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Map for England pilot website launched by RTPI and Idox

03 October 2012

The RTPI, in conjunction with software specialists Idox, this week (02 October) launched a pilot website of the Map for England initiative, an online mapping portal whereby users can view how a range of publicly available datasets would affect their area.The launch, at an event  hosted by East Midlands Councils in Melton Mowbray, included representatives from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Environment and Highways Agencies and a number of utility companies and local authorities.

The pilot website will contain an initial five layers of data on the map, which users can toggle on and off to view the information which is of most interest to them. The initial layers are the proposed route of the High Speed 2 rail network, Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, National Park boundaries, housing costs for local authority areas and the areas of highest growth for the period 2008-33. The aim is to add to these datasets as the pilot period progresses. The pilot website can be found by going to http://www.idoxgroup.com/mapforengland/, and will be live until 31 December 2012. In this period stakeholders are being encouraged to send their views on the key questions about the initiative and can do so by going to www.mapforengland.co.uk.

We have found that there is a great desire across sectors to be able to view the way in which a range of national data could affect their areas. In the current drive towards open data, the Map for England is a way of releasing government information in a transparent and standardised format, which would also increase consistency in the appraisal of policy, improve security and resilience, and provide a better understanding of how each of these things relate to each other.

Peter Shand, RTPI Map for England Project Officer, said: "Since the launch of the debate in March, the RTPI has been encouraged by the positive response from businesses, communities and the wider public with regards to the initiative. We have found that there is a great desire across sectors to be able to view the way in which a range of national data could affect their areas. In the current drive towards open data, the Map for England is a way of releasing government information in a transparent and standardised format, which would also increase consistency in the appraisal of policy, improve security and resilience, and provide a better understanding of how each of these things relate to each other".

James Sealey, Product Manager at Idox, said at the launch: "Planning is one of our core business areas. When we heard what the RTPI were looking to achieve through their Map for England campaign, we welcomed the opportunity to support their debate utilising our proven capability in providing spatially enabled software solutions for the planning domain".

Additional benefits of the map include:

  • Helping to boost growth.  Housing, industry and business would be able to make quicker and better informed investment decisions which are more closely aligned to public sector infrastructure funding plans.
  • Being much more transparent.  Local communities would be able to find out about how government plans affect their areas and to influence them. 
  • Saving time and money. When writing new strategies, government departments could see the existing plans for different parts of the country and relate their new strategies to them. Datasets drive innovation.
  • Helping to coordinate infrastructure across borders with Scotland and Wales.  

 Throughout the remainder of 2012, the RTPI will be hosting events across the country to stimulate a debate on the Map for England.

Join the debate at @rtpiplanners and #map4england

Idox plc is a supplier of software solutions and services to the UK public sector and increasingly to the wider corporate sector. It is the leading applications provider to local government for core functions relating to land, people and property, such as its market leading planning systems and election management software. Over 90% of UK local authorities are now customers. The Group provides public sector organisations with tools to manage information and knowledge, documents and content, business processes and workflow as well as connecting directly with the citizen via the web.

 For more information see www.idoxgroup.com