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Nantes Saint-Nazaire port authority assesses implementation of STAR-APIC Elyx GIS suite

By Peter Fitzgibbon - 5th July 2013 - 16:20

Nantes Saint-Nazaire is the largest port on the French Atlantic coast, and the fourth largest in France, with annual traffic of about 30 million tonnes. The port authority is completing the implementation of the STAR-APIC Elyx GIS suite and making a first assessment of the project.

Every year, more than 3,000 merchant ships use the port facilities at Nantes Saint-Nazaire and the associated logistical activities generate 16,000 jobs in the Loire Estuary region. In total they create 2.7 thousand million euro in added value and more than 26,000 jobs in the regions of Western France as a whole.

The Port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire installations are located on the Loire Estuary, which opens onto the Bay of Biscay. 18 specialist facilities permit the transit of 270 types of traffic. Already developed sites and sites currently under development represent a total surface area of 1,650 hectares.

The Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port Authority (Grand Port Maritime de Nantes Saint-Nazaire or GPMNSN) is responsible not only for developing and managing the industrial and logistical activity zones within the port but also for adding value to port property. Careful consideration is given to plans for new business locations with space being available in all the main port zones.

Among other objectives, projects undertaken by the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port Authority aim to improve regional competitiveness by building an intermodal logistics hub; to assist and further the development of the Loire Estuary, to share information; and to reduce the environmental impact of port-related activities.

GIS context

In 1991, the Port implemented a GIS to manage port activities (AOT permissions) and the cadastre. The business geographic reference of this data was a base map captured from scanned paper documents.

The concept of updating the base map was based on the integration of as-built drawings and land surveys carried out by the services in charge of the works in the port area.

In 2001, following a tender procedure, the Port acquired a new tool developed by STAR INFORMATIC (WinSTAR and STAR GIS software suite) running in client/server mode with an application for the management of AOT permissions, cadastre and property transactions. During that period, the GIS progressively became the definitive data source and Port base map.

In 2006, a GIS team was created within the Property Service but lack of visibility and limited sharing of geographic data within the Port, encouraged the Management to start a geomatics deployment project in 2009 leading in 2010 to the creation of a geomatics team. This consists of 4 people, a network of advisers in a dozen departments and a steering committee (which is being created).

Deployment of Elyx Web

The upgrade of the new Port production GIS was completed with the installation of Elyx version 2.7.1.This major new release has brought many features and also improved stability and performance.

After finishing the upgrade project, the Port committed to organising «Open Days» in order to publicise Elyx Web to all Port staff. This idea came from the Geomatics Department of Saint-Nazaire CARENE.

This event was preceded by a promotional campaign with:

• The Cap Infos slide show projected on TV screens in all sites of the Port,

• Flyers available in staff meeting places (coffee machines, time clocks, areas for relaxation, meeting rooms, dining rooms…).

The open days took place on March 19th & 21st 2013 in Nantes (Headquarters) and Montoir (fast multi traffic port). In all, nearly a hundred people, one sixth of all employees, attended to try Elyx Web setup on three computers and speak to the complete geomatics team (pictured above right).

The audience welcomed the new product enthusiastically and, for many people, this new way of working. Many were surprised at the amount of business data that existed within the Port systems.

Participants unanimously agreed that sharing such data was essential or indispensable. Many asked relevant questions by discovering and manipulating the tool.

To talk numbers, a quick survey was conducted among visitors to collect their impressions. The results speak for themselves:

• 2 visitors out 5 knew about the GIS system;

• 3 out 5 manage data with a spatial reference;

• 50% found Elyx Web easy to use and intuitive;

• 3 out 5 asked for a comprehensive training tool.

The two days were highly successful and today Elyx Web is becoming widely used. As a result, implementation requests to the geomatics team for simple GIS maps have been significantly reduced.

To meet the requests for more in depth training, four half-day sessions were organized in May 2013 for 35 people wishing to have more detail focused on «data consultation». In September 2013 two advanced sessions for twenty people will be run oriented to more advanced «construction, query, and update» tasks.

Read More: GIS Marine

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