Find out about your PURG
User Representatives Group (PURG) is the voice of members of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA).
It influences the future direction of the PSMA through conversations with the Geospatial Commission, Ordnance Survey (OS) and the wider community.
Find out about the people who represent you.
Ian Macleod, Mapping and Geodata Manager and Chair of PURG
I’ve been involved with geographic information and systems for 20 years.
During this time, I’ve sat on previous pan-government user and steering groups. More recently, given Forest Research still operates in Scotland and England, I’ve fulfilled a cross border role on both the PSMA User Representative Group (PURG) and the Scottish Government equivalent.
More recently I’ve been an active central government representative on PURG and in 2019 am looking forward to starting as PURG chair, working closer with the Geospatial Commission and Scottish Government.
Forest Research is an agency of the Forestry Commission which uses GI widely; it is a land owner, a grant payer and has national reporting responsibilities.
Geographic information is vital to the business and because it is a small department with a wide geographic remit the Commission has always appreciated the benefits offered by pan-Government mapping and aerial photography (AP) agreements.
The ‘Mapping and Geodata’ team I lead in Forest Research delivers a wide range of mapping and spatial services to Forestry colleagues across Great Britain.
All of these are underpinned by data via national agreements. The team also manages the organisation’s core spatial data repository, it has digitised and continues to maintain a number of key spatial datasets (now using satellite imagery to support this), and it also produces traditional mapping in support of land transactions, while supporting the business in delivery of key Westminster and Scottish Government initiatives.
Carol Hrykiewicz, former chair of PURG
During my time as a member of the PGA user group I was actively involved in the procurement of the PGA2; inputting member requirements into the technical specifications, product requirement gathering and a member of the technical evaluation team, to ensure that the final products procured met member data requirements. More recently I have led on the procurement of the PGA replacement aerial photography contract for 10 government bodies. Using this experience in the coming years to ensure that the PSMA delivers new products and services that meet all our business needs and ensure the existing products continue to develop as effectively as possible.
Jamie Clark, Head of Public Sector Geospatial Strategy, Geospatial Commission
Having first encountered GIS at university, I was hooked on it. Following completion of my Masters, I joined Derby City Council as a housing GIS Officer before moving on to join OS’s Pre and Post Sales Support team. I had a very enjoyable six plus years in PPSS with each day presenting a new challenge. I worked closely with public sector and commercial users to help them to maximise the value that they could get from their chosen GI software and the OS data.
In 2012 I took on a role at BEIS with the PSMA Secretariat to support both the GI Customer Group and the PSMA User Representatives Group as well as representing the public sector's interests in discussions with OS and Royal Mail.
In April 2018, I join the Geospatial Commission. I am a map geek through and through and I am quite pleased that the geographer cliché of leather elbow patches have come back into fashion.
Dave Roberts, Central Government - Wales
Geography & Technology Operations Manager, Welsh Government
I started working in digital mapping and GIS industry shortly after graduation in the mid 1990s. During this time I have worked in the private and public sector including three years working overseas.
I joined the Welsh Government via the Welsh Development Agency (WDA). More specifically I made the leap from the WDA Land Division just prior to the Welsh Assembly Government – WDA merger in 2006. Since then I have managed the day-to-day running of the Geography & Technology team, which includes GIS analysts, Graphics Mapping specialists, Application Developers and an Aerial Photography Unit. The Geography & Technology team is a central resource offering specialist advice and services to the rest of the Welsh Government.
Chris Mundy, Central Government
Ministry of Defence UK & Ireland Collection
I have been a Geospatial Analyst at the Defence Geographic Centre (DGC) since 1987 and have worked in a variety of posts during that time. I initially trained as a Mapping & Charting Officer utilising traditional cartographic techniques to produce air charts and topographic maps before transitioning to digital cartography in the early 1990s, originally using Intergraph software then moving to ArcGIS. For the past six years I have worked in the Operations Room acting as the “Intelligent Geo Customer” for DGC, translating customer requirements into understandable geographic taskings and championing those tasks through to successful delivery. I now work as a Collections Officer, having sole responsibility for collection data over the UK & Ireland to support UK Defence geospatial requirements. Large amounts of this data are provided by the PSMA. I am the MOD PSMA Principal Contact, managing membership of the agreement for all MOD users and maintaining the central repository of this data for Defence use.
Graham Townsend, Local Government - North of England
Senior Data Governance Officer, North Yorkshire County Council
I’ve worked in the public sector for more than 30 years and all with North Yorkshire County Council. My varied roles include working with geographic information (GI) and related systems since about 1993, with direct involvement with the MSA/PSMA since around 1996.
From 2006 until 2016 I managed a small dedicated central team committed to the deployment, management and promotion of GI across the authority. I continue to manage the PSMA at the authority as well as GI data management, quality and broader aspects of information governance.
I’ve always welcomed and made full use of the products offered through the agreements and I’ve worked with many different organisations to ensure GI is used effectively and to high standards.
Recent improvements in the agreement and better availability has enabled a broader take up of GI.
GI continues to be a significant enabler to many local authority services and decision-making processes and I continue to promote and support its uptake whenever the opportunity arises.
As the North of England Local Authority rep I offer a voice to ensure local services are supported and welcome any feedback I pass on.
Martina Doolan, Emergency Services - Fire
Data Management Officer, West Midlands Fire Service
I am the Data Management Officer at West Midlands Fire Service and have been the nominated representative of my organisation for all matters related to the PSMA and its predecessors for 17 years.
I have seen the relationship between the public sector and OS and its partners positively evolve over time to become a more collaborative, inclusive arrangement than could ever have been envisaged a decade ago.
I have represented both my organisation and regional partners at a national level in data matters during the national fire control project and my organisation was one of the first to go live with a mobilising gazetteer based on the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG). We are now looking to migrate this to AddressBase Premium. Some of the innovative initiatives using OS products that have been created in West Midlands Fire Service have led to industry awards such as the Ordnance Survey Emergency Services GIS award in 2008.
My knowledge and experience of using data in a busy control room will be a valuable strength in understanding end users’ requirements.
Peter Silvester, Local Government, London and South England
East Hampshire District Council
I am an extremely experienced GI and data professional with over 20 years’ experience in a senior GIS management role. I feel that I can offer the user group a vision of shared and partnership working across the region. Many LAs and PSMA members will be feeling the pinch of every reducing resource. By pooling our shared knowledge we will be able to make those changes.
The PSMA gives us that ability and will allow members to break down traditional working boundaries. I have been heavily involved in cross organisation GI provision from joint web GI provision to full GI delivery from one LA to another.
Over the past three years as regional rep, I have been involved with various county groups and parishes advising on making the best use of PSMA data.
Emma Bee, Central Government
British Geological Survey
I’m a senior spatial data analyst at the British Geological Survey with more than 17 years of experience working with a wide range of GIS applications and database systems.
I’ve worked with a wide variety of data sources and led a number of BGS projects in product development and our thematic science areas. This includes using spatial data to provide evidence for policy and decision makers in both central and local government.
BGS is a wide and varied organisation that consumes many datasets within the PSMA. We depend on the data for generation of complex 3D and 4D models, to support and underpin an increasing number of web and mobile information services, including Smartphone apps, but also require the data for compilation of our traditional geological maps and the associated land survey that precedes it.
PSMA data is critical in underpinning what we do, and I want to ensure it continues to deliver what we, and other public sector bodies, need.
Judith Cauldwell, Local Government, East of England
Broxtowe Borough Council
Some years ago I applied for a job as a GIS Technician for Broxtowe Borough Council in Nottinghamshire as a ‘stop-gap’. I certainly stopped, discovering the challenges and variety of GIS suited my temperament.
For more than ten years, as an unassisted GIS Officer, I have used the skills of a data owner, data manager, database administrator, cartographer, web GIS manager, analyst and programmer. I have proactively sought out and investigated new opportunities and new methods, engaging new users across the council. There's now a well-recognised geek inside me which is occasionally released but always there to provide support, advice and solutions.
If I've learnt anything from the past ten years in GIS it's the advantage of consistency, simplicity and working together rather than in isolation. For the past three years, my role on the representative group has only enhanced that feeling.
We can all proactively help influence the direction of the PSMA through the User Representative Group.
Denis Payne, National Association for Local Councils
National Association for Local Councils
I’ve been nominated by the National Association for Local Councils (Town, Parish, Community Councils in England).
I’m a retired GIS manager for Cambridgeshire County Council as well as a former PURG representative for East of England. I’m also a parish councillor for Histon and Impington, which is just north of Cambridge.
I work with NALC and suppliers focusing on town, parish and communities to raise awareness of the benefits of digital mapping in the sector.
One of the challenges I face is explaining to people that some of the largest town councils have budgets larger than the smallest district councils and telling them parish councils have a real role to play. This includes helping to improve the quality of geographic data.
As part of my role I’m a heavy user of open source tools - primarily QGIS - and with the luxury of time, able to explore the capabilities of OS products in that environment.
Sarah Lasher, Central Government
Department for Transport
I lead the Network Condition and Geography Team at the Department for Transport. My team has two main areas of responsibility – statistics on the size and condition of the road network, and the lead on spatial data.
I see the value of spatial data for the Department, and for Government more widely. For DfT, applications include (among others) transport planning and network efficiency, and innovation and customer facing products.
I joined the user group at the end of 2018, and look forward to working together.