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UK’s Flood and Coastal Defence database enhancement goes live

Cambridge, UK, 24 May 2007: The UK Environment Agency (EA) has launched National Flood and Coastal Defence Database that was developed with the help of 1Spatial and its system integration partner Scisys. The application was aimed at data re-engineering for the National Flood and Coastal Defence Database (NFCDD) system.

The development of application began during 2006. The changes were approved through evaluation and after being implemented are live now.

In January this year the latest release of the NFCDD application provided by Scisys to the EA contained new functionality to perform simplification, geometric and topological validation against EA data. Those processes made use of Radius Topology software from 1Spatial.

Initially the EA worked with 1Spatial to evaluate the re-engineering options. That involved 1Spatial’s technology in defining Oracle-based data models and processing data. The results of the evaluation showed that as a result of the data generalisation based on topology, there were significant increases in processing time. Rendering an image yielded a 115% increase in the speed, whilst spatial queries using address points showed a 229% increase. There was an accompanying increase in the accuracy of the query results returned.

After the evaluation, a process was defined whereby the functionality and software were used outside the NFCDD system. The data were extracted, validated then reloaded back into the database so that users could benefit from the results. This process has now been built into a workflow that automatically cleans and simplifies geometries as data updates are received.

Bob Chell, Principal Consultant at 1Spatial, commented, “This has been a demanding project to work on. Data are extracted from the corporate GIS environment, including boundary datasets which are created by other agencies and which the EA cannot alter. These data are then utilized in conjunction with other flooding information modelled from SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) data to compute impact scenarios for flood events. The need for accuracy and speed are vital to support this key aspect of the EA’s work.”