SNH was able to create a proof of concept application within a matter of hours. In development, SNH used ESRI’s hosted services, while still implementing ArcGIS Server. “When ArcGIS went live, it was very easy for me to switch from the hosted system to our own system,” says Richard Betts, Senior GIS Officer.

A key capability of Flex is its ability to integrate data and services from third parties. SNH created a mash-up, seamlessly importing species data from the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) into its own website. “Previously, we had provided a lot of information into the NBN, but we needed a way of making that information accessible to our own customers,” explains Richard Betts, Senior GIS Officer

SNH’s GIS team found the documentation on resources.esri.com well organised and well written. This helped them understand the capabilities of the ArcGIS Server platform and speeded up application development. “The whole application build took less than four months”, estimates Betts. “Considering how much new software was involved and the complexity of our environment, that was pretty quick.”

“ ArcGIS Server allows us to deliver information in a far more accessible way and to a wider range of people, from planners and developers to school children

Mark Robson – GIS Manager at SNH

The Benefits

The site is helping achieve the goals of openness and value for money for the people of Scotland. SNH launched its interactive mapping in March 2009 and the site attracts an average of 3,000 visitors per month, with 20,000 individual page views per month. Most importantly, two thirds of users are return customers. “This demonstrates that users value the site and consider it worth visiting again,” says Betts. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of unprompted positive feedback we have received from both users and partners,” says Robson.

Whereas it used to take over a day of an area officer’s time to answer a fairly standard query, now customers can easily find information for themselves. “GIS enables us to work more efficiently and frees up people’s time to focus on the quality aspects of information management”, observes Alan McKirdy, Head of Information Management.

New audiences now access SNH data. “ArcGIS Server allows us to deliver information in a far more accessible way and to a wider range of people, from planners and developers to school children”, explains Robson.

“ GIS enables us to work more efficiently and frees up people’s time to focus on the quality aspect of information management

Ian McKirdy – Head of Information Management at SNH

The Future

More content will be made available online. “Self service has proved to be better for our customers and a more efficient use of our time”, says Robson. “The next step is to take advantage of the simplicity of the ArcGIS Flex API to expand this service to cover all our data.”

Robson and Betts believe that the wider deployment of online interactive mapping will help to elevate SNH’s reputation. “It is now much easier for people to see what we do, what we stand for and why we are here”, concludes Robson. “Use of GIS on our website is helping to increase awareness of the value of what we deliver for the people of Scotland.

Phone
Contact Us

Tel: 01296 745599
E-mail: sales@esriuk.com

Document
Download Case Study

Use our form to access a complete .pdf version of this case study

Phone
ArcGIS Free Trial

Try out a free trial of the entire ArcGIS platform