In response to the Government’s plan to create a high speed railway linking London to the North (with a link to Birmingham and running through Warwickshire), Warwickshire County Council decided to create an ‘evidence base’ of information to share with the public and its partner organisations. Added to other information from the authority, such as related documents and internet links, Warwickshire Observatory were asked to provide maps which would cover the proposed route within the county. These maps would hold a wide variety of data, including the proposed route, together with planning, archaeological and ecological datasets sourced from both WCC departments and partner organisations. All of this would be easily accessible via the authority’s HS2 website, held within a sub-page.
The Warwickshire Observatory is a large user of Geographic Information (GI) for its day-to-day analytical and cartographic work. We have a huge amount of data stored in what we call the ‘Spatial Data Store’ – a corporate Geo-database. We handle data in a range of formats, and it comes from many different internal and external sources. Key issues in making this GI available for widespread use and analysis (both within WCC and further afield) are the format(s) in which we provide it, its interoperability with different GI Systems (GIS), and how is is described (‘metadata’). Continue reading