The future mapped out in composite data set from Barbour ABI and MapMechanics

Map-friendly building development data provides invaluable strategic resource

25 September 2012--Business planners, strategists and analysts can now view the location of future building developments on detailed maps of the surrounding area, thanks to a new initiative led jointly by MapMechanics, a specialist in mapping and geographic information systems, and Barbour ABI, an expert in gathering, processing and presenting information on UK planning applications and construction contracts.

The data set, which is named Barbour ABI Planning Applications, is available on, MapMechanics comprehensive online digital store for mapping and related business and demographic data.

While many business data sets already provide information on existing premises, the unique advantage of this data is that it shows what is planned for building in the future. This makes it an invaluable strategic planning tool for gathering competitor information and identifying business opportunities.

For example, a restaurant owner could spot planned developments that are complementary to the hospitality sector a cinema, for instance and open a new facility taking advantage of the potential extra footfall. Or a business selling conservatories or solar panels might want to see where there are the most planning applications for this type of home improvement information that can help it target its marketing most effectively.

Equally a business could avoid areas where the map shows too much planned competition. Displaying the density of planned developments on a map provides an instant on-the-ground picture of what is likely to be happening in the future.

Data of this kind is not widely available in map-friendly form, but the new product packs from MapMechanics and Barbour ABI fill the gap. MapMechanics has taken the raw Barbour ABI data, geocoded it (which means adding grid references), and grouped it by time and date. This makes it easy for users to show planned developments on a suitable map, selecting whatever future time frame they need.

MapMechanics has divided the resultant data into separate business categories, which are available individually in special packs. This means buyers can select the geocoded data under a wide variety of headings for instance, closed-circuit TV placement or major retail developments.

The new data set is now available directly online through, MapMechanics fully-transactional web site.

Barbour ABI ( has over 70 years of experience in the gathering, processing and delivering of information on UK construction contracts as they are built. All UK planning applications are tracked by their research team who then verifies which of the projects move to the construction phase and continues to monitor them, right through to project build completion. As a result, Barbour ABI has huge databases of individual projects from low budget refurbishments to complete new shopping centres with details of exactly what stage they are at.

About MapMechanics

MapMechanics has been providing innovative solutions in sales and marketing, digital mapping, geographic analysis and logistics planning for over twenty years.

  • MapMechanics distributes a wide range of data products including AA, NAVTEQ and Ordnance Survey digital mapping, as well as leading business and demographic datasets from many sources throughout the world. This data is listed on MapMechanics’ intuitive new transactional data web site,, which is probably the most extensive and up-to-date listing of its kind in Britain.
  • MapMechanics is the UK distributor of the GeoConcept geographic information system, which is used extensively in a diverse range of fields such as depot planning, retail planning, marketing, healthcare, environmental planning and management, transport and logistics, site selection and territory allocation, telematics and command and control applications, policing and broadcasting, and central and local government.
  • MapMechanics develops, supplies and supports TruckStops, one of the world’s best-established routing and scheduling solutions, and its portfolio includes a wide range of optimisation solutions. Examples include specialist systems for optimising transport of full or part loads, for servicing a high density of calls on the same streets and for optimising use of pallet networks.
  • MapMechanics also uses digital map-based technologies to offer an extensive range of Web, desktop, paper and component solutions for a variety of business applications, from atlas production to business analysis, site selection, customer profiling and vehicle routing and scheduling.

Backing up its extensive product range, MapMechanics offers a comprehensive service of implementation support and training. 


Katy McKenna
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London, TW8 8JA
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