Monthly Archives: September 2011

Does Your GIS data need a Road Test?

Does Your GIS data need a Road Test?

Is your GIS data fit for purpose?

Can you

Increasingly these users understand and acknowledge how maps and data can help them meet business requirements and project objectives. As they devote more time and effort to implementing web applications in their day-to-day activities their expectation levels are rising about the relative and comparative quality and accuracy of the data that they access and interact with. They are not only users but also stakeholders who make a substantial investment in the data by relying upon it as resource. As a result they expect and demand that “their data” is fit for their purposes.

Such demands place great pressure on data custodians and GIS managers. They have to ensure that data that perhaps was previously only accessed via a GIS on an internal IT network can also be accessed across many other software platforms and data channels, including the Web. Where GIS data was previously viewed as a back office resource it is now identified as a vital asset in support of front-line information management, communication and decision-making to be accessed by multiple user groups, both internal and external to the organisation.

For data custodians the challenge is to ensure that GIS data is fit for these multiple purposes and stakeholders and remain so.

This is where Blue Fox Technology can help.

We can provide an objective assessment of your GIS data

Our development and production team has 65 years combined experience in capturing, geo-referencing, structuring and publishing GIS data and mapping of which 20 of those years have been devoted to publishing GIS data on the Web for our clients. That experience has taught us time and again that the main issue delaying a project or increasing a project’s costs is the quality and accuracy of the source data from which the project deliverables are to be derived.

The type of data problem and the reasons for why it has arisen vary considerably, particularly where data is extracted from 3rd party proprietary systems or from legacy systems that are poor at supporting extended access and integration. In the push to improve ICT infrastructures and software capabilities within organisations the data itself is often overlooked, resulting in a new set of problems that are often more difficult to identify because the source data is no longer stored in the system where it was originally created and maintained. 

At Blue Fox Technology we use a number of GIS and other mapping software to support our cartographic and GIS services and web application developments. We have to be prepared and ready to import geospatial data from any software or operating system and have therefore developed additional applications and semi-automated routines to help us analyse and cleanse data to ensure it is fit for its intended purpose. A primary aim in the way we use GIS software is to quality control client data so that it is sufficiently accurate and open in structure to be utilised online to meet the functional requirements of its target web application.

In using open source technologies to develop our web publishing software and content management systems we have to take account of the proprietary systems and software from which maps and data are being derived. That is why open standards are so important in our work, they ensure that data quality, structure and content remain consistently accurate and accessible.

Take your data for a Test Drive

Against this backdrop of knowledge and experience we are offering a new service.We’re offering to give your GIS data a Road Test, to undertake a series of quality control processes to analyse its content and structure and accuracy. We will import your data and interact with it and undertake real-time practical tests in GIS, web applications and other software to help you identify what amendments and improvements can be made to your data to ensure it can deliver the products and outcomes you and your projects require, both now and in the future. 

We will produce a report that explains what tests have been undertaken as well as outlining their results alongside a series of recommendations about what corrections and improvements can to be made to bring your data up to the required standards. These tests will include subjecting your data to interaction and functions provided in other software products and applications that are indicative of the types of projects and end products in which such mapping and data are typically implemented.

With the service we’re not trying to sell you a system or recommend alternative software to what you already have. That’s losing sight of the issues that the service is designed to help you identify and overcome. We’re simply helping you to add real and quantifiable value to your data so that you can confidently deploy it as and when you need to without fear of compromising yourself, your data or the project for which it is required.

If your data is fit for purpose it will allow you to make better judgements and decisions about how your investment in that data to date can deliver real value for money to users and stakeholders.

If you would like more details and prices for the Road Test service please contact us via the feedback form.