The wonderful world of mapping

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Being able to see a map of where you live or where you are going on your holiday is now taken for granted – Google has given us Google Maps with the amazing (if controversial) Street View. Microsoft are following (as usual) with their Bing mapping service with bird’s-eye photography (which is rather good, but totally upstaged by Google Street View).

Just to add to the fun all of this is also available on the go via iPhones and the like – very useful in my line of work as it allows aerial inspections when on site via google earth! I also love being able to google things and then find the way in Google Maps on my iPhone.

Well now the Government have launched a demo of their latest ‘great idea’.

The new online public assets ‘map’ locates over 180,000, often diverse, assets worth an estimated £385bn owned by almost 600 public sector bodies, including Central Government and 87 councils. It’s worth a look as the property owned is quite diverse and includes;

  • over 130 cafes and restaurants, more than 100 pubs, around 60 theatres, over forty hotels including three Holiday Inns, about 20 cinemas and one airport in Southend are listed; as well as
  • nearly 100 golf courses, almost 30 sports stadiums including Swindon Rugby Club, Swindon Town Football club and Aldershot Football Club, a handful of horse riding centres, and one sailing club.

The opportunities for efficient property asset management are obvious. Public sector asset wealth can be a two-edged sword but the production of an open online register should help local councils rationalise on management, maintenance and sharing of resources. It is also hoped that this will raise local community group awareness of what might be available for use in their vicinity.

This is therefore a good idea in principle, it fits into the Governments ‘open’ thinking – but as it stands I don’t believe it will be a great asset to us at work – time will tell!


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