Skip to content

ESRI UK mapping app protects York from floods

York City Council’s flood team can record, share and visualise information on a hand-held device thanks to Ordnance Survey mapping and ESRI.


York City Council’s flood team can now easily record, share and visualise gully information on any hand-held device, thanks to an ESRI UK app and detailed Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping. This case study explains how it was done.

"This is still an evolving process and with further use we are refining and adapting the app to deliver the key outputs that we require to drive our service forward. In time, wider and more formalised corporate approaches may overtake this system, but its simplicity and ease of use will mean that our expectations of such systems will be greater. This approach has delivered a fantastic range of benefits for relatively little cost."
Steve Wragg, Flood Risk Manager, City of York Council.

The logistical challenges

  • Keeping the City of York – with an area of 272km2 and a population of just over 200,000 people – safe from flooding
  • Developing a quick and cost-effective solution to support the drainage team in their work
  • Finding an easy-to-use tool that can be used by a range of people, even with no mapping or Geographic Information System (GIS) experience

The solution

The council’s GIS team used an ESRI UK app called ‘Collector for ArcGIS’ combined with detailed Ordnance Survey mapping. The gullies data can be added, deleted or removed from a feature class layer, managed by a server using a database connection and a web-based map service.

The data can be accessed via the app using either an Android, iOS or Windows mobile device.

The benefits

  • OS MasterMap Topography Layer as a base map gives unrivalled detail at small scale
  • The council’s business data can be added in a live environment
  • The app uses the same base map cache as all the City of York’s online apps and flood-risk related data
  • The app is included with support and maintenance from ArcGIS, so no extra payment is needed
  • Four flood risk users have added more than 5,000 records in the first eight months
  • The app is available to all drainage operatives and are used to record maintenance and investigation works
  • Considerable money was saved developing the app in-house, rather than paying an external supplier
  • Any changes made to the gullies layer in the app are immediately visible in ArcMap and web-based applications

1:25 000 Scale Colour Raster

The digital alternative to our popular OS Explorer paper map series, this is a high-quality map of Great Britain, available in 10km square tiles.

OS MasterMap Topography Layer

OS MasterMap® Topography Layer is the most detailed complete and current view of Great Britain’s landscape, allowing you to make location based decisions about your assets, risks and services.​

OS VectorMap District

OS VectorMap® District is an open basemap to overlay and visualise your own information on.

OS VectorMap Local

A highly-detailed, customisable, street-level map, OS VectorMap® Local shows fences, building outlines, paths and street names, for the accurate lie of the land.