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Durham drives ahead thanks to Ordnance Survey’s detailed transport dataDurham drives ahead thanks to Ordnance Survey’s detailed transport data


Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency for Great Britain, has provided its detailed transport data to Durham County Council to boost the efficiency of a range of transport services.

The Council has incorporated the OS MasterMap Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer, an accurate and up-to-date digital transport network dataset, into its hugely successful geographical information system (GIS), which currently produces over 200,000 map images per month.

The move allows the council to optimise the deployment of community services, such as its mobile libraries, and make the best choice of transport for people under its home-care scheme. In addition, it will also help the Council plan how traffic accesses civic amenity sites and act as a general route-planning tool.

Providing transport services takes up a large part of the Council’s budget, so finding ways to improve routing efficiencies has the potential to result in substantial savings as well as helping to limit the impact of fuel emissions on the environment.

The Council uses a tool called RW Net Server from RouteWare, which is enabled by OS MasterMap ITN Layer with Road Routing Information (RRI). The data is updated every six weeks and includes a host of road restriction details such as one-way roads, no-entry points, turning restrictions, and bridge height and weight limits. Armed with this information, the Council can ensure that its resources are being used in the best and most cost-effective ways.

The OS MasterMap ITN Layer contains 99.21% of road links and more than 740,000 named roads nationwide, from motorways to alleyways. Each road link has a unique identifier, or TOID, to which feature and statistical data can be attached to aid location management, asset management and analysis.

The accuracy and level of detail contained within the OS MasterMap ITN Layer provides the cornerstone for the successful implementation of the routing functionality and further improvements are planned. For example, by better understanding the way traffic flows and how the public access council facilities, services can be planned more efficiently in specific localities.

Brian Dougherty of Durham County Council’s Corporate GIS Unit says, “The rich attribution and high level of accuracy of OS MasterMap ITN Layer has enabled us to effectively re-evaluate a wide range of issues and services such as car mileage claims, waste management and the optimisation of mobile libraries”.

Brian continues, “This has the potential to deliver substantial cost savings to the council, as well as reducing the environmental impact of vehicle emissions”.

Ordnance Survey’s Director of Products with responsibility for OS MasterMap, Peter ter Haar, says, “The depth of information available in OS MasterMap ITN Layer with its Road Routing Information allows local authorities to not only improve the efficiency of their services but also help tackle climate change and pursue a green agenda”.

Durham County Council has been developing and implementing GIS solutions since 1991 and has a long history of innovation in the field. In 2003 the Council won the AGI Award for Innovation for its Schools Mapping Project, which delivered web based GIS to 297 schools with a potential user base of over 73,000 students.


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