Northern Ireland welcomes public sector cost and carbon savings

Spatial NI is poised to transform the way in which public sector organisations in Northern Ireland store and share information. It has the potential to deliver significant, sustainable cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint of government at the same time

.” Suzanne McLaughlin, GI Strategy Co-ordinator, Land and Property Services.

A new geospatial data platform, based on Esri technology, is set to dramatically improve efficiency and sustainability throughout the public sector in Northern Ireland. One government agency estimates that it will save £136,000 and 7.49 tonnes of carbon over three years by using the platform for one business process alone.

Land and Property Services (LPS), part of the Department of Finance and Personnel for Northern Ireland, has developed a strategic GIS platform for storing, managing and delivering location information to a broad user base. Called Spatial NI, this eagerly-awaited system will be used across the entire public sector in Northern Ireland and is expected to drive significant cost savings and productivity gains for many years to come.

Land and property services case study.jpg

LPS itself calculates that it will save over £136,000 in three years by publishing its data as web services on Spatial NI, rather than physically posting or delivering DVDs and hard drives of data to 170 separate organisations. Furthermore, use of Spatial NI will eliminate journeys of around 7,700 miles each year, creating an annual carbon saving of 2.49 tonnes.

The cost and carbon savings identified by LPS can also be achieved by other public sector bodies that routinely send out data to interested parties on DVDs or hard drives. These organisations can now effortlessly publish their data just once on Spatial NI, providing a single point of access and conserving time and resource as well as money. Recipients of data disks also stand to reduce costs, as they no longer have to load the DVDs issued, manage different data versions and invest in large hard drives to store the data. LPS calculates that public and private sector organisations can make operational and capital savings in the region of £500 to £3,500 per year by streaming the data they require on demand, rather than storing, managing and maintaining it in-house.

The Spatial NI platform was built with support from Esri Ireland and is based on Esri’s ArcGIS Server technology. For the first time in the history of Northern Ireland, this ground-breaking solution consolidates some key information from all 26 local authorities in Northern Ireland, all in one place.

For more information on how GIS can be used to improve your operational efficiency visit