The National Trust recently migrated to ArcGIS. 1Spatial has supplied Geocortex Essentials as a solution for creating custom applications on top of the ArcGIS platform. With consultancy services from 1Spatial, the National Trust created a solution that has significantly streamlined its data collection and validation process for agricultural grant applications.
The National Trust was founded in 1895 to preserve the national heritage and open spaces of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (there is a separate National Trust for Scotland). Today it is the largest membership charity in the UK with 4.5 million members. The National Trust owns 250,000 hectares of land and 775 miles of coastline. It also protects and opens to the public over 350 historic houses, 284 gardens and 1357 scheduled ancient monuments. The charity relies on a number of sources for its income, including membership subscriptions, donations and legacies. Grants received from a range of statutory bodies are also an important source of funding.
Chris Cawser is Conservation Core Data Lead, responsible for geospatial data relating to the Trust’s land and properties. The National Trust recently migrated to Esri’s ArcGIS® platform with all geospatial data being stored in an Oracle® database.
“We are placing total control of data verification in the hands of the staff who have the knowledge about what is being collected. The whole data collection experience has improved massively for site monitors and it’s been really positively received. The use of Geocortex Essentials means we now avoid the ‘Are you sure this is correct?’ phone calls, which saves everyone’s time and reduces frustration.”
Agricultural grants are an important source of income for the charity. However, collecting the data necessary for annual grant applications was onerous and time-consuming. For England alone, there are 9,000 separate land parcels (subdivided into 15,000 land-use areas) to be surveyed, validated and updated. With heavy penalties for misreporting, data accuracy is critically important, but required many weeks of validation before grant applications could be submitted.
The National Trust Conservation Core Data team wanted to simplify the collection and validation of the geospatial data relating to the Trust’s land and properties. Bob Chell, Head of Consulting, 1Spatial explains, “The National Trust team wanted a more efficient solution that made best use of site monitors’ precious time, reduced the need for queries and re-surveys and also reduced the risk of errors and misreporting. Our experience of complex workflows meant we were able to solve these problems and give the team building blocks to re-use in other projects”.