Great Britain’s national mapping agency, the Ordnance Survey (OS), has a worldwide reputation for providing the most accurate and high quality mapping of any nation. The increasing availability and use of high technology surveying methods and GPS, are enabling the OS to break new ground by measuring and recording the position of real world features more accurately than ever before. The most recent initiative in this area, with a focus on rural areas, is known as the Positional Accuracy Improvement (PAI) Programme. For many years, organisations in the public and private sector have also been capturing their own information, in GIS and CAD systems, against the backdrop features of Ordnance Survey data. Features such as building footprints, property boundaries and highways have been digitised by reference to the location of features on the base map. These organisations now have the opportunity to ensure that their own spatial information assets remain as accurate as possible by realigning them to newly updated base map data being distributed by the OS.
ESRI (UK), the provider of GIS software has released two new tools that will help its customers undertake this task. ESRI (UK)’s PAI Tools are designed to perform two important tasks. The Load Link Files’ tool enables links representing position change, supplied by the Ordnance Survey, to be loaded directly into a personal geodatabase, making this information readily available for use with the ESRI GIS product set. The Shift data’ tool allows to use GIS to select relevant features for shift, and shifts the data relative to the Ordnance Survey base map and links. Many thousands of features are potentially affected by PAI and the task of shifting and checking all the data requires careful planning and coordination. ESRI (UK) is therefore also providing specialised consultancy services to help smooth and accelerate the implementation of data update projects.