Wakefield achieves efficiency gains with geographical information systems portal

Council records consolidated and made available to the public online

City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council has achieved efficiency gains worth more than £200,000 after undertaking a complex data migration and rationalisation exercise to make its geographical information systems (GIS) available to the public online.

The council's GIS portal on its Property Information Portal website displays key council and public service locations and the services they offer on a map of the local area. The portal holds information about schools, leisure facilities, roadworks, bus and train stations, recycling collection points and flood zones.

Wakefield Council was able to launch the site after overhauling GIS records dating back to 1990.

The GIS data was migrated onto an Oracle 9i database as part of the project. To increase the speed of implementation, an out-of-the-box application - Geostore from supplier GDC - was deployed to help manage the records.

Wakefield Council also used two further applications from GDC to provide functionality for its internet and intranet - Planweb for the intranet and Planaccess for the internet.

To enable the service, the council procured a new gazetteer, Aligned Assets' Symphony, and migrated records from several legacy gazetteers to the new council-wide application.

By overhauling its GIS records, Wakefield Council said it had contributed towards 10 of the 14 priority areas where joined-up service delivery was essential for compliance with Whitehall's Implementing Electronic Government agenda.

The GIS project cost Wakefield more than £250,000 to implement. The £200,000 efficiency savings to date are a mixture of cashable gains, which contribute towards the council's Gershon efficiency targets, and non-cashable gains, which do not.

The overhaul has enabled the council to commission its Fundamental Performance Review of Liveability in Wakefield. The GIS project will allow it to map the liveability review's findings to physical locations throughout the city.

The council is putting a range of other records on the online system. These include police and community safety information, licensing information and health information, including GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals, opticians and dentists.

With the service, GIS records will also be available to those making online planning applications. Maps will be included as a standard feature in all the council's online services.

In addition, the overhaul has helped Wakefield Council to submit accurate local address information to the National Land and Property Gazetteer.

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