Geographic Information System (GIS)

Using Geographical Information Systems technology to leverage the value of location

Successful business operations are dependent on good and well-informed decision making. However, with so much information available, synthesising and analysing all of this data can prove to be a challenge. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology can help to integrate large volumes of disparate data, while also providing valuable insight and powerful analytical capabilities. These benefits are achieved by examining the locational component of data to reveal patterns, view locations of assets, efficiently plan and deliver work, and display and report results.

GIS-based maps and visualisations pinpoint where the current priority workloads are, much more readily than using a traditional database. Additional layers can be added for even more effective planning and decision making such as location of assets (bridges, locks, access points), team routing information, landowner details, hazards log, buildings information, military districts/zones, ecological and environmental information.

Environmental data can be further incorporated to aid understanding of other factors impacting on planned work. For example, stricter regulations when working on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), ecological considerations when delivering vegetation management services during nesting seasons or to map tow path restrictions for workloads. All of these layers are brought together to give a full understanding of the ‘real world environment’.

Using GIS enables planned maintenance through efficient work scheduling, allocation of appropriate resources, e.g. correctly certified staff, or ascertaining the proximity of a particular job using route analysis. This coupled with real time data collection via a mobile device, streamlines subsequent reporting, resulting in significant time and cost savings for our clients. We achieved a saving of £57k for one client in resource optimisation alone.

In addition to planned maintenance and efficient scheduling, GIS can also be used to undertake many other types of locational analysis. We used GIS to help optimise the distribution network of a major motorcycle manufacturer in the United States by establishing the optimal locations for their dealerships. Other uses include a crime analysis application for The Vermont Department of Public Safety for comprehensive incident analysis and an application for the public to evaluate alternative energy possibilities.

GIS also provides a strong framework for record-keeping and reporting, including risk assessment, auditing and validation. 

We offer a full range of GIS services, both within the United Kingdom and United States. These include interactive web mapping and mobile field applications. OCS has used this technology to provide solutions for utility companies, public safety, local and state governments, real estate management, renewable energy, environmental conservation and many other organisations.