Ordnance Survey launches B2B online mapping service

30 Mar 2010

The Ordnance Survey of Ireland (OSi) has launched a business-to-business online mapping service called MapGenie, which is already in use by a number of public and private-sector organisations.

MapGenie provides immediate online access to the most complete and highest quality map data available on the island of Ireland. It offers single-source access to premium map data at a variety of scales from OSi and Land and Property Services Northern Ireland (LPS) geodatabases through an all-Ireland web mapping service (WMS).

OSi hosts all map data, which saves significant time and costs as organisations avoid the need to store and manage the data in-house. Map data is presented according to customer requirements and is more cost effective and easier to use, as time-consuming translations to different data formats are not required.

“Premium services of the highest quality are what this country is about and should be about,” said Science and Innovation Minister Conor Lenihan, who launched the service today. “MapGenie is a great example of this.”

About MapGenie

Built on industry standards, MapGenie works across browsers and operating systems. It may be used in conjunction with or to supplement existing web-based applications built around Google Maps or Microsoft Bing API (Application Programming Interface).

According to OSi, the new MapGenie service can be used across a range of business sectors with a variety of applications. OSi said a number of public and private-sector organisations already use MapGenie, including Forcelink, a private-sector start-up company that uses MapGenie to offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for managing mobile workforces.

The Forcelink solution improves productivity; delivers a fast return on investment as a 100pc hosted solution; offers real-time feedback and SMS messaging and identifies the location of resources, reduces risks for lone workers and provides more accurate mileage claims.

A road safety app

OSi has collaborated with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) to produce a web-based road safety application, which displays the pattern and locations of road collisions in recent years in Ireland, where death and personal injury was involved, showing collision data on OSi maps at national, county and local levels by severity, year and type. 

This valuable resource allows the public to see collision statistics and information throughout the Republic of Ireland instantly, acting not only as a valuable visualisation tool in the analysis of the data but also as a means for the public to plan their journey safely.

The national mapping agency also said MapGenie can also be used by existing customers, through a web-based map viewing application, that easily combines a selection of an organisation’s data with OSi map data to provide a web-based system across the entire organisation.

Examples cited include organisations involved in managing land parcels or property interests; the insurance industry using geographic location techniques to improve pricing and risk assessment processes, and access to MapGenie can be provided immediately at any time for use in the event of a national emergency.

Web-based map viewing uses

A web-based map viewer could be used to support potential Government projects that require quick, easy and simple access to national geographic data sets. Using the MapGenie map viewer it is possible to achieve cost efficiencies in projects through better informed decision making or to obtain feedback through public consultation programmes.

Speaking at the launch, Geraldine Ruane, OSi’s chief executive, added: “Web mapping services are a key technology within the geo-spatial industry and MapGenie is an important milestone for OSi.

“Using the latest technology, the new online service will support the development of national industry and assist public-sector organisations to improve existing services, as well as introduce new services as evidenced by the collaborations announced today.

“Existing OSi customers will benefit from MapGenie’s value-for-money offering while new customers will be rewarded with easier access to our map data. This will be particularly attractive for the SME sector,” she noted.

By John Kennedy

Photo: MapGenie may be used in conjunction with or to supplement existing web-based applications built around Google Maps or Microsoft Bing API

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years