Positional Advantage
Spatial Consultants

Case Studies

Case studies provide real world examples of where Spatial Consultants staff have applied GIS based technologies and practices to solve business challenges.

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

The Business Challenge

Ontario is a large Canadian province with abundant natural resources, including significant timber reserves.  Logging of the natural forests reached a point where a public out cry at Temagami forced a rethink on timber management and the Ontario government adopted a more holistic approach to forest management.  Managing the forest (rather than timber alone) required that the government understand much more about the forests.  An integrated approach was needed that considered all forest interests. 

Solution Overview

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) embarked on a program of integrated forestry management built around a central repository of information about all things related to the forest.  This included trees, water bodies, settlements, roads, animal habitats and migration routes, native interests, historical sites, etc. - effectively all things of value within the forest.  This was enormous data modelling and data capture exercise.  The Natural Resource and Values Information System (NRVIS) was developed as a central geospatial database to collect and manage this information during the course of government and business activities.  Resource companies had access to this data in the preparation of planning applications and associated management plans.  The same information was made available during the public consultation process to provide assurance that all forest interests were openly considered.

The OMNR is available online at: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/

Further Information

OMNR IT Website and NRVIS overview:

Fort Frances Times article 2006:

University of Waterloo Map Library:


Transport for London

The Business Challenge

TfL manage the integrated transporation system for the area of greater London.  This is an enormous remit covering the underground, buses, trams, overground trains, ferries, taxis, walking, cycling and congestion charging, as well as road asset maintenance, traffic movement and parking enforcement on certain routes.  All operations generate and rely upon large volumes of geographically referenced information - which is not always as accessible as it could be. With demand for transport predicated to grow and the Olympic Games around the corner, TfL need to improve capacity and service quality.  TfL is made up from several business units which have separate histories, practices and technologies; the operation of this multimodal transportation system requires integration of business areas, as well as their data and systems.

Solution Overview

TfL are developing a concept called the Geospatial Enterprise Service Platform (ESP) in order to create a shared service model around its key technology and functional capabilities. The Geospatial ESP is designed to provide a complete set of centrally hosted, discrete GIS capabilities across the entire application stack, including spatial data storage, integration, analysis, visualisation, management and dissemination.  The capabilities are designed to exhibit infrastructural characteristics such as high availability, scalability reliability, performance and security and will be available to any business application as Web Services. The ESP concept addresses the business/commercial, organisational, governance, people and process aspects that need to be in place to build, deliver and support the services.

The Geospatial ESP will be one of a number of Enterprise Service Platforms within the TfL IT Strategy which are being designed to consolidate key application functions and to enable the development of integrated (rather than duplicated) applications and workflows. The objective of the ESP framework is to enable TfL to move away from creating silo business applications and start thinking in terms of shared services in order to deliver the best ROI for IT investments to enable business units to deliver world class transportation services.
TfL is online at http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ 
Further Information
The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference 2008 abstract authored by Graham Morgan