Category Archives: Spatial Analysis

Mines Advisory Group

Building a future without landmines

The Mines Advisory Group has removed nearly 5 million landmines and unexploded ordnance from countries around the world – but millions more remain undetected, putting communities at risk. The organisation is now using a suite of solutions from Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help clear landmines more quickly and save lives.

More lives saved, with land being cleared of unexploded ordnance more quickly

Additional land made accessible for farming, alleviating poverty in local communities

Greater safety for land clearance teams, thanks to better information about the terrain

The Challenge

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) aims to save lives by removing the millions of landmines, booby traps and unexploded bombs that still lurk beneath the ground in countries ravaged by years of brutal war. In Cambodia, MAG has already cleared over 74,600 landmines and 224,400 items of weaponry, but the risk to human life remains immense. Undetected landmines and other abandoned explosive devices continue to kill and injure two people every week in Cambodia, deepening the poverty suffered by thousands of families by impeding their use of the land for farming.

Traditionally, teams of specialists from MAG, working on the ground in Cambodia, relied on a series of manual processes to collect, collate and share information in the field. Observations about search areas were recorded on paper and then typed into spreadsheets and reports at the base. Senior managers could not gain an overall picture of sites until the notes were collated and analysed centrally and, as a result, they were unable to make the rapid decisions required about how best to deploy resources.

“ Using ArcGIS, MAG can cover more ground, more quickly, enabling local communities to live safer lives, sooner

Shathel Fahs – Technical Field Manager, Team Leader, MAG

The Solution

MAG had been using Esri’s ArcGIS as a corporate geospatial information system (GIS) for many years, but the technology was used purely for recording data and generating maps. “Historically, GIS was about showing, on a map, the areas of land we had cleared,” says Greg Secomb, Global Information Systems Advisor, MAG. “We decided to start using GIS not only as a reporting tool, but also as an operational tool to help us improve our effectiveness in the field.”

Commencing in Cambodia, MAG in collaboration with HD R and D Program began to use ArcGIS Online and Collector App for ArcGIS to collect data in the field and make it instantly available to team leaders. “I know exactly where my teams are and how much ground they have cleared, without having to wait two months to get a map,” says Shathel Fahs, Technical Field Manager, Team Leader, at MAG. “It is so powerful to see the map progressing every day.”

At the same time, the organisation replaced all its paper-based reporting in the field in Cambodia with Survey123 for ArcGIS. Described by Fahs as “amazing”, this mobile survey app is used by 17 teams across the country to collect geo-referenced information on all unexploded ordnance (UXO) detected, in dual languages. The data collected is shared instantly via ArcGIS Online and is more accurate, as there is no risk of mistakes occurring during the re-typing of handwritten notes.

MAG now also uses drones in Cambodia to fly autonomously over contaminated areas and photograph the land, in high resolution. Using Esri’s Drones2Map for ArcGIS app, it then transfers these images directly to ArcGIS Online, where the information is instantly accessible to operatives working in the area. As a result, team leaders no longer have to rely on a visual assessment of the terrain, limited to the area that is within the range of their eyesight; instead they have a detailed understanding of the entire area, including beyond hills and within dense forests.

“ We have pioneered a new way of operating in Cambodia and are excited to roll it out to all our teams, working in over 20 other countries

Greg Secomb – Global Information Systems Advisor, MAG

The Benefits

Faster clearance of deadly explosive devices
MAG is now able to clear land and remove potentially deadly devices in Cambodia more quickly, as it has a far better understanding of the terrain. For instance, the insight gained from Drone2Map for ArcGIS allows team leaders to better anticipate when and where they will need mechanical clearing machinery and other specialised resources. Team leaders can also change plans and redirect their teams spontaneously, as ArcGIS Online gives them a rapid picture of the situation on the ground. “Using ArcGIS, MAG can cover more ground, more quickly, enabling local communities to live safer lives, sooner,” Fahs says.

Activities prioritised to alleviate poverty
The use of ArcGIS is also helping MAG to alleviate poverty in Cambodia. If a stretch of land is photographed by drone and identified by ArcGIS Online as being suitable for farming, MAG can prioritise the clearance of this area. As Fahs says, “Instead of just relying on informants for local knowledge, we can identify potential agricultural land ourselves. We can see the whole picture.”

Improved safety for mine clearance teams
With more accurate and current information available at base and in the field, MAG can make better decisions to help protect workers. The organisation can view historical data on ArcGIS Online and see how many devices were found in other similar areas and the density of them. It can then use this information to gauge the likely level of threat and ensure everyone in the team is fully briefed on what kinds of devices to expect.

A more productive and efficient global organisation
ArcGIS has undoubtedly improved the efficiency of MAG’s operations in Cambodia. Indeed, five people are now each saving up to two days effort a week because they no longer need to manually enter data into spreadsheets and databases. These productivity gains will soon be multiplied, as MAG is poised to introduce the same suite of ArcGIS products throughout its entire global organisation. “We have pioneered a new way of operating in Cambodia and are excited to roll it out to all our teams, working in over 20 other countries,” Secomb says.

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

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.

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

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

Avon & Somerset Constabulary

Putting police officers on the right beat

In a ground-breaking project, Avon and Somerset Constabulary has used Esri UK’s Sweet to transform the way in which it designs its beats, based on a deeper understanding of the needs of individual communities. It can now make more well-informed decisions and implement beat changes more quickly to improve the effectiveness of its Neighbourhood Policing Teams.

15 days of police time saved, every time a beat is changed, typically four or more times a year

Design and consultation process for new beats reduced from 6 months to 1 month

Beats can be changed more frequently to meet the evolving needs of communities

The Challenge

Avon and Somerset Constabulary divides its region into 121 tightly defined territories known as beats, where dedicated Neighbourhood Policing Teams engage with the local community on the streets, in neighbourhood meetings and at schools. Three or four times a year, the organisation needs to adjust the shape of its beats to optimise the allocation of police officers and ensure its resources are directed to the areas where they can most benefit local communities.

The process for redesigning, agreeing and implementing beat changes was incredibly complex. Police officers used to mark their proposed changes on paper maps, which were then passed between local teams and the force’s geographic information system (GIS) manager until a final version was agreed. Following ward boundary alterations in Bristol, it took Avon and Somerset Constabulary six months to agree changes to beats in the city, which caused unnecessary delays and consumed a significant amount of staff time that could have been better spent delivering more valuable policing services.

“The beat is right at the heart of community policing, so we have to get this right. Sweet enables us to adapt our beats and meet the needs of communities in a more agile way.”

Olivia Powell – GIS Manager, Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The Solution

A long-time user of Esri’s ArcGIS platform, Avon and Somerset Constabulary discovered the solution to its challenge at Esri UK’s Annual User Conference, when Esri UK’s new application, Sweet, was introduced. Soon afterwards, the organisation used Sweet to develop a proof of concept for beat management and then built the solution in just four days with support from Esri UK’s professional services team.

Once fully rolled out, local policing teams will be able to use Sweet to view current beat boundaries, model changes and see the potential impacts of changes on population size, numbers of crimes and anti-social behaviour incidents and crime types. They can then share their proposed beat models with colleagues via a web map, so that consensus can be gained before changes are sent to the GIS team for implementation. A key advantage of SWEET Sweet is its simple interface, which enables it to be used by non-technical police sergeants, after just a small amount of training.

Critically, the solution utilises topological rules within SWEET Sweet to ensure that new beats are created consistently in accordance with the force’s procedures and naming conventions, no matter who produces them. For instance, it is impossible for police officers to inadvertently create new beats that overlap other beats or leave ‘gaps’ not covered by beats. This ensures that beats are designed correctly from inception and reduces the need for subsequent editing.

“Police officers and specialist GIS professionals in the force can now be more productive in other areas, where they can add greater value for communities.”

Olivia Powell – GIS Manager, Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The Benefits

Faster implementation of beat changes

Avon and Somerset Constabulary anticipates that its use of Sweet will significantly reduce the amount of time required to implement beat changes in its region. This is primarily because the solution allows beat boundary amendments to be delineated electronically and shared with colleagues via a web app, which accelerates the consultation process. “Using Sweet, we now expect to be able to create new beats and gain consensus on the changes in less than a month, rather than up to six months,” says Olivia Powell, GIS Manager at Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

Substantial personnel cost and time savings

The force has calculated that it can potentially save around fifteen days of personnel time for a typical beat change: three days for a police inspector, one day for a police sergeant, three days for a police analyst and eight days for a GIS specialist. In monetary terms, this time saving equates to an annual financial saving of at least £12,000 for four beat changes a year, which represents a return on investment of over 2000%. In reality, the time saving frees up highly trained police personnel to work on different projects. As Powell explains, “Police officers and specialist GIS professionals in the force can now be more productive in other areas, where they can add greater value for communities.”

Better-designed beats that reflect demand and improve efficiency

Through its use of Sweet, Avon and Somerset Constabulary will be able to make better decisions about the optimal size and shape of beats, based on an improved understanding of crime in each community and policing best practices. For instance, police officers will be able to see how a proposed change in the geographic shape of a beat might increase the level of crime in that beat and necessitate the reallocation of neighbourhood policing resources. At the same time, the topographical rules in Sweet will ensure that new beats are optimally designed to avoid situations like doughnut-shaped beats that are inefficient to police.

Greater agility in meeting the needs of citizens

Most importantly, Sweet will give Avon and Somerset Constabulary the ability to respond more effectively to the evolving needs of the communities it serves. It will be able to implement beat changes more frequently to react to changes in demand for its services and create beats that make sense to communities, rather beats that are imposed by IT systems. “The beat is right at the heart of community policing, so we have to get this right,” Powell says. “Sweet enables us to adapt our beats and meet the needs of communities in a more agile way.”

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

Land Use Consultants

Meeting urgent demand for new homes in the UK

LUC, a multi-disciplinary consultancy, is using Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help local authorities respond more effectively to the critical shortage of housing in the UK. The consultancy’s use of advanced geospatial analysis enables councils to identify suitable development land for new houses far more quickly and meet Government targets for new homes.

LUC’s GIS team reduces site assessment from 7 days to 2-3 hours, using automation

Robust and consistent evidence generated from the analysis of 150+ datasets

Better decisions about sustainable future development based on in-depth criteria assessment

The Challenge

In the UK, there is currently a significant shortage of homes, contributing to rising house prices, high rental costs and even, in rare cases, homelessness. In response, the Government has committed to a range of reforms to increase the supply of new housing. As it points out in its February 2017 white paper ‘Fixing our broken housing market’, there is an urgent need to plan for “the right homes, in the right places” and, critically, “build homes faster.”

Local planning authorities have a pivotal role to play in driving the success of this Government policy. They are required to produce a Local Plan that sets a vision and framework for the future development of the area, including identifying areas suitable for housing developments and making sufficient land available to meet ambitious targets for new homes. In what is a highly complex process, they have to evaluate thousands of parcels of land throughout their administrative areas, taking into account dozens of factors ranging from flood risk and agricultural value to environmental protection and local services such as schools and transport. They also need to consider data from neighbouring local authorities and partners, as part of a fully auditable process that can produce consistent evidence for decision making.

“ A considerable percentage of local planning authorities find it hard to undertake a detailed study of their potential development land, primarily because of the enormous spatial complexity of the task. Our standardised, ArcGIS-driven approach now makes it both fast and easy for councils to make consistent well-informed decisions about the best locations for new housing

Edith Lendak – Principal GIS Consultant, LUC

The Solution

LUC recognised that it could help local authorities to identify and assess potential development land more effectively, by creating a new automated tool to analyse housing growth options. The company has been using Geographic Information System (GIS) solutions from Esri’s ArcGIS platform for 20 years, so instinctively turned to ArcGIS to design, build and deliver a brand new service for its local government customers.

Using Esri’s ModelBuilder, LUC created an advanced geospatial analysis system that can systematically and automatically analyse parcels of land against hundreds of data sets and categorise them according to their relative levels of suitability for new housing. The solution automatically assesses factors such as flood risk, proximity to historic monuments and existing local services, drawing on data from local authorities and government advisory bodies, such as the Environment Agency and Natural England.

A key advantage of the approach is that analyses can be repeated easily, on demand, allowing LUC to test different weightings for certain planning constraints and explore a number of different options, without having to start again from scratch. Free from human error, the analysis results will always be consistent, so if LUC undertakes projects for neighbouring councils, the outputs will be directly comparable.

“ ArcGIS generates a robust evidence base which underpins Growth Options Assessments and enables decisions to be made with greater confidence

Edith Lendak – Principal GIS Consultant, LUC

The Benefits

LUC used its geospatial analysis system to help Central Bedfordshire Council identify and assess realistic options for the development of up to 20,000 new homes and related infrastructure by 2035. The benefits that the ArcGIS-based solution delivered include:

Substantial time savings
LUC’s approach, using ArcGIS to analyse the council’s area against three assessment strands (primary constraints, secondary constraints and access to services), using more than 150 datasets, ensured tight project deadlines were met. This complex evaluation process would have taken around 35 working days of manual GIS work for five iterations, whereas it took just two days for five iterations using the prepared automated models.

Repeatable, modular and flexible processes
As LUC’s geospatial analysis process is both fast and repeatable, specialist planners at LUC and Central Bedfordshire Council were able to explore different options for site assessment. They could easily make changes to their land selection criteria, change the weighting of constraint factors and re-run the analysis to model different scenarios in just a few hours. This enabled the planners to evaluate issues more thoroughly and find the right balance between meeting the needs of a growing population and protecting the environment.

Robust and defendable evidence base
The integrity and accuracy of the new GIS-based approach created an auditable process that enabled Central Bedfordshire Council to justify the selected land parcels in preparation of its Spatial Strategy, which will form part of its emerging Local Development Plan. As Lendak says, “ArcGIS generates a robust evidence base which underpins Growth Options Assessments and enables decisions to be made with greater confidence.” Rather than having multiple reports and data sources to study, planners could see at a glance, on colour-coded maps, which parcels of land may be most appropriate for sustainable development and drill down to understand why.

LUC’s GIS team is currently extending the capabilities of the Growth Options Tool, to provide even greater flexibility and speed when testing different scenarios for housing site selection. The solution forms part of a suite of tools aimed at identifying sustainable development opportunities for renewable energy and housing and will be used on projects for councils across the UK.

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

Westcountry Rivers Trust

Leading a collaborative approach to river conservation

The Westcountry Rivers Trust is safeguarding fragile river environments in the South West of England, by helping large groups of stakeholders to reach consensus about river usage and conservation. It uses Esri’s ArcGIS Online and data from the national umbrella body, The Rivers Trust, to clarify the ecological impacts of human activity on rivers and prioritise schemes to improve water quality and biodiversity.

Improved understanding of environmental challenges among diverse groups

More effective and collaborative decision making about conservation priorities

Targeted conservation projects that address urgent environmental issues

The Challenge

Rivers in the South West of England flow hundreds of miles, crossing county borders and traversing land owned or managed by as many as 2,000 stakeholders, ranging from local authorities and utilities, to water sports operators and farmers. These organisations, groups and individuals have a shared responsibility to work together to protect their nearby river environments for wildlife and future generations, but can often have widely differing points of view.

Like other rivers trusts throughout the UK, the not-for-profit organisation Westcountry Rivers Trust works with large groups of such stakeholders as part of a catchment-based approach to managing river courses in its region. It aims to facilitate open communication and gain agreement from all groups involved to pave the way for river conservation schemes. “Everyone has their own language for talking about rivers,” observes Sarah Wigley, Data and Evidence Officer for Westcountry Rivers Trust. “Commercial organisations, government bodies and community groups all use different terminology and have very different priorities for river use. Our challenge is to find a way to help everyone understand each other’s needs and to see the bigger picture.”

“ Interactive, digital maps give people from varied backgrounds a common language for collaboration and communication

Sarah Wigley – Data and Evidence Officer, Westcountry Rivers Trust

The Solution

In 2013, the national, umbrella organisation, The Rivers Trust, was assigned by Defra the role of supporting river catchment partnerships across the country (as part of the Catchment-Based Approach initiative). Part of this role was to encourage the use of data and evidence in river catchment management.  Since then, The Rivers Trust has gathered and published a wide range of datasets using Esri’s cloud-based ArcGIS Online platform, including information on river flooding, commercial activity, biodiversity, water quality, land character and soil typology.  All this data is attributed with river catchment boundary information, so it is easy for catchment partnerships nationwide to use. This online data portal is a valuable resource and has already promoted the use of ArcGIS Online amongst many local partnerships.

The Westcountry Rivers Trust uses Esri’s ArcGIS Online and the data from The Rivers Trust to analyse issues of particular environmental concern, comprehend river ecosystems and present the information clearly to river catchment partners.  It uses interactive, digital maps during workshops and meetings, and produces high quality maps for reports to help multiple stakeholders, from any background, better understand and appreciate key issues.  The trust is also beginning to use ArcGIS Online to create persuasive Story Maps that help to highlight issues and explain conservation projects in a highly visual and engaging format.

“ Over time, ArcGIS Online will play a key role in helping river catchment partnerships to improve river quality and biodiversity

Sarah Wigley – Data and Evidence Officer, Westcountry Rivers Trust

The Benefits

Clearer communication of environmental issues
The Westcountry Rivers Trust has been able to significantly improve the effectiveness of catchment-based partnerships in the South West by using ArcGIS Online to present complex information, exceptionally clearly, on maps. Groups and individuals, who may not previously have realised that their commercial, agricultural or leisure activities were having an impact on water quality or biodiversity, can now better understand the environmental consequences. As Wigley says, “ArcGIS can open peoples’ eyes to the broader issues.”

More collaborative, multi-party decision making
Critically, the use of ArcGIS Online helps all of the diverse organisations and individuals involved in catchment-based partnerships to reach collective agreement. “Interactive, digital maps give people from varied backgrounds a common language for collaboration and communication,” Wigley says. “It’s an effective way to bring people together, at the same level, to understand different points of view and work together to make decisions.”

Implement more targeted conservation projects
By using ArcGIS to analyse data on river catchment areas more systematically, the Westcountry Rivers Trust is now able to easily identify issues of concern and can better prioritise conservation projects. In Cornwall, for example, the Westcountry Rivers Trust was able to use ArcGIS to identify declining fish populations and instigate a project to remove barriers at strategic sites along two key rivers to improve access to up-stream breeding areas. “Over time, ArcGIS Online will play a key role in helping river catchment partnerships to improve river quality and biodiversity,” Wigley says.

Raised awareness of the need for river conservation
Finally, by creating Story Maps, the Westcountry Rivers Trust now has a new means of raising public awareness of river conservation issues and the impact of poor land practices alongside rivers. “Story Maps are a good way of presenting scientific data to members of the public in a way that they can easily understand,” Wigley says. “We plan to use Story Maps increasingly in the future to engage the wider community in river conservation programmes.”

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

Making the Connection eBook

Making the Connection

Electricity: How location information is improving stakeholder engagement

eBook

Electricity Distribution Network Operators face challenges brought by radical industry transformation and are therefore beginning of a journey from a relatively static asset management operation, to a more dynamic and flexible business. To deliver the change needed, electricity networks will rely heavily on their large scale information systems. But enterprise information systems across all sectors are also being transformed, by the wave of digital disruption spreading across the economy. Enterprise IT has historically been a ‘System of Record’, designed to provide a single source of the truth so that managers and staff have the information they need to run and operate their organisations. But current trends are leading businesses to deploy a different breed of tools based on communications and collaboration capabilities. In short, Enterprise IT is becoming a System of Engagement. This new breed of systems enable organisations to become more effective, more flexible and more customer-focused.

As the Network Operator is a geographic business with a widespread asset base serving customers and stakeholders over a distributed area, spatial information has a critical role to play. Read our “Making the Connection” eBook to find more and to discover real examples of how geospatial technology is enabling the transformation of electricity distribution and transmission, through better stakeholder engagement, complementing its more traditional role of records management.

Phone
Contact Us

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

Document
Download eBook

Download our Making The Connection eBook free now to find out more

Red Kite Community Housing

Putting insight into action

Red Kite Community Housing deployed Esri’s ArcGIS Platform to gain a deeper understanding of not only what assets it owned, but also how to best maintain and develop them. The company is now amassing rich business insight that will help it to put innovative business improvement strategies into action.

Easy access to boundary data allows employees to respond to customer queries in minutes

Improved understanding of land ownership and plot sizes reduces ongoing operational costs

GIS analysis reveals previously unknown development sites and pinpoints the most advantageous opportunities

The Challenge

In the housing sector, the importance of clear business insight cannot be understated. Whether organisations want to improve the cost efficiency of their property maintenance programmes, respond more effectively to customer needs or identify the development opportunities that are most likely to gain planning permission, they need a detailed understanding of their homes, land, customers and communities.

Red Kite Community Housing wanted a more efficient way to improve the accessibility of information about the 6,700 homes that it owns and maintains in the district of Wycombe. It was unable to easily determine the ownership of property boundaries, or even locate the nearest grit bins, without having to find and refer to often disparate records. This reduced the efficiency of day-to-day operations and the ability to easily and flexibly devise and implement business improvement schemes. It therefore decided to deploy a geographic information system (GIS) to give employees more information about land assets, as well as reveal business insight to inform new strategies.

“ Our continuing use of ArcGIS for analysis will give us added insight into important issues and help to inform new business strategies

Jessica Horwitz – Insight Team Leader, Red Kite Community Housing

The Solution

Red Kite Community Housing selected Esri’s ArcGIS Platform after visiting Esri UK’s annual conference. “We didn’t want a software solution that was bespoke to the housing industry, as we felt this might constrain our ability to innovate in the future,” says Jessica Horwitz, Insight Team Leader at Red Kite Community Housing. “We wanted a solution that would give us the flexibility and the advanced technology to drive improvements to our business for many years to come.”

After receiving training from Esri UK, Red Kite Community Housing began using Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop initially to digitise its paper records, add layers of business data and plot the locations of adjacent features such as lamp posts and telegraph poles. It then made interactive maps available, using ArcGIS Online, to at least one employee in every business department, including the call centre and the field-based neighbourhood team. These users can now see everything from property boundaries to the locations of play areas, at a glance, from their desktops or mobile devices.

Subsequently, employees within the insight and business teams began to use ArcGIS Desktop to interrogate and analyse the newly collated asset information, to gain a deeper insight into homes and land, as well as new business opportunities. While Red Kite Community Housing has only been performing GIS analysis for a few months, on specific projects, it is already evident that the new business insight will prove invaluable in helping the organisation to improve the efficiency and quality of its services for customers.

“ ArcGIS is revealing strips of land, previously not identified as having development potential, and unlocking new revenue opportunities for the business

Jessica Horwitz – Insight Team Leader, Red Kite Community Housing

The Benefits

Insight for improving business efficiency
ArcGIS Online has replaced cabinets of printed maps and ledgers, creating time savings in multiple business areas. In the ‘Relationship Stem’, the first point of contact for customers, it might previously have taken several hours for a member of staff to respond to a boundary issue, but queries can now be answered in as little as a few minutes by simply checking a web app. In the future, Red Kite Community Housing plans to analyse maintenance requests and the sequencing of repair jobs to reduce travel time, look at service demand and use this intelligence to shape the service it offers.

Insight for reducing operational costs
Through the use of ArcGIS, Red Kite Community Housing has found parcels of land that it was maintaining but didn’t own, which has opened up conversations with the local authority about maintenance costs. It can also now produce development site plans and documentation to support Access Permits in-house, rather than paying outside agencies to generate them, which contributes to further ongoing operational cost savings. Moving forwards, when new contracts like grounds maintenance come up for renewal in the months ahead, the organisation will be able to provide contractors with more accurate land measurements, leading to fewer assumptions and more competitive tenders.

Insight for informing development planning
In a key business initiative, Red Kite Community Housing is using ArcGIS Desktop to identify areas of land suitable for development and narrow down the search to plots of land of the right size, in the best locations, taking into account potential to work with other third party adjacent land owners. Red Kite Community Housing will also be able to consider the ongoing time that will be required to manage new development opportunities as part of the business case. “ArcGIS is revealing strips of land, previously not identified as having development potential, and unlocking new revenue opportunities for the business,” Horwitz says.

Looking ahead, Red Kite Community Housing plans to use ArcGIS to gain insight into other areas of its business by analysing customer satisfaction surveys, home turnover, geo-demographics and rental income and turning this data into actionable intelligence. Horwitz concludes, “Our continuing use of ArcGIS for analysis will give us added insight into important issues and help to inform new business strategies.”

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

Knight Frank

Supporting the profitable expansion of major retailers

The independent real-estate consultancy Knight Frank is using Esri’s ArcGIS platform to help leading retail organisations find the most advantageous sites for new stores across the UK. By performing geospatial analysis on a wide range of factors, the firm can guide its clients quickly towards precisely those locations that are most likely to maximise profitability and reduce risk.

Knight Frank provides in-depth, location-specific analysis so retailers can make better informed decisions

Clients have all the information they need to choose locations that will maximise their profitability

Retailers can react quickly to secure the most advantageous sites in UK high streets and shopping centres

The Challenge

Named ‘Global Real Estate Adviser of the Year 2016’ in the annual Estates Gazette Awards, Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading independent real-estate consultancies, with 411 offices in 59 countries and 14,000 employees. More than 50% of Knight Frank’s business relates to commercial property, so it is vitally important for the company to be able to provide highly professional and value-added services for commercial clients.

From experience, Knight Frank knew that many commercial organisations have an unstructured approach to choosing locations for their business premises or retail outlets. Businesses often have a choice of potential sites throughout the UK and around the world for new properties, but, for a range of reasons, are not able to adopt a standard approach that considers the suitability, and likely profitability, of potential sites in a comparable way. As a result, businesses cannot quickly hone in on the most suitable locations, which increases costs and accentuates business risks.

To address this issue, Knight Frank’s Commercial Research Department, based at the company’s UK headquarters, set out to develop a structured, evidence-led approach to qualifying potential new business locations. It wanted to make relevant, meaningful, client-specific information available to its internal teams, enabling them to deliver superior property services for commercial clients, which include food retailers, leisure stores and chains of coffee shops.

“ With the evidence we provide from ArcGIS, our clients can have greater confidence in their decisions and can pick the locations that will offer the least risk and greatest potential profitability

James Nolan – Senior Geospatial Analyst, Commercial Research Department, Knight Frank

The Solution

Knight Frank uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform for its location analysis services primarily due to its flexibility, as James Nolan, Senior Geospatial Analyst at Knight Frank, explains. “For the breadth of analysis that we wanted to do and the diverse range of clients that we work with, we needed a highly flexible resource,” he says. “ArcGIS has advanced geospatial tools and allows us to input data from a variety of sources. It’s a very powerful, very flexible GIS.”

The firm now uses Esri’s ArcGIS Desktop and hosted services from Esri UK to:

  • Create highly targeted, detailed and client-specific databases, including data such as demographics, existing business premises and competitor locations
  • Perform geospatial analysis to assess the proximity of target customers and create catchment areas
  • Generate travel isochrones which are added as layers of information on a multi-dimensional map
  • Include research into changing consumer and retail trends, such as the spending patterns of millennials and the growth of the discount food retail sector
  • Use Esri’s viewing software, Arc Scene, to interpret the distance and time taken to travel between sites
  • Hone the results by adding or removing criteria, to precisely identify the best business locations

“ ArcGIS puts Knight Frank in a stronger position to advise its clients quickly about the suitability of available sites

James Nolan – Senior Geospatial Analyst, Commercial Research Department, Knight Frank

The Benefits

Higher quality, evidence-based property services
Through its use of ArcGIS, Knight Frank is now able to pinpoint the optimum business locations for specific organisations and thereby offer an enhanced quality of service for its commercial clients. It can combine research into the consumer behaviour of millennials, or the activities of competitors, with detailed population statistics to identify up-to-the-minute opportunities for retailers and then present thorough, relevant analysis to help its clients make well-informed decisions about new retail ventures.

Reduced risk in multi-million pound investments
Critically, Knight Frank’s structured, GIS-led approach helps to reduce risk for clients, in what can be multi-million pound investment decisions. For instance, once a potential new location for an established retailer has been identified, Knight Frank can find an existing store with a similar demographic and geographic profile. If this comparable store is doing well financially, the client has some reassurance that the risk of business failure at the new location is low. “With the evidence we provide from ArcGIS, our clients can have greater confidence in their decisions and can pick the locations that will offer the least risk and greatest potential profitability,” Nolan says.

Faster time-to-market for commercial enterprises
Knight Frank is able to carry out almost all of its location analysis using ArcGIS, third-party intelligence and publically available data sets, before sending surveyors out into the field. This combination not only results in significant cost efficiencies, but also speeds up the location search process, allowing clients to secure the most advantageous sites ahead of their competition and reduce their time to market. “When retail units in popular shopping malls and key high streets become available, there can be strong competition from multiple retailers for that location,” Nolan explains. “ArcGIS puts Knight Frank in a stronger position to advise its clients quickly about the suitability of available sites.”

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