After just a couple of years of using GIS, it has become an indispensable part of Peabody’s planning and redevelopment capabilities.
Peabody’s environmental services department maintains over 1.5 million square meters of public space in the Thamesmead area, including lakes, canals, bridges, concrete walkways, tarmac areas, car parks, shrub bedding, horse-grazing paddocks, 35 playgrounds and five large parks – quite a portfolio!
When we came to choose a GIS to develop our diverse range of services and maintain those areas, we opted for Astun Technology’s iShare, a cloud-based GIS platform. Since its implementation in 2016, iShare has become a vital tool for many of our departments to visualise our complex land-ownership data.
It has also been integrated with our Confirm asset management software, with scheduled daily workflow tasks to export and import data into iShare’s spatial-data warehouse. In the other direction, we have configured WMS layers which are consumed back within the Confirm host system and remote ConfirmConnect mobile devices.
For example, there are currently several landscaping redevelopments happening within Thamesmead, and we can use iShare to undertake cross-working between different sections, stakeholders and consultants.
The redevelopments have allowed us to look at reworking the typologies of the public-realm features, such as using our QGIS desktop system to create new green infrastructure like ‘swales’, ‘raingardens’ and ‘ornamental mixed beds’ and new hard surfaces like block paving, decking and wet-pour rubber surfaces.
We have also been using the new iShare FeatureBuilder tool that enables simple feature creation and editing using OS MasterMap TOID polygons from the underlying base maps. This is allowing non-GIS grounds supervisors to create new map features, thereby taking ownership of their data. For example, floating reed-bed points, Peabody-owned drainage gullies, road/path sweeping route lines and housing block polygons.
To conclude, our iShare platform has revolutionised our GIS capabilities, our spatial data warehouse has become the primary location for all our geographic data, and GIS has become standard rather than just a specialist tool.
Nathan Carr is a geospatial analyst at Peabody.