Cardiff Council’s online mapping portal enables residents to quickly and easily find local services and places of interest, together with useful information and links. The ‘my house’ option allows users to identify a range of nearby services and provides routes and distances to each from an address chosen by the user.
The Council’s previous web-mapping system provided, ‘as the crow flies’ distances, rather than using routes that followed the city’s actual transport network. As a result, the distances given did not take into account the practicalities of travelling in Cardiff (such as crossing railways or rivers). New routing information was required to provide users with routes and distances that accurately reflected the local roads and paths. Users can also make a more informed decision about time taken to access services.
OS MasterMap® Integrated Transport Network™ (ITN) Layer, which maps Great Britain’s road network, is used to underpin the distance and routing information provided on the portal. Supplied under the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA), it provides road routing information for drivers as well as urban path networks. The Council uses this, together with Ordnance Survey® data at a range of scales, within a customised version of Higher Mapping Solutions’ RouteFinder network analysis system (RWNet Server).
The PSMA provides access to core geographic datasets from Ordnance Survey, which are free at the point of use for all eligible public sector bodies and allows members to make licensed data available for public viewing. Members are also able to download the most up-to-date mapping via Ordnance Survey’s dedicated online service.
Features of Cardiff Council’s mapping portal include the ability to pinpoint addresses on a map (by searching for a house name or number, street or postcode) and a ‘take me to’ function to find local council offices. Users can also select a wide range of layers (such as listed buildings, school catchment areas and public rights of way) to display on mapping, providing an overview of the services of interest to them within a specific geographical area. By clicking on the services found, people can then access further information or links.
- Council resources can be reduced through fewer calls from the public – due to reliable routing information that accurately reflects the layout and restrictions of the city’s streets.
- Enables users to make decisions about where to find services – reducing the need for the public to contact the Council and reducing the Council’s costs.
- Saves time and effort when keeping the mapping up to date – through the use of the dedicated PSMA online service.