Causeway Coast and Esri provide digital mapping to help local businesses and public

  • Photo: Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council COVID-19 Vulnerable and Isolated Persons GIS Dashboard.

    Geographic info specialists Esri Ireland have partnered with the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to create interactive info resources for the community throughout Covid-19.

    Built using Esri’s digital mapping software ArcGIS, the council launched an interactive Open for Business map, which shows what shops and services are available to the public throughout the borough.

    The map also shows business opening hours, delivery and collection information and what safety measures the business has in place, to further support local enterprises as they reopen.

    A Covid-19 information and advice hub also built using ArcGIS is available on the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council website.

    It homes a wide collection of resources with further help for local businesses, vulnerable members of society and the area’s wider community.

    The council’s Covid-19 Coordination Hub connects people to vital community support services and has had more than 1,200 referrals to date from Advice NI and the Northern and Western Health and Social Care Trusts.

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    Formed in 2015 following the merger of four different councils, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council provides public services to more 144,000 citizens throughout the region.

    Since its formation, the council has undergone a digital transformation of its services by working closely with Esri Ireland to implement GIS across the entire organisation, including help with boosting tourism through interactive guides.

    Pictured (L-R) are: Nial McSorely, Digital Services Manager, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; David Jackson, Chief Executive, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; and Philip McLaughlin, Client Manager, Esri Ireland.

    Esri’s software enables legal and finance teams to view all the council’s agreements, leases and licences on one secure platform, eliminating the need to review paper-based records, which both organisations say saves both time and money.

    Esri’s app, Survey123, enables field-workers to gather data on mobiles, tablets and laptops from anywhere in the borough. This information, for example on the condition of local facilities and amenities, can be made available to view across the entire council for analysis in real-time.

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    Philip McLaughlin, client manager at Esri Ireland, said: “COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of clear communication between local government and the public. Having already rolled out GIS across many functions, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council was well-placed to leverage the power of digital mapping to create numerous rich information resources that are proving incredibly helpful to local businesses and residents.

    “In both supporting people and businesses during Covid-19, as well as using GIS to transform its processes and services, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has shown what is possible for a local authority willing to transform how they engage and collaborate with their community.”

    Nial McSorley, digital services manager for the council added: “The biggest challenge for us as a council is in how to interpret the sheer volume of information that is available today. With Esri’s digital platform, we can compress all the different information channels into a single source, enabling us to meaningfully analyse and use data to make intelligent decisions.

    “As we look to move on responsibly from Covid-19 restrictions, we will again leverage digital mapping to stimulate local tourism and support the reopening of businesses. Beyond that, we will continue to roll out GIS to further areas in the council and ensure all members of our staff can access and use the platform to enhance every aspect of the public services we deliver.”

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    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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