Compass Informatics to provide new GIS for next population census

Posted by GIS talk On Saturday, June 21, 2008
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Digital mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) software developer Cadcorp has announced that its business partner in Ireland, Compass Informatics, has been awarded a contract by Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the supply, installation, implementation and on-going support of a new GIS based on Cadcorp SIS desktop and GeognoSIS web-based software.

The Cadcorp software will replace the CSO’s existing GIS facilities and enable the designation of Enumeration Areas (EAs) for census 2011 and the spatial coding of the 2011 census results to be carried out entirely digitally. It will also provide a map-based front-end for the presentation of census results via the web.

Designation of the 4,400 EAs for the last census in 2006 was carried out by CSO staff visually examining paper maps printed by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI). EA boundary revisions were marked on them in pen based on information from the GeoDirectory on new housing developments since 2002. These EA boundary revisions were then digitised by OSI and printed out for use by the CSO’s enumerators.

Going digital
The new Cadcorp SIS-based GIS will do away with the need for labour-intensive manual revision of paper maps, instead enabling the designation of EAs to be carried out directly on digital maps supplied by OSI. Individual map sheets for each of the approximately 5,000 EAs for census 2011 will then be made available on paper and in digital form to the census teams.

In addition to the new GIS, Compass Informatics is developing an application for field tracking the enumeration process. Supported by the new GIS and Korec Fast Map software, GPS-enabled Pocket PCs connected to bar-code readers will provide near real-time data on census form delivery and collection.

The tracking system will be tested using 10 units in 20 EAs, with the test focusing on technical, support and training issues and enumerator feedback. The census field system promises to be a first for census organisations in successfully delivering digital field solutions for the enumeration process.

“The new, Cadcorp SIS-based GIS that Compass Informatics is providing will not only streamline the way in which we carry out the census designation process,” said Aidan Punch, census director, Central Statistics Office. “It will also enable us to manage all enumeration area boundary data and associated vector and raster data in one central, multi-user GIS and will make up-to-date census information readily accessible over the Internet.”

“We are delighted that Compass Informatics has been selected to provide and develop the CSO’s new GIS,” said Mike O’Neil managing director, Cadcorp. “We are confident that the experts at Compass will deliver the application and the high level of support that the CSO expects and deserves.”

Led by Compass Informatics, the project team responsible for the successful delivery of CSO’s new GIS includes Compass partners Cadcorp and Korec.

Gearóid Ó Riain, managing director, Compass Informatics, said, “The systems delivered by the Compass team will play an important part in efficiently collecting, managing and sharing data from the CSO census of population. As Census 2011 approaches, they will be under heavy use and will show their particular value.”

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