Supporting the xGov Hack Eircode Event
OSi is the National Mapping Agency of Ireland. It creates and maintains a standardised, authoritative digital topographical framework that enables the consistent referencing and integration of national data related to location.
After several years of planning, design and testing, OSi is now thrilled to be supplying world class digital geographic data in a new state-of-the art format to our many clients. PRIME DLM is the new data store for all OSi digital geographic data. From this store, OSi will issue all its digital products, at all scales. This is a world first for mapping organisations – to automate the output of all the required digital mapping products, regardless of scale, from one database.
This results in major cost savings in terms of data capture, storage, formatting, and eliminates duplication across the production process. These savings are passed on to the customer, or reinvested in further technical development.
More importantly, PRIME DLM is designed to meet the needs of a rapidly-expanding user community who require a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) that will support their own research, visualisation and analysis. An SDI that can support public and private bodies to improve, grow and develop for all our benefit.
What’s in PRIME DLM?
The data in the PRIME DLM data store can be can be extracted as a large-scale, medium scale, or small scale product; usually in digital form, but also in paper form too. Its sophisticated internal structure allows the data to be a powerful analytical tool for the user – the essence of a GIS (Geographic Information System) is that data can be interrogated to provide deep analysis that relates statistical data to location. It also allows users to exploit the relationship between separate data sets, based on geographic connectedness or separation.
PRIME DLM seeks to reflect the real world as is, using language and definitions that make intuitive sense to the lay person. It sees the world as a consistent skin-of-the-earth patchwork of Objects – roads, fields, forests, lakes and rivers etc. This skin-of-the-earth model then has some Superimposed Objects such as buildings, structures, pylons etc. sitting on top, completing the bulk of what our users need in their mapping.
PRIME DLM is structured in layers of data, and supports network connections, such as road and rail systems, river catchments etc. all these physical features that are represented by lines, points or polygons can also store metadata – addresses, construction dates,
Some Benefits of GIS to Government:
- Better State decision-making; GIS supports the right decision at the right time, so saving resources
- Improving the planning and allocation of scarce resources– housing, transport, water, etc.
- Identifying trends – crime, healthcare, urbanisation
- Easy sharing of data between bodies (e.g. see GeoHive.ie)
- Stewardship of natural resources
- Assisting speedier reactions during a crisis – flooding, storms etc.
- Bringing visual simplicity to complex data
- Communicating more clearly – between the State and the public
- Improving inter- departmental co-ordination
When PRIME DLM was in its development stage, it was known by users as PRIME2; we felt it was due a subtle name change to mark its evolution as Ireland’s definitive digital mapping resource. PRIME2 remains as an in-house OSi core database; it continues to power the customer-facing dataset that is PRIME DLM.
National Mapping Agreement
The 2017 National Mapping Agreement between Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and Government
Ordnance Survey Ireland has entered into an agreement with central Government, where OSi data and web services will be made available without charge to all Government departments, non-commercial state agencies, 3rd level educational bodies and so on. This replaces the current funding model, where all state bodies paid OSi directly for their services. Now, OSi will be funded directly from central Government to provide a comprehensive service to all the key state departments and agencies.
Government policy wants the Public Sector to utilise digital data more effectively for the benefit of all the country. To support this policy, OSi has agreed to provide digital mapping services to all arms of government. They now have a common, consistent, high quality digital mapping resource to support their own data, do research and analysis, and share knowledge and resources across the board. This makes all government bodies more effective. Also, it reduces the bureaucracy where OSi previously negotiated separate contracts with each government body (potentially in excess of 250 contracts).
How will this affect public services?
Initially, some cost savings will be evident, as bodies spend less time and energy negotiating separate supply contracts with OSi. In the longer term, as government bodies collectively use the same mapping data systems, they will find it easier to share and compare data, pool resources and collaborate on projects. These changes will have a cumulative effect of the State bodies being able to do more, with the same inputs. The public should in turn find that services are improved, while costs are better controlled.
Benefits of the National Mapping Agreement (NMA)
- More data is available: The user has free access to a greater range and volume of data.
- A common spatial reference framework: All users are accessing data from a common spatial reference framework, which makes it easier for organisations to work jointly with one another.
- Greater accuracy: A more consistent and systematic approach means that geospatial data is no longer duplicated, inconsistent, incompatible and unconnected across, or within, public bodies.
- Enhanced analysis and decision-making: Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications can be used to interact with the data, to display and connect different variables, to identify patterns and trends, and to model ‘what-if’ scenarios. This encourages more informed decision-making.
- More efficient public services: Geospatial data makes planning, targeting and delivering public services more efficient.
- Money and time savings: Public sector bodies and OSi save time and money because less administration is required.
- Encourages innovation: Making geospatial data available to a wider audience encourages new, innovative applications of the data and further enhances the data’s economic value.
What bodies are eligible to access OSi’s data under the NMA?
- Government departments
- Local authorities
- Enterprise boards
- Non-commercial semi-state bodies
- Health Service Executive
- Emergency services
- Higher education (for teaching, research and non-commercial activities)
- Schools (via the ScoilNet Maps initiative)
- Other public bodies (may be eligible via a joint agreement between government and OSi)
OSi is supporting the xGov Hack Eircode Event on 10th February with the following resources:
OSi MapGenie Web Services
Server URL https://mapgenie.osi.ie/arcgis/rest/services
OSI MapGenie Sample Code
OSi Open Data
OSi Linked Data
OSi Minecraft Data
National Mapping Agreement