Mendip Hills AONB Delivers Stronger Conservation and Management with Getmapping's Online GIS

Jun 2, 2015 -- Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit have adopted Getmapping’s Online GIS platform to improve efficiency in responding to planning applications, developing tourism projects, and undertaking project management tasks.

The hosted and shared mapping system allows their staff to use a wide variety of national mapping layers and to create their own map layers. In addition, key GIS tools such as search, print and location analysis allow staff to better understand human and physical factors in and around the AONB boundary.

Sarah Jackson, Mendip Hills AONB Manager and Vice Chairman of NAAONB (National Association for Areas Outstanding Natural Beauty) explains the benefits of a hosted service. “AONB units like ours are tasked with conserving and enhancing these nationally designated landscapes. Mapping is extremely important to us in our day-to-day work to understand the resource and how the different elements (e.g. wildlife, geology, water, built environment) relate to each other and what the potential impact of change from factors such as new development, light pollution and species decline, will have on the landscape.” She continued, “Utilising cloud-based digital mapping was the obvious progression for us, as it allows us to increase our efficiency without the burden of extensive software licences, training and maintenance, which is hugely important given our limited resources”.

Mendip Hills AONB, which spans five Local Authorities, have successfully used Getmapping’s Online GIS Platform to analyse planning applications, capture species survey data, as well as detailing conservation tasks and mapping new walking routes. Specific examples include:

  • Planning of access management projects and producing detailed map-based specifications for contractors showing work requirements, site designations, features of interest and access routes.
  • Developing new projects by producing maps for use in consultation meetings with community groups and for project reports and funding bids.
  • Producing maps to be used by volunteers carrying out path condition surveys and archaeology surveys. 
  • Producing maps for AONB Young Ranger activities.

Chris Mewse, Business Innovation Manager at Getmapping comments on the project. “It’s been great to see the team at Mendip Hills AONB extracting real value from our Online GIS, well beyond the original scope. Protecting the natural environment’s character and making it a safe and usable place for visitors to enjoy is such an important role, so it’s rewarding to see our mapping tools being used to make a difference”.

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