A SWIM Master Class Holds Lessons for GI - 03/02/2014


A belated Happy New Year to readers. We hope you had a relaxing break and that you were not affected by the midwinter floods. We congratulate Nigel Woof of MapAction and Keith Dugmore of the Demographic User Group on their New Year Honours – see page 8.

2014 should be interesting in many ways and our contributors should inspire you from the start. MapAction were called out to the Philippines in November and Nigel Woof gives us a graphic account of their mission and why he and the organisation he leads are deserving of an honour (page 24). Andy Coote reports from Africa and was clearly impressed with what he saw and heard in Addis Ababa at the GSDI and GIS Africa conferences (page 26). Bruce McCormack, president of EUROGI, also attended as an ambassador for the European GI industry – no doubt with both aid and trade in mind. But he challenges us in UK to become more involved with Europe (page 20) – after all we did provide the first two presidents of EUROGI and played a major role until AGI pulled out in the mid-noughties just as the INSPIRE Directive came into force. Talking of which, Kristin Warry has a few choice words on that Directive and how it is, or is not, being implemented in these islands on page 13.

From the Local Government Association we have a very detailed – but nontechnical and not specifically geospatial – article from Dr Tim Adams (page 10) on how our councils are voluntarily cooperating to make their business information more readily available – perhaps in contrast to how they are legally obliged to do the same for ‘geographical information’ under INSPIRE. Readers will note very similar issues being raised and can judge for themselves whether the stick or the carrot is most appropriate!

We are often told that our industry has too much jargon and too many acronyms. We would have a job to beat the EU’s involvement with aviation. I had to go down about five pages and to at least two websites to understand what the SESAR SWIM Master Class was all about. Even finding Single European Sky and System Wide Information Management really doesn’t get you very far. So I think we should take our hats off to Snowflake Software for being partners in both the winning and runnerup awards in this Master Class. Read more in our news section – suffice it to say that it’s all about making European flights safer, greener and on time more often!

Soon after you get this edition of GiSPro there will be an opportunity to find out how geographic information is (at last?) being taken seriously by the insurance industry. The GeoInsurance conference in London will show how GI can be useful to insurance companies for all aspects of their business from risk analysis to claims management. At the same time, the AGI is setting up its first ‘Insurance and Risk’ special interest group with a view to engage with the insurance and finance industries.

Postcodes may well feature in several editions this year. I hope none will be as distressing as may have been the case in the recent death of a girl in Cambridgeshire. An inquest will investigate a claim that paramedics were delayed by mistakenly being directed to RAF Wyton instead of RAF Brampton. The latter has recently been closed and it has been suggested that an error may have been caused by the two bases sharing a postcode. It is ironic that the major unit being moved is the Defence Geospatial Intelligence Fusion Centre (previously known as JARIC), which probably has more GI experts than almost anywhere else in the country.

I hope that high on your list of resolutions will be to read GiSPro as soon as it appears online or in print. Even more up to date is our Location Source website, which has new material at least every week. We wish you all a great 2014!

This article was published in GIS Professional February 2014

Last updated: 25/06/2019