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Delivering reliable digital data and information management for Environment Agency’s physical flood and coastal defence assets

Over the past 18 months 1Spatial have collaborated with Environment Agency (EA) to deliver reliable digital data and information management for EA’s physical flood and coastal defence assets.

The EA is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Responsible for protection and enhancement of the environment across England, it employs around 10,600 staff, organised into four directorates. Of these, Flood and Coastal Risk Management (FCRM) deals with approximately half the Agency’s annual expenditure to build, maintain and operate flood defences, and provide effective flood warnings to communities.

Data about its extensive flood and coastal defence assets, which are an essential part of the national infrastructure, is as important as the physical assets themselves. Robust asset information management is therefore required to be data driven and ensure that the Agency’s asset data is findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable and fit for purpose.

Asset data supplied to EA as geoCOBie files needs to be assured against contractually defined standards at the point of delivery. EA, Defra and 1Spatial have implemented an automated service called Datastore, Rules and Visualisation (DRV), for extracting, assuring, and storing geoCOBie files. The digital service uses FME Server to extract geoCOBie files from EA’s Common Data Environment, 1Integrate to assure geoCOBie asset data and Azure SQL Database to store assured asset data.

Case Study

Delivering reliable digital data and information management

“1Spatial’s 1Integrate technology and Safe Software’s FME Server technology provides robust asset data and information assurance capabilities, to enable our strategic objectives and further digital transformation.  The automated geoCOBie data assurance processes for collecting, collating, analysing, and sharing data appropriately on asset performance provides us with the insight we need to improve productivity and deliver benefits to society.”

Karen Alford Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, Environment Agency
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The Environment Agency’s agile development aids rapid flood defence survey

The government has announced that military engineers would be deployed to assist the Environment Agency. 250 engineers from the navy, army, RAF and Royal Marines would conduct a “rapid inspection” of the nation’s 150,000 most critical flood defence assets to assess damage. These assets range from 15 – 20 kilometre long embankments to single sluice gates or outfalls. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond stated that, “we’re going to try and do in five weeks what would be about a two year programme of inspection.”

Case Study

The Environment Agency’s agile development aids rapid flood defence survey

“We had a number of significant problems to overcome. The application needed to work offline in areas with little or no 3G coverage.” Alex continues, “We needed to get the right level of detail for offline maps so we could zoom into the detail on the ground – buildings, roads and the exact location of our assets in relation to those – but we needed to break gigabytes of data into packages small enough to load quickly and easily onto the iPads.”

Alex Hincks Senior Project Manager, Environment Agency
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The Environment Agency uses VertiGIS Studio technology for web-GIS to help inform decisions

The Environment Agency selected VertiGIS Studio's technology, part of the VertiGIS Studio suite of products, as part of its Strategic Mapping Platform and next generation EasiMap application. 1Spatial, the UK and Ireland reseller for VertiGIS Studio, supplied VertiGIS Studio technology and helped the Environment Agency implement the EasiMap application. EasiMap will be available to 12,000 people around England through the Environment Agency. On average, over 3,000 people in the Environment Agency will log into the system via the internal intranet every day.

Case Study

The Environment Agency uses VertiGIS Studio technology for web-GIS to help inform decisions

“The agility of VertiGIS Studio's technology is excellent and it is very easy to manage and configure. The fact that business or data people can configure EasiMap, as opposed to IT specialists is a real bonus to us”

Rob Jones Head of Mapping and GIS, Environment Agency
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Working in Collaboration

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