Like so many councils around the UK, East Northamptonshire has relied upon old plotting sheets (stored in various and disparate locations) to support and make their planning decisions. Having had these maps scanned and geo-referenced, the council GIS team found their large file size a real problem especially when using them within other systems.

To provide the solution the council has purchased a licence of LizardTech’s GeoExpress 7.0 from the company’s European representative; Quarry One Eleven Ltd. GeoExpress will allow the council to convert all their image files into the industry-standard MrSID compression format. Since MrSID can provide up 95% visually-lossless reductions in the image file sizes, the council will see huge increases in the speed of delivery of the maps as well as markedly reducing the capacity required for their storage.

Mark Young, GIS Officer for the Council said of the purchase:“As some images (not just plotting sheets) can be large this has implications for customers with a slower internet connection who utilise our online mapping service, LocalView. As ENC aim to provide the best service to our customers wherever possible this should improve the user experience of the site. The image mosaics also load in a reduced time within ESRI’s ArcGIS and IDOX Uniform with no loss of resolution. The MrSID format also reduces the amount of storage required for these images.”