StatMap Earthlight provided the functionality of a desktop GIS, delivered over the web, with an interface for once developed with users in mind.
We were looking for a replacement for our existing intranet GIS system and decided to look at three technologies: mainstream vendor, small start-up and open source. The latter was, at that time, in an undeveloped state and required a technician to develop. The former, whilst very powerful, were also limited in functionality without additional development. StatMap Earthlight not only provided the functionality of a desktop GIS, delivered over the web, with an interface for once developed with users in mind. StatMap Earthlight would also connect to our preferred PostGIS database. Importantly, all support and development would be undertaken by the supplier as part of the annual license.
A decision to procure was taken and the installation went very quickly and smoothly. Earthlight was such a hit within Brent that our problem became not one of promoting its use, but in managing the demand to use it! We had expert and novice users clamouring to have maps built and to learn how to use the myriad of functions. All a bit of a surprise when we had projected to introduce the ‘print a scale map’ functionality and then roll out additional uses.
We are about to enter our 4th year as StatMap users and looking forward to using Cluster and Aurora externally. Earthlight is our GIS of choice, and when combined with a spatial database, allows us to undertake the range of GIS related tasks, from simple mapping to complex spatial analyses. With an active user community and a receptive development team, the product is continually enhanced – so much so we were able to move to a virtual desktop and lose the desktop GIS in most instances.
Savings in licenses and enabling flexible working has brought on-going savings on top of the much reduced costs at the time of the original procurement.
Policy and Performance
… we’re able to create and tailor data to suit individual departments, sections and units – the majority of which have never used GIS …
After a lengthy open tendering and evaluation process, we chose StatMap’s Earthlight for our intranet-based Corporate GIS software. There was nothing which even remotely came close to matching the incredible capabilities of the software, particularly for the price; it was the ideal Corporate or Enterprise approach to software implementation that we’d been looking for. Since its installation, our corporate GIS user base – throughout our unitary authority – has expanded greatly as Earthlight has now allowed us to utilise and integrate data from systems throughout the Council. In short, we’re delighted with the outcome.
Increasingly we’re able to create and tailor data to suit individual departments, sections and units – the majority of which have never used GIS in their operations previously. Earthlight has provided them with a whole new perspective of looking at their data and is starting to improve working practices and resource allocation accordingly.
From an administration perspective: the Earthlight deployment was simple almost beyond belief, users and user groups are simple to set up with very powerful control capability over providing functionality and data access to those same users and groups. This is ideal for a large organisation, like local authorities, where control over all elements of the system – from data base design, data creation and data manipulation, access and deployment – are provided from once centralised system. From our experience so far, we anticipate that the Return on Investment for Earthlight will be very great, indeed.
All in all, Earthlight can only be described as ‘Amazing’ !
Information Systems Project Manager
East Lothian Council
Earthlight is user friendly and provides us with the ability to use a variety of analysis and reporting functions.
As a newly formed Joint Planning Unit commencing work on a Core Strategy, we needed GIS software which would be user friendly and provide us with the ability to use a variety of analysis and reporting functions. Earthlight provided both of these requests, as well as allowing us to develop it further to meet additional needs. This included the development of a reporting tool which we are using to assess potential development sites.
Due to the nature of our work, we wanted to present as much of our spatial data to the public as possible. Using Aurora alongside Earthlight has enabled us to make certain data available for the public to view in a quick and easy way, and also allows them to focus on areas of interest to them. One such dataset is the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment which, before Aurora, we would have had to provide numerous PDF maps. As this dataset gets updated annually, presenting it on Aurora also saves us a vast amount of time.
Overall, Earthlight and Aurora have been a pleasure to use.
Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee