November 09, 2010 -- A new corporate Web-based GIS solution has just gone live at Northern Ireland Water (NI Water), the water authority for the whole of Northern Ireland. The system, based on Innogistic’s Cartology.NET web GIS software, is now available to all NI Water staff via their corporate intranet. The solution provides real time intranet access to the Corporate Asset Register (CAR), NI Water’s recently developed Geospatial Warehouse based on Oracle 10g.
Sean O’Boyle, Northern Ireland Water’s Asset Information Development Manager explains the reasoning behind this new implementation: “Like all utility companies, we are facing an increasing demand for access to asset data and geospatial services from across our organisation, as well as from external contractors and stakeholders. Our old system, being a view only map server, had limitations in terms of access to live data and a lack of any GIS tools. We needed a solution that would give a greater number of our users the facilities to view and edit our spatial data as well as give them the functionality to undertake many geospatial tasks themselves”
CARtomap (the internal NIW name for the new web solution) provides a significant number of new tools which can be accessed depending on job requirements. But being web based makes it very cost efficient as it will run on all the popular web browsers. One particularly ground breaking feature of CARtomap is its ability to provide real-time editing of live data over the web. Sean said “I have been particularly impressed by the editing capabilities of the new solution. It is all about empowering our teams and giving them ownership of the data they use. In effect we are using CARtomap to employ ‘crowd-sourcing’ techniques to ensure more accurate and current data.”
“An example of how CARtomap is already benefiting us is with our First Service Connection team. They are responsible for planning the connection of new build properties or buildings that have not previously been connected to our network. In the past, the vast majority of new connections would require a site visit and survey which took up staff time and cost money. With the tools available from CARtomap, a site survey is now the exception rather than the rule.”
Dr Kieron Brown, Innogistic’s Production Director said: “This has been a real partnership effort; the team at NI Water are a pleasure to work with. They had done a lot of initial specification work so right from the start they were able to give us a very clear set of user requirements to build from Catology.NET. All through the implementation they were very much involved and undertook a significant amount of configuration, testing, training, etc. in partnership with ourselves. I am very much looking forward to working with them again in the future.”