UK: ESRI UK has recognised innovative use of GIS at their inaugural GIS Innovation Awards. The winners were announced at ESRI UK’s Annual Conference titled ‘Shaping your vision.’ Richard Waite, Managing Director, ESRI UK, said, “It is inspiring to see so many organisations from all key industry sectors using GIS to make a real difference. The winning organisations have shown how thinking geographically can help make better decisions, keep communities safe and create a more sustainable world.”
Winners in eight different categories include:
1. Innovation in Central Government – The Forestry Commission, for creating a truly enterprise GIS which has become the single most important IT system to forest and estate management in the UK and greatly improved efficiency, resulting in expected annual savings of up to GBP 1 million.
2. Innovation in Local Government – Digimap Ltd., for their use of GIS to radically change the way property in Guernsey and Alderney is measured and grouped for tax purposes, saving time and resources.
3. Innovation in Defence, National Security and Public Safety – South Yorkshire Police, for their Intranet Mapping System (IMS), which is giving the force a richer picture of what is happening in the community, helping them to increase public confidence and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
4. Innovation in the Private Sector – Sellafield Ltd., for its use of GIS in their 110 year restoration programme of the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria, enabling more efficient site planning and asset management which is expected to produce multi-million pound savings.
5. Innovation in Utilities Sector – Wales and West Utilities, for their development of a centralised, cutting edge GIS that has created a common IT platform for accessing information, resulting in streamlined processes and greater operational efficiencies. Total operational costs in the IT department alone have reduced by over 40% in 3 years.
6. Innovation and Best Practice – Communities – Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, for the use of GIS to help monitor and predict the erosion of Monmouth Beach on the Jurassic Coast, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). Thomas Hearing was a member of the project team and was awarded UK Young Scientist of the Year 2010.
7. Successful Return on Investment from a GIS Implementation – The Crown Estate, for the development of their Marine Resource System, a database with hundreds of layers of information which helps them to better understand the marine environment, identify areas of opportunity in UK waters and resolve planning conflicts in a transparent, evidence-based manner. The system is expected to deliver in excess of GBP 145 million savings over the next 10 years.
8. Visionary Thinking Award – Digimap Ltd., for their highly innovative ‘Tax on Real Property’ system. GIS technology has played a major part in the development of the new system for measuring and rating properties for the purpose of property taxation on the Islands of Guernsey and Alderney.
Source: ESRI UK