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Digimap signposts the way for Guernsey

By [email protected] - 16th November 2006 - 16:50

The States of Guernsey demonstrates Web mapping at its best ... a resource now widely utilised by government departments and the private sector alike on a daily basis
In 1998, the States of Guernsey decided to create a new map of Guernsey to replace the existing 1898 survey and, following a competitive tender, selected Digimap as its business partner to assist with the marketing, sale and distribution of the mapping. Digimap chose to work with ESRI (UK) and became an ESRI (UK) Solution Partner in order to incorporate ESRI Geographic Information System (GIS) technology into its own applications. âWe decided to team up with ESRI (UK) because it is the largest and the best GIS software provider in the UK. It is important for us that its software enables our programmers to work from a PC with quality software programmes,â commented Colin Le Conte, managing director of Digimap. Digimap has made ArcView the de facto standard for GIS throughout the Channel Island of Guernsey, supplying the Guernsey Digital Map and ArcView as a GIS solution to all public and most private organisations in the region. In 2004, Digimap also won the rights to provide commercial maps for the States of Jersey, again following a successful tender.1. The ClientDigimap Ltd, founded in Guernsey, is a digital mapping systems specialist which creates GIS solutions and digital maps for the Channel Islands. Its GIS based business solutions are sold as standard and bespoke software products to a wide range of market sectors. As a business partner to the States of Guernsey and the States of Jersey, the company is also responsible for the marketing, sales and distribution of the States of Guernsey & States of Jersey Digital Maps. 2. The Challenge The States of Guernsey required a modern mapping system that was electronic rather than paper-based. It previously relied on a map that was only updated every 20 years and needed a more reliable and secure mapping system that could be used by the 60,000 inhabitants of the States of Guernsey. Ultimately, the decision for a new mapping system was aimed at increasing efficiencies and improving decision making across the governmental departments.3. Solutions & Capabilites deliveredDigimap and the States of Guernsey work in partnership, with the Government maintaining and updating the mapping data and Digimap providing the consultancy, support and responsibility to re-package the mapping data for availability for commercial use. Digimap has developed a wide range of commercial mapping systems for organisations on the Island of Guernsey, including Emergency Services, Utilities, Advocates, Postal Services and Estate Agents.The Government has also worked with Digimap on a variety of schemes to maximise the use of mapping information for the good of its citizens and the effectiveness of its departments.One such project is the Island Roadworks Information System (IRIS), created for the Island of Guernsey as an integrated workflow and GIS solution to assist with the long term planning and visibility of road closures. Available to all of Guernseyâs general public, utilities providers, local authorities, emergency services and parishes, the IRIS website clearly demonstrates all roadwork diversions across the Island. Using a combination of ESRIâs ArcIMS and workflow technology, the inclusion of an intranet site also allows Guernseyâs public and private sector utility companies to share their planning information. With a limited road network and narrow roads, the knowledge shared by the unique GIS system is often vital for any journey planned in Guernsey â a matter taken very seriously by the emergency services in a life or death situation. The system is updated on an hourly basis and gives information on approvals and any long term planning of roadworks. This has resulted in a reduction in road closures by 20 percent in the past three years.Another scheme is the States of Guernsey Corporate Digimap system; an intranet service, based on ESRIâs ArcIMS, which gives all 2,500 civil servants in Guernsey access to digital mapping on every desktop via a browser. All governmental departments have access to mapping data to aid with policy planning, address location, land registry information, road closures and so on.The Department for Education also worked with Digimap to create The States of Guernsey Grid for Learning which has made ESRIâs ArcView and the Guernsey Digimap available on every studentâs desktop in all 22 of Guernseyâs schools. GIS has been integrated into the curriculum at every level of education and all students can access a GIS enabled map of their country.4. BenefitsDigimap, with the States of Guernsey, has created a model of achievement that demonstrates GIS mapping at its best â producing one of the most comprehensive GIS solutions in the world â where GIS for a particular geographical area is widely utilised by businesses and States Departments alike on a daily basis. It has applied GIS mapping solutions to most organisations within the States of Guernsey, from advocates to utility companies in the private sector. All are working from the same compatible mapping system, resulting in a highly efficient and well serviced environment that helps contribute to better informed decisions both at a business and governmental level.A further benefit has been in data sharing. Departments and businesses may own their own layers, but with the same map base and compatible software, there has been a great increase in the sharing of data sets between specific departments or in some cases, made available to the public.The widespread use of the mapping and ESRI products has established the Guernsey Digimap as one of the key Corporate Initiatives of the Government.5. The FutureDigimap is working with the States of Guernseyâs Treasury & Resources Department to create one of the first ever taxation schemes to be based on mapping information. From 2008, citizens will be given new council tax rates based on the external measurements of their property, which will be calculated by ESRIâs ARCGIS solution.Digimap recently formed a new joint venture with ISL to create Trafficworx, to replicate the successes achieved by IRIS and tackle traffic congestion problems in the UK. Trafficworx is the commercialisation of IRIS and is the first operational service of its kind in the UK that enables local authorities, utilities and other stakeholders to work together and more effectively coordinate roadworks. Digimap is already talking to a number of local authorities in the UK.6. The Technology ⢠ArcGIS is the foundation of the Power User systems. These ArcView, ArcEditor and ArcInfo systems were introduced at an early stage for people who wished to create their own layers and carry out more complex spatial analysis. Many of these Power Users now share data with other parties and some add to the public data sets to provide a richer map base.⢠ArcSDE â The States of Guernsey Mapping Service use ArcSDE to hold the main Base Map in its numerous layers. This provides a controlled, secure, multi user environment for this important data set. Using FME from Safe Software, and more recently some of the new Interoperability Tools, the States of Guernsey exports the data to shapefiles, personal geodatabases and AutoCAD format tiles on a regular basis, all data being produced from the one Base Map⢠ArcIMS - The use of ArcIMS has enabled Digimap to produce a range of themed projects which are accessible using the standard Internet Explorer browser. Using a combination of and ArcIMS, over 2,500 civil servants now have access to a wide range of data sets ranging from address location, to census data to the location of antiquities and water catchments areas.⢠ArcView - ArcView 3.x was the first GIS system introduced to the public and private sector in Guernsey. The introduction of ArcView 9.x has provided a further range of features and flexibility and has taken the use of GIS to another level. ⢠Map Objects LT - Digimap developed a read only, simple to use 5 button GIS using visual basic and ESRIâs Map Objects LT. It uses the same base mapping, albeit in a simpler format, and provides an Address Locator type function together with read only mapping and the viewing of the Orthophotos. Digimap has also further developed the system for a couple of users using the full Map Objects and more recently, has been working on some ArcObjects development.Digimap recently joined the ESRI (UK) Developer Network Programme (EDN) because it gave the company access to ESRIâs complete library of developer GIS software â including the latest versions of the ArcGIS Engine Developer Kit, ArcGIS Server, ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and ArcWeb Services. EDN also provides Digimap with certified training and support and membership of the EDN community website.âThe availability of a complete portfolio of ESRIâs products means that we now have the freedom to experiment with innovative solutions without having to risk buying the software upfront. We also have the opportunity to develop new prototypes for demonstration to prospective customers,â said Le Conte.Pictured above. Digimap-generated topographic map of Guernsey overlaid with road network

Author: Source: Martine Levene, Chameleon PR Limited

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