The Requirement:

Within Basildon BC there are 28,000 green areas split into 6 classification types ranging from rough grass to hedges. The areas are managed by Basildon BC parks and grounds maintenance department who oversee the work of an external maintenance contractor.

Prior to the project the council made use of paper maps with hatched areas denoting the location of each of the green areas for contract reference, but these hard maps were insufficient to amend, update and manage.

As a result Basildon BC required a digital collection of all 28,000 green areas within the borough that could in turn be incorporated and maintained within their preferred Cad Corp GIS software.

The Solution

Following contract award Atlantic Geomatics commenced the development of a bespoke automated data collection method; at the front end of the project the Trimble GeoXH 6000 handheld unit provided Trimble Virtual Referencing System (VRS) corrections enabling provision of live positional corrections to achieve the horizontal accuracy of 10cm required by Basildon BC.
 
Each Trimble GeoXH operated using ESRI ArcPad configured such that all data would be captured and stored in the required GIS format. ArcPad enabled the bespoke data entry forms specific to the green area classifications, these forms were developed to be controlled so the required fields were populated throughout.
 
Crucially the development phase also focused on the use of automated check in and check out processes for all field staff, looking at a way to connect the field staff in Basildon to the data contained within a secure location on our in house servers. An overnight process would see the migration and merging of each field staff's set of user data scripted to combine and re-export the data for the start of the following day and thus avoiding any duplication of field work and providing backup of all project data. The collection of field data was undertaken by three technicians enabling the production of rigid project targets through out to ensure project deadlines were successfully achieved.

The Conclusion

Having a digital mapping solution has dramatically altered the way the Ground and Parks Maintenance team at Basildon BC manage their green area data in a number of ways including:

  • The time now saved responding to daily queries from the public, all of these queries can now be managed in real time, the Basildon BC server based green area geo database being available to key Ground and Parks Maintenance per- sonnel allowing the user to query, update and make notes to all surveyed data entries.
  • All future procurement of external maintenance contractors can now be accurately budgeted for as a result of the precise and efficient data collected.
  • Close and efficient monitoring of the external maintenance contract can now be achieved through the geo database and multiple users can make database notes and entries at any one time.
  • Extraction of key data and reports can now be produced to aid the ongoing field verification and office management of green data.
  • Providing Basildon BC with a digital solution has revolutionised the daily tasks of the Ground and Parks Maintenance team providing cost and time savings and efficiency to day to day requirements throughout the council department.

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