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Growing interest in Points of Interest

UK, 13 February 2007 – The take-up of one of the Points of Interest dataset continues apace as more and more businesses and organisations realise the benefits of having the location information for 3.9 million geographic features at their fingertips.

The Points of Interest (POI) dataset has now been used to create POInt, a business tool developed by Forth Valley GIS. POInt, or ‘Points of Information Navigation Tool’, has been used on Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling council’s joint Intranet site to give staff quick-and-easy access to a range of location information.

Ordnance Survey data gives users access to 615 different classifications and POInt allows them to be easily browsed through. This includes anything from hotels to cash machines and tourist attractions. One of the strengths of POI is that you don’t necessarily need an address to find the place, or places, that you’re looking for, which is especially great for providing excellent customer service.

For staff at the councils of Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling, the ability to easily browse between the 615 classifications by keyword, name, address or partial address and distance to a specific point on a map is a big asset.

POI data allows Forth Valley GIS’ POInt software to display results directly onto a map interface, view the shortest route and directions, and export the results to an Excel spreadsheet or as a PDF file. Users can even create a custom map to illustrate the route to the chosen location or amenity.

A number of local authorities, NHS organisations, the emergency service and major mobile phone companies now have access to POI data. Local authorities across Great Britain have found that POI data gives them a valuable decision-making and customer-service tool which is externally maintained and reliably accurate.

POI can give quick and simple answers to the questions that local authorities get everyday: “Where’s the nearest restaurant?”, “Is there a cash machine near here?” and “How far is it to a recycling centre?” POI includes data on places as diverse as community centres, utility works, churches and public amenities. It can even be added on a council’s website for public use. The depth of information available has allowed customer service to be taken to the next level. Customers cannot only be directed to where they need to go, POI data can even provide local authorities with phone numbers.

Alan Moore of Forth Valley GIS says: “Points of Interest data is a valuable addition to our corporate GIS data warehouse. It provides users with a wide range of location-based data to support improved service delivery and decision making across many business functions.”

Dominic Cuthbert, Strategic Development Manager at Ordnance Survey, says, “Points of Interest data is a very powerful business tool containing over 615 different types of feature structured within a three-tiered classification system. It provides a flexible means of identifying and ordering just the types of activity or services you are interested in. Organisations from all over the country and from a huge variety of fields have seen that POI has added value to their business.”

For more information on POI please visit: www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/pointsofinterest