Spatial Data Infrastructure: Ordnance Survey Ireland

A New Authoritative Spatial Data Infrastructure for IrelandConnecting our Physical World to the Digital World

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Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi), the national mapping agency for Ireland, has recently launched a new visionary framework. This new framework provides the foundation for the build-out of intelligent infrastructure in Ireland.

After working on a standardized, digital referencing framework for the past six years, OSi now offers consistent referencing and integration of national data related to location. This visionary framework, known as Prime2, has enabled OSi to move from cartographic objects to real-world objects. Prime2 integrates data from multiple sources that results in improved analysis, betterinformed decisions, and an overall increase in efficiency. The EUR 4 million project saved more than EUR 600,000 in operating costs and has established OSi as a true leader in spatial data infrastructure.

Government mandates to manage the Irish state’s definitive spatial reference data and underlying infrastructure, as well as customer demand for a better data structure, drove OSi to make data more useable, more accessible, and enable data integration from various sources. With the implementation of Prime2, OSi has reengineered 80 million cartographic elements into 50 million real-world objects and migrated from cartographic lines without attribution to real-world polygons with rich attribution. Each of these real-world objects, such as utilities, land parcels, roads, and buildings, have a global unique ID that allows OSi to link to other datasets and import other datasets to leverage intelligent GIS data.

Since this data underpins the country’s infrastructure, it is critical to have a high-quality, well-maintained data set that can be readily analyzed. OSi uses LiDAR capabilities from aircraft to produce digital surface and terrain models. OSi maps Ireland at a large scale and stores it in a large scale database. Urban areas are updated yearly, while suburban areas are updated every three years. Rural areas and national imagery are updated every five years.

Bentley Map software, allows OSi to work in true 3D and maintain that 3D by enforcing 300 rules in the database to maintain the consistency and quality required. This rules-based approach for quality control is built into the workflows.

Bentley Map’s advanced interoperability allows OSi to extract Prime2 data from Oracle to GML format. For instance, when an operator digitizes four points of roof using Bentley Map, a footprint at ground level is automatically created, while preserving the roof height to provide a three-dimensional object. It then automatically creates a global unique identifier (GUID) so data can be linked to it, as well as automatically creating a centroid for the building. Bentley Map also provides the ability to split 3D polygons in a very simple way based on pre-determined rules that are continuously run. In order to maintain high quality and consistency, the data is run through two sets of topology rules. Once, prior to exporting the data to GML and again when it goes back into Prime2 Oracle.

Bentley Map enabled OSi to build the foundation for the national spatial data platform. It has been formally adopted as the next-generation database by Ireland’s government customers such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture. The rollout of Prime2 has just a three-year return on investment based on production efficiencies and resource savings. The implementation of this next-generation database enables future business growth not only for OSi, but also for its customers and those they work with.

Samantha Langdeau is the Senior Application Marketing Manager, Geospatial for Bentley Systems. Samantha has worked in the water, transportation, and geospatial infrastructure industries for nearly thirteen years.

A 155Kb PDF of this article as it appeared in the magazine complete with images is available by clicking HERE