Innovative ways in which intelligent geographical data is supporting decision making and delivering efficiencies are being showcased by Ordnance Survey at agi’04 – the AGI exhibition and conference in London from 12-14 October 2004. Growing demand for the wide range of Ordnance Survey digital data has been boosted in particular by the take-up of OS MasterMap – the latest generation of sophisticated and highly detailed geographic data. “There has been significant growth in the use of mapping and geographical data across both the public and private sectors over the past 12 months,” says Ordnance Survey’s Director General and Chief Executive, Vanessa Lawrence.
Among the many geographical information projects drawing on Ordnance Survey data and delivering real benefits are:
* Durham County Council, which has set up a cost-effective, browser-based mapping and GIS service for local schools to support education and learning policies – and, at the same time, helping to meet e-government targets.
* m-spatial, which is providing the MapWay customised mobile mapping service, which can be accessed by around 18 million UK VodafoneLIVE!, Orange World and O2 Active customers to aid location-finding.
* Transport Direct, the first-ever national web portal giving instant, free access to comprehensive journey information using both public and private transport – including walking routes – recently launched by the UK’s Department for Transport.
* Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, which is using its intranet to extend the use of GI to every council desktop, allowing all the local authority’s officers direct access to the information they require – so saving time and cutting bureaucracy.
* BT and Islington Borough Police, which have worked together on Operation Bullseye, an innovative information system allowing police to issue alerts by passing on details of specific incidents to up to 1,800 subscribers in the area within an hour.
* Hometrack, the independent property research and database company that provides real-time property valuation and report services drawing on a wide range of GI.
* Birmingham City Council, which has saved hundreds of days’ manual effort on reconciling electoral addresses and polling district boundaries by using a GIS integrating and analysing many sources of data.
* The Urban Heaths LIFE Project, in which a 48% reduction of heathland fires has been recorded in Dorset after local authorities, emergency services and conservation groups used a GIS to analyse incidents and target resources more effectively.
* Greater Manchester Ambulance Service, which now uses its GIS for predictive analysis, plotting where and when emergency calls are likely to be made. Improved deployment of resources and enhanced response times has led to better and more effective services.
* The National Crime and Operations Faculty, which is providing an integrated approach to the investigation and reduction of crime, particularly coordinating searches for missing people – GI allows appropriate search areas to be determined in minutes.
* The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, where significant savings are being recorded in local data collection costs and the maintenance of spatial information – as well as benefits from improvements in presentation and interpretation of information following the adoption of OS MasterMap.