When we embarked on the development of Agile GIS, our main aim was to reduce the cost of ownership of GIS technology for our customers. Taking on the world’s leading vendors in their specialist markets was never in our sights, but we could see the need for an alternative, open source solution in our Local Authority market sector.
Today, Agile GIS is a fully-fledged product that delivers flexible and intuitive GIS functionality for non-expert users, just as we hoped.
With a range of good-looking GIS products out there, what’s the appeal of Agile GIS? Agile customer, Oxfordshire County Council, share their thoughts.
Agile Applications and Oxfordshire County Council collaborate on Agile GIS project
“Our Planning team had been using an older Agile mapping solution for some time. It was reliable and functional but definitely not as easy to use as more modern GIS systems. We shopped around and considered the options offered by our corporate GIS supplier, but these were generally more expensive overall, especially taking services into account. We felt that an open source product would give us more scope for adding new web services and features in the future and that’s why we were keen to trial Agile’s new GIS”.
Agile GIS has been up and running now for 9 months and is fully integrated with the authority’s Agile Planning system. As with any new implementation, there were minor issues early on. These were quickly ironed out by Agile’s project management team who were in constant contact with Oxfordshire’s team to ensure that testing ran smoothly. The authority’s planning project manager worked closely with Agile’s GIS specialist throughout to get first-hand experience of new map maintenance, export and editing features.
“Agile’s positive attitude is a big plus and the product has been well received by the Planning team, so we’re pretty pleased with the end result. Our Planning team uses core data from our corporate GIS daily but we don’t expect them to be expert GIS users. The officers in the team have a range of experience, but it is important for all of them that the system is user-friendly and intuitive so that they can all pick it up as quickly as possible”.
Although Agile GIS is currently used primarily for intranet access to spatial data held in Oxfordshire’s corporate GIS, it gives Oxfordshire’s Planning team an easy route to create new perspectives on potential sites, by incorporating open data sets in Agile GIS generated maps, for example.
From Agile’s perspective, beyond technology benefits, our work with Oxfordshire has highlighted the importance of working in partnership with our customers and the value of our project planning process. In 2018, we’ll be pursuing our ambition to take the benefits of flexible GIS to collaborating departments beyond Planning, across our customer base and further afield so – watch this space!