Cambridge, UK: 1Spatial plc, the spatial big data company, enabled London Fire Brigade (LFB) to create faster, automated routes queries, which reduced processing time from 40 working hours to just two.
Routing is critical for fire crews. Each station must be correctly staffed and this can mean moving staff between fire stations. The right appliance must also get to the right location as quickly as possible. LFB used AA Route Planner information to determine likely travel times between each of its 102 stations. However, as a set of 12,000 individual, point-to-point manual queries, the process had previously taken 40 working hours to complete. It also, inevitably, carried a high risk of error and required detailed checking.
LFB streamlined its data management and created a single, authoritative set of geospatial data that could be shared across the organisation. It used Safe Software’s FME application to support this work. 1Spatial, a Safe Software Value Added Reseller and Platinum Partner, provided FME support and training to LFB. It suggested using FME to automate the process of updating inter-station travel times, eliminating the potential for manual errors, as well as saving time and money. As a result, travel times can be updated monthly to reflect the impact of roadworks, changed road layouts etc., ensuring that staff transfers can be managed as efficiently as possible.
John Cook, LFB’s Corporate Gazetteer and ETL Process Manager, explains, “GIS gives us a visual representation of a very complex set of data. It’s not just road layouts. We need to understand road speeds, the location of hazards and the height of buildings so that we despatch the right type of appliance to any situation.” He adds, “It was relatively simple to write an automated query in FME that could be run on demand. Having written it, we can now update the information whenever we like, without incurring a lot of time and cost. We have reduced the time required from 40 working hours every time to just a couple.”
David Eagle, Managing Consultant at 1Spatial commented, “FME gives companies the absolute flexibility to restructure, reformat and integrate data so that it is ready to use and share. As a result, travel times can be updated monthly to reflect the impact of roadworks, changed road layouts, etc. This ensures that staff transfers can be managed as efficiently as possible.”