Fujitsu maps the north

16 Jun 2006

Fujitsu has deployed a new facility enabling government, business and public users in Northern Ireland to browse, purchase and download Ordnance Survey mapping products online.

“This project is the first of its kind in the UK and as such is receiving much attention from within and outside Northern Ireland,” explained Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) programme manager John Deyermond.

The e-commerce web-based project, internally titled Customer Access to Maps Electronically Online (CAMEO), uses the latest GIS (geographic information system) technology to allow map viewers to zoom in and out from a province-wide map to an individual postcode or house.

By clicking customers may download an ACEmap (Address Centred Extract map) or digital mapping data. Customers also have access to distance and area measurement tools and OSNI’s conventional paper map range.

“Estate agents, solicitors and those involved in the planning application process are particularly interested in the facility as it allows them to measure accurately the area of a plot and access the ACEmap service directly without leaving the office. Architects and engineers are also able to download digital mapping data for use in CAD (computer assisted design) and GIS applications.

OSNI provides maps in paper and digital form, as well as aerial imagery, geographically referenced address, boundary, road and other mapping related data in support of business, government administration and leisure activities.

“Tourists hoping to visit Northern Ireland are also able to use the site to purchase maps and plan their trip,” Deyermond said.

The web-based system includes a fully automated overnight map and product update process which ensures that customers are provided with the most up-to-date mapping data available.

OSNI and Fujitsu are currently involved in plans to develop a Northern Ireland Geographic Information Hub where government departments and agencies and other utilities and contractors can share information online.

By John Kennedy

Pictured are Stan Brown, OSNI chief executive and Alan Thompson, Fujitsu sales manager