SCISYS maximises the benefits of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
GIS - systems that capture, store, analyse, manage and present data that are linked to location. This technology, a mix of cartography, statistical analysis and database technology, is frequently an essential component of modern business systems and services.
SCISYS uses GIS where it brings value as part of solving a business problem often by producing a business system that integrates GIS. Moreover, we use the right GIS technology to fit the problem; from on-line map visualisation systems like Google Earth through to 'state of the art' server based analytical GIS services such as those provided by ESRI and Pitney Bowes MapInfo.
SCISYS has a group of staff that are GIS specialists; ensuring that the data to be represented is structured correctly and fit for purpose and that the mapping and analytical functions used bring maximum benefit with minimum user complexity. We also ensure adherence and maximum benefit from the use of standards including the Open Geospatial Consortium standards for open exchange of mapping data and the EC INSPIRE metadata standards (See our INSPIRE page for more details)
The approach to providing mapping depends on the nature of the business problem, the operational situation and the sensitivity to cost. Below are some examples of different approaches that have been used by SCISYS:
Building mapping into the business process.
In order to reap the benefits of mapping where mapping is a part of a business process it needs to be seamlessly integrated - the user is presented with the required functionality as part of the system rather than having to move to a 'GIS system'. Mapping functionality should be a component that is called or a service within a Service Oriented Architecture. Doing this successfully requires the enterprise data to be organised into a Spatial Data Infrastructure that allows business data to be queried spatially and presented on a map alongside or on key context layers (for example geology maps or air photos) as well as with conventional national mapping such as that provided by the Ordnance Survey. Examples where SCISYS has achieved this close integration of GIS within the business logic include the Coal Authority Inferis System and the Maritime Activity Scheduling Tool.
Visualising a dynamic operational situation on a map such as a search and rescue mission or a defence operation also relies on mapping being tightly integrated and seamlessly delivered whether within the command and control function or one of the assets on the ground such as vehicles or vessels. In the command and control case, decisions need to be aided by timely presentation of relevant and understandable data rather than cluttered data within the decision making system on another screen. Examples where SCISYS has achieved this are the JETTS and NBC BISA battlespace information systems. Within the asset the same is true - mapping should be integrated with all the asset's information systems in an electronic architecture that presents clear information to the mission team. SCISYS is a recognised leader in electronic architectures with SEAF™, good examples being the RNLI Shannon lifeboat and the FRES armoured fighting vehicle.
Cosmetic and low cost mapping
In many cases, especially in browser based systems, considerable business value can be derived from mapping using open source or web based mapping frameworks such as those provided by Google or Microsoft. This dramatically reduces the cost as there are little or no licence fees required and the base mapping and imagery layers are essentially free. There is no requirement for dedicated map server hardware and time to develop is reduced. However, these mapping systems are only really useful for 'cosmetic' mapping - the placement of data on top of a map - there is limited analytical functionality available. An example map showing an integration of social media feeds (in this case, the number of people following the Olympic torch) and free mapping is shown (click to enlarge).
SCISYS are one of a handful of Google Geo Partners in the UK, and offer Google Mapping services on the Government G-Cloud. We have also developed a cloud based digitisation tool - see our Digiright page for more information.
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For further information
Contact the Environment, Government or Defence teams on
+44 (0)1249 466466 or via email at infoscisys.couk