The Ordnance Survey is to issue its field surveyors with 300 Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition to enable them to supply faster updates to OS Mastermap, its digital map database and online delivery service.
"We are upgrading our Tablet PCs in anticipation of the demands we will be putting on the system," said project manager Simon Bartlett. "There is a definite return on investment in using Tablet PCs and digital technology. It also greatly enhances the quality and accuracy of the data."
The Tablet PCs will use the Ordnance Survey's new data capture and field editing system, Field Object Editor, which is currently under development. Using the pen-based interface, surveyors will record geospatial data such as the position of buildings and streets and send updates to the central database from which OS Mastermap is produced.
The Field Object Editor is based on ESRI software adapted by software firm Tadpole.
The surveyors currently use Fujitsu Siemens FT 3400 and 3500 tablet PCs running Windows 98 and a geographic information system mapping application called Prism that pulls files from a central database for updating.
The Ordnance Survey finished digitising its 233,000 map files in 1995
Electronic data accounts for 80% of its turnover
It is developing a central database to hold its files in a "seamless" instead of a "tiled" format of individual files. The data will be controlled by a transaction management system from Tadpole to enable access by multiple users instead of a single user, as at present.
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