Author Archives: jkennelly

The Mighty Creatives

Expanding cultural education by making connections with maps

Having decided to use ArcGIS Online to build a mapping tool to promote and deliver its services, The Mighty Creatives utilised Esri UK’s ArcGIS Online Launchkit to get up and running quickly. This gave the charity the skills and confidence to make digital mapping a central element of its service offering.

Provided staff with the skills needed to create their own maps without external advice or expertise

Gave the team the confidence to exploit digital mapping as a tool to promote the charity’s services

Visualisation of its own data gave the charity new insight into operational information and processes

The Challenge

The charity, The Mighty Creatives, believe that creativity is vital to every child’s development and that, unfortunately, there are too many limited opportunities for children and young people to be creative and to play. Their mission is to change this and to achieve their goal they bring together schools, arts organisation, communities and businesses forging partnerships and enabling collaboration.

To support this creative drive, The Mighty Creatives needed a visual, easy to use, way of enabling organisations to easily discover other organisations working across the East Midlands.

The Mighty Creatives identified that ArcGIS Online from Esri UK could be used to create the solution they needed, but were unsure how to get started. The team had limited experience in geography or digital mapping and without any technical skills they lacked the confidence to move forward.

Furthermore, there were many important questions:

  • What data should we use?
  • How should that data be formatted, imported and managed?
  • How should we present the data in an interesting form?
  • How can we make the system easy to access?
  • How will the new tool work with our existing CRM system?

“ Within the first half an hour, the Esri Consultant swept away our confusion, so we could clearly see what we could do with ArcGIS online and where to start

Laurie Parsons – Development Coordinator (Arts Alliances) – The Mighty Creatives

The Solution

The Mighty Creatives found the answers in the form of an ArcGIS Online Launchkit from Esri UK. An Esri UK Consultant carried out the two-day program at The Mighty Creatives’ office, helping to get the new tool live in the shortest possible time. The Launchkit included support with the installation and configuration of the ArcGIS platform, demonstration of the capabilities of ArcGIS online, and advice and training on how to implement the new tool.

The Consultant put an additional focus on several key areas that were important to The Mighty Creatives:

  • Understanding how to present geographic information so that the visualisation accurately represents the underlying data, without distortion
  • The capabilities of different packages, such as ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS online, and which tools to use in different situations
  • How to use storymaps to create engaging online content and get across the story they wanted to tell

After the Launchkit was completed, The Mighty Creatives quickly built its first online mapping tool. Since then a further five searchable maps have been developed and the team have now started building storymaps. Future plans are increasingly challenging and sophisticated, including for example, demographic analysis to identify geographic distributions of demand and match these with local supply.

“ Working closely with our Esri consultant through the Launchkit instilled confidence in our abilities to create digital maps and use them to promote our service

Laura Bates – Development Manager (Arts Alliances) – The Mighty Creatives

The Benefits

Self sufficiency
The Esri UK Launchkit rapidly provided The Mighty Creatives with the skills needed to create their own maps without the need to call in external advice or expertise. This also gives them the foundations to take on future challenges.

Confidence
An organisation largely composed of artistic, creative and educational professionals with a lack of confidence in their knowledge of technology have now developed the confidence necessary to use and exploit digital mapping as a tool.

Insight
Through its own maps, The Mighty Creatives could see it its own information in a new light, prompting the team to question current processes, reflect on them and see new ways to operate.

Teamwork
Building the mapping tool was a shared learning experience, requiring input from across the team. This promoted buy-in from all parts of the organisation and made a positive contribution to the working environment.

Like many charities The Mighty Creatives needs to carefully manage its expenditure, so it can optimise its reach and impact; the investment in and ArcGIS Online Launchkit was therefore a relatively significant outlay. However, the charity believes that the experience has been exceptionally valuable and is helping the organisation forge new partnerships and drive collaboration.

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Operational Intelligence eBook

Operational Intelligence

How knowing WHERE enhances performance, efficiency and customer experience

eBook

Operational Intelligence offers managers of infrastructure operations a means to create the digital future while reliably delivering the services of today.

The opportunity for location-based Operational Intelligence extends across public and private sector organisations that manage, or provide services over, our national infrastructure. By adding context, location adds value, elevating raw data from across an operation to become actionable intelligence. For the enterprise, this provides the agility required to respond to the challenging consumer, competitive, and regulatory demands of today’s increasingly disruptive environment.

Discover how leading edge organisations are now implementing Operational Intelligence solutions that put location-based thinking at the heart of their business operations. They are creating connected, enterprise-wide operational processes and enabling continuous improvement by embedding forward-looking capabilities. Built on knowledge of the status and location of customers, assets and their environment, Operational Intelligence aids both planning and execution.

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Colas Ltd

Proactively managing assets to reduce costs and improve public safety

The civil engineering business Colas uses solutions from Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help it undertake pre-emptive maintenance of thousands of assets over a 480km network of roads in Portsmouth. This proactive and strategic approach to asset management helps the company to reduce costs, improve public safety and deliver a high quality of service for Portsmouth City Council.

Colas can collect and share accurate, detailed information about ageing and deteriorating assets

Maintenance tasks can be scheduled more intelligently, to improve long term efficiency

Public safety is ensured as potential faults can be proactively repaired, before they cause incidents

The Challenge

Colas is responsible for the management and maintenance of Portsmouth’s highway infrastructure through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) with Portsmouth City Council. Under the terms of this contract the company has to uphold the quality of more than 480km of roads, 16,000 street lights and 84 structures, and carry out extensive roadworks, ranging from the resurfacing of major junctions to the clearing of drains, until 2029.

Committed to sustaining a high quality road infrastructure for people living, working and travelling in Portsmouth, Colas wanted to be able to focus on more than just implementing reactive repairs. It aimed to build an optimised and efficient process that would allow it to identify and implement asset repairs on a more proactive basis. The company had previously invested in Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help it manage and visualise assets, not only for the Portsmouth PFI contract, but across all its projects and joint ventures in the UK and Ireland. So, pushing ahead from this solid foundation, it elected to make ArcGIS a key element of its proactive asset management solution.

“ We can make better informed decisions about which assets to maintain and when, on a proactive basis, which ultimately helps us to be more efficient

Dan Winslow – ICT Product Development Manager, Colas

The Solution

Every year, Colas carries out a comprehensive survey of the highways assets in Portsmouth, in which the asset condition is graded from good to unsatisfactory. In the proactive asset maintenance process, this information is now loaded into Esri’s Collector App for ArcGIS, to enable Colas’ own team of specialist highways inspectors to visit and check all those assets graded poor or unsatisfactory. Using the Collector App, the inspectors can take accurate location references, upload pictures, verify the condition of assets and add supplementary information, all while in the field.

There is no need for inspectors to take notes on paper and, consequently, no need for them to waste time typing up survey reports back in the office. All the Service Inspection information collected is automatically transferred from the Collector App to ArcGIS Server in the company’s head office and visualised on interactive maps. Office-based employees can then perform analysis, improve their understanding of maintenance requirements across an area of more than 40km2 and use this insight to prioritise and plan proactive maintenance activities.

Colas makes its Service Inspection data available to over 120 employees using Esri’s ArcGIS Online web portal, so that everyone working on the Portsmouth PFI has access to the latest and most accurate asset information.
Finally, Colas also provides a login to ArcGIS Online for Portsmouth City Council, which helps the two organisations to maintain a co-operative working relationship.

“ By using ArcGIS to collect data and inform our maintenance scheduling process, we can get to and repair assets before they become a safety issue

Dan Winslow – ICT Product Development Manager, Colas

The Benefits

By using ArcGIS for its proactive maintenance process – to collect, visualise, analyse and share data – Colas has gained a number of operational advantages including:

A shared understanding of asset quality
Colas now has far more accurate and extensive data available about the condition of old and deteriorating assets within the highways network in Portsmouth. Each asset graded poor or unsatisfactory can be quickly and efficiently surveyed in the field, and up-to-the-minute information about more than 70 different categories of assets can be made instantly available to employees, contractors and the council online. “The use of ArcGIS for our Service Inspections has helped us to become an asset driven business,” says Dan Winslow, ICT Product Development Manager at Colas. “We can also share our asset knowledge with Portsmouth City Council, which helps us deliver a transparent and high quality of service.”

More efficient business operations
Only repairing assets when they cause problems on the network can be very ineffective, as faults may occur anywhere in the city, at any time of the day or night – and often need rapid attention. By using ArcGIS Server to visualise and analyse its Survey Inspection data, Colas can now plan maintenance activities more strategically, by location. “Our proactive repairs process allows us to work in a smarter, more agile way than we did before,” Winslow says. “We can make better informed decisions about which assets to maintain and when, on a proactive basis, which ultimately helps us to improve services for citizens.”

The ability to ensure public safety
Significantly, Colas’ proactive asset maintenance process plays a key role in helping the organisation to maintain public safety in Portsmouth. “The process enables us to address issues that may not currently be causing issues to traffic or pedestrians, but that due to their evolving condition, could become safety concerns in the future,” Winslow explains. “By using ArcGIS to collect data and inform our maintenance scheduling process, we can get to and repair assets before they become a safety issue.”

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Great Fire of London

350 years since the Great Fire of London swept through the city for four days, this interactive map compares the modern city with historical cartography.

Great Fire of London: Then & Now

On the 2nd of September 1666, a small fire started around central London’s Pudding Lane. The resulting inferno would ravage the medieval heart of the city four four days, leaving tens of thousands homeless. To mark the 350th anniversary of the tragedy Esri UK created this interactive map showing the extent of the fire with both modern satellite imagery and city plans drawn up in the aftermath of the blaze.

Featured:

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London Marathon 2016

To support the Mirror’s coverage of the 2016 London Marathon, Esri UK created this interactive spectators guide outlining routes, viewing points, time estimates, and pubs.

London Marathon 2016

This interactive spectator guide was created to support the Mirror’s coverage of the 2016 London Marathon. It outlines the route and notes many pubs and viewing points, as well as providing time estimates to allow spectators to better plan where they want to be and when.

Featured:

 

Mirror

  • Toilets, medals, bottles of water and more:
    23th April

  • When is the London Marathon? All you need to know:
    16th April

  • Capital’s Fire Brigade hoping to break world record while dressed as fire truck:
    15th April

  • Where YOU can watch the runners pound the pavement this weekend:
    14th April

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Queen's 90th Birthday: Where The Over 90s Live

Featured in The Telegraph’s coverage of the Queen’s 90th Birthday, this map reveals where the most people aged over 90 live in Great Britain.

Queen’s 90th Birthday – Where The Over 90s Live

Featured in The Telegraph’s live coverage of Queen Elizabeth the II’s 90th Birthday, Esri UK used data from Office for National Statistics to create this interactive map showing where the most people aged over 90 live in Great Britain.

This map allows you to explore how many over 90s live in each local authority area and what percentage of the population they make up.


Featured:

The Telegraph

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London Speed Cameras

Explore the more than 250 fixed roadside speed cameras in Greater London which collectively caught nearly 10,000 speeding drivers in 2015.

London Speed Cameras

In 2015 more than 250 fixed roadside cameras in Greater London collectively caught nearly 10,000 speeding drivers. Featured in articles by ITV News and the Evening Standard, this interactive map allows you to explore the locations of each camera and statistics about recorded offences.

Featured:

ITV News

Evening Standard

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Most Popular Baby Names Since 1997

Explore the most popular baby names in the regions of England and Wales between 1997 and 2015.

Most Popular Baby Names Since 1997

Each year the Office of National Statistics releases new data on the most popular baby names in England and Wales. Esri UK created these animated maps showing how choices have changed over time, to support coverage by news websites such as The Independent.

The two maps, one for girls names and one for boys names, show the most popular choices by region for each year from 1997 through to 2015.

Girls Names

Boys Names

Featured:

The Independent

Mirror Online

Daily Express

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Wessex Water

Achieving excellence in customer communications

With 2.7 million customers across the south west of England, Wessex Water is constantly striving to enhance the effectiveness and value of its external communications. The organisation has recently leveraged Esri’s ArcGIS technology not only to diversify its communications channels, but also to significantly improve the quality and timeliness of the information it shares.

An ArcGIS web service gives customers easier access to information about maintenance works

The integration of GIS and SMS messaging facilitates timely notifications of water supply issues

Esri’s Operations Dashboard improves customer communications in the call centre

The Challenge

Wessex Water was the top scoring water and sewerage company for customer service in 2015, according to Ofwat’s service incentive mechanism (SIM) – and this coveted position is one that the company is keen to maintain. “We have been ranked in the top three UK utilities for customer service ever since privatisation, and you don’t achieve this incredible track record by sitting still and not evolving,” says Andy Nicholson, Asset Data Manager at Wessex Water. “As a business, we are constantly looking for new, creative ways to improve our customer communication, and GIS gives us an ideal platform for innovation.”

“ The ArcGIS-based interactive map supports our customer service vision by making it as easy as possible for customers to interact with us via the communication channel of their choice

Ryan Davies – Customer Experience Manager, Wessex Water

The Solution

With over 16 years’ experience of using Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) solutions and an Enterprise Licence Agreement for Esri’s ArcGIS platform, Wessex Water had all the technology and skills it needed to drive four recent initiatives that, in a range of different ways, help to improve customer communications.

The first of these developments is an interactive online map that allows Wessex Water to share accurate, up-to-date information about planned and emergency works currently taking place throughout the region. Created using Esri’s ArcGIS Online solution, this web map includes added features such as live chat buttons, which enable customers to connect easily with customer service agents from within the map.

The second initiative is a new SMS-based communication tool that leverages Wessex Water’s existing operational GIS platform. Where there are temporary water service interruptions, engineers in the field use their mobile devices to draw polygons around the relevant streets. A list of customers’ mobile numbers is then automatically extracted by Esri derived client software, enabling the customer service team to quickly send out a timely text-based message to all households affected by the works.

In the customer call centre, Wessex Water has used Esri’s Operations Dashboard to improve communications by providing an up-to-the-minute graphical overview of incidents on huge wall-mounted, smart screens. The dashboard is also available via the organisation’s intranet, so in the event of an emergency, it is possible to make this real-time operational information available to managers on any internet-connected device.

Finally, Wessex Water has used ArcGIS Online and Story Map templates to more effectively convey information to the general public in a format that is simple to understand and easy for them to engage with. Published on the utility’s web site, they include an interactive, fully illustrated Story Map about a multi-agency scheme to improve habitats in the Stour region and protect native species.

Wessex Water was able to quickly introduce these four GIS-based initiatives, at low cost, as they were all developed using either the organisation’s existing Esri GIS services or new out-of-the-box Esri apps. “We developed the web map from concept to first proof in just three days,” recalls Nicholson. “All the projects were developed as part of ‘business as usual’ for the GIS team, removing the need for specific funding and project management overheads.”

“ Together with the ArcGIS web map, our GIS-enabled messaging service has led to a 20% fall in calls to our Customer Service Unit reporting problems with ‘no water’

Ryan Davies – Customer Experience Manager, Wessex Water

Benefits

Easier access to up-to-date information
The new web map allows Wessex Water to keep customers far better informed about current maintenance activities. It receives over 800 hits a month and is popular with customers, who can use it to quickly find the information they need without having to make a phone call. “The ArcGIS-based interactive map supports our customer service vision by making it as easy as possible for customers to interact with us via the communication channel of their choice,” says Ryan Davies, Customer Experience Manager at Wessex Water.

More timely notification about water supply issues
The SMS messaging service has proven highly effective in enabling Wessex Water to let customers know about emergency, unplanned maintenance works, so they do not become distressed or alarmed by an unexpected loss of water. “Customers are now far better informed,” Davies says. “Together with the ArcGIS web map, our GIS-enabled messaging service has led to a 20% fall in calls to our Customer Service Unit reporting problems with ‘no water’.”

More helpful dialogues with the call centre
Thanks to the introduction of the huge, visual dashboards in the Customer Service Unit, Wessex Water’s call handlers can provide more informative responses to customer queries. “The dashboard gives call centre agents greater awareness of issues occurring in the Wessex region,” comments Nicholson. “The outcome of the call is more likely to be helpful for the caller and more questions can be resolved first time.”

Greater awareness of the work done by Wessex Water
By viewing the ArcGIS Story Maps, members of the public can now better appreciate the full spectrum of activities that Wessex Water is involved in. As Nicholson says, “The Story Maps bring information together in a more understandable way and this, in turn, helps Wessex Water build a positive public perception of the company.”

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