Headlines: September 2nd, 2002

The team in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister developing the ‘Maps on Tap’ project soon realized that they were creating a winning concept. The project aim was to bring together maps produced by Ordinance Survey with databases of planning and land use statistics. It soon became clear that the application they were developing was just the tip of an iceberg. Many organizations both within and outside government need information related to geographical areas. Where someone lives is often a vital factor in making decisions in the public and private sectors. Linking geographical information to a whole range of databases provides a sound basis for decision making. It also allows comparisons to be made between places, areas, regions, or across the UK.The scope of the project has now been widened to include all public services with access though the Government Secure Intranet and the Internet. A one year licencing agreement with Ordnance Survey has been set up and a full scale managed service is being developed. This will include providing a service to businesses and members of the public to find out what is happening in an area in terms of planning and other developments.

In the longer term there is potential for partnership working with the private sector. Companies would be able to provide a range of services to customers linking databases to the ‘Maps on Tap’ service.

Procurement of a system to deliver the service is due to go ahead shortl