AGI News


Ordnance Survey Open Data Workshop at Open Geospatial Belfast 13 May

What will be covered during the session:

The session will be entitled A practical introduction to OS OpenData”


It’s intended as an introduction to our range of OS OpenData products, and how to use them in a free and open source GIS.

Key learning outcomes:

  • How to download OS OpenData products
  • How to open OS OpenData products in QGIS
  • Using OS OpenData with other open data
  • Carrying out a spatial query in QGIS

Accommodate: Maximum 20

All delegates to provide their own laptop with wifi access and a USB port (we’ll package up the class materials, data and software on to USB sticks that we’ll be providing). Ideally, if delegates are able to pre-load the most recent version of QGIS onto their machines, well that would be beneficial.

The class materials that we’ll be running through, including data and links to the software needed are available on our website here -


Luke works in the Products and Innovation Group at Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s National Mapping Authority. In his role as Innovation Community & Event Manager, he plans and delivers campaigns that foster innovation in the market. He is also a member of the GeoVation team, which is a seed funding initiative run by Ordnance Survey that enables innovation through the promotion and use of geographic data. In addition to encouraging adoption of Ordnance Survey licensed datasets, Luke advocates the use of OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace amongst web and mobile developer communities.


The Association for Geographic Information Launches New Brand

As the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) reaches its 25th year the decision has been taken to undertake a rebranding exercise. The AGI has a considerable list of achievements over the past 25 years but it is imperative that the organisation does not rest on its laurels and looks forward to what it can achieve over the next 25 years.

The AGI is undertaking a lot of work to ensure continued success including wide consultation with its members and the wider industry on the organisation’s role, the launch of the Geo: Big 5 event series and the commissioning of a new website that will act as a content and engagement hub for members and the wider industry. To support this we wanted to add a visual statement of intent for our plans for the future.

The current logo has served its purpose but has become diluted through reuse which has reduced its effectiveness. The new brand will allow a tightening of this identity giving consistency across our communications.

The new AGI brand is much more than just a logo and extends to what we stand for, how we present ourselves and how we communicate. It will inform the design of our new site as well as the look of our events and our communications with members and the wider industry. The brand also enables the different groups of the AGI to maintain their separate identities whilst retaining overall consistency.

AGI Chair Anne Kemp commented:

With the use of spatial data now so widespread, it has been argued by some that AGI’s mission - “to maximise the use of geographic information (GI) for the benefit of the citizen, good governance and commerce” has been met–- if not exceeded. Who would have foreseen 25 years ago that locationally-enabled mobile devices would be deployed in so many different ways – both for public and private use?

And yet, that would seem to be the very reason why AGI is needed more than ever.  The potential to unlock the power of such a wide range of data now through location has brought many new players into the market – and whilst this convergence of expertise and focus has led to some remarkable breakthroughs, it also makes the importance of understanding the role of geography all the more crucial in being able to exploit the information in a consistent, reliable and comprehensible way.  We have much work to do to ensure that this happens – and to achieve this we need to ensure that we are influencing a much wider sphere than in the past.  That is what we are determined to do – and I believe our new logo serves us well in under-pinning the messaging and the activities which will ensure we get there.

You can find the AGI logo along with the brand guidelines and a Q&A on the rebranding on the new brand resources page


Data for Decisions Workshop

AGI Northern Ireland in association with AIRO (All-Island Research Observatory at NUI Maynooth) will be facilitating a Data for Decisions Workshop alongside the AGI Conference in Belfast. The conference “Open GeoSpatial” will run on Tuesday May 13th with the workshop on Monday May 12th.

The Data for Decisions 1 day workshop is aimed at developing skills in decision making using geographic data from the 2011 Census for both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. A new All-Island Atlas has recently been developed by the All-Island Research Observatory, NUI Maynooth and the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) as part of the Ireland Northern Ireland Cross-border Cooperation Observatory (INICCO-2) CrosSPlaN-2 funded research programme . The project is part-financed by the European Unions INTERREG IVA programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Part of the output for the project is the delivery of four 1-day 'Data for Decision' workshop based on the comparable cross border census data sitting within the Atlas. This is the third workshop with previous sessions hosted by the Border Region Authority and InterTradeIreland.

The workshop and is primarily aimed at planners, policy makers and decision makers and not GIS professionals. Delegates will gain an understanding of how they can use Geographic Data and use the Open Source QGIS (QGIS) package to improve evidence based planning decisions using the 2011 Census results. For more information see this flier.

The one day workshop is free to attend and is aimed at those with little or no GIS experience. The workshop will run in Belfast and 10 spaces are available. Attendees will need to supply their own laptop PC or Mac with ability to read USB drives. AIRO will contact attendees in the week prior to the event and provide details on QGIS downloads etc.

To register you place please contact Aoife Dowling at AIRO (


Geo: The Big 5 – Open Geospatial Programme released, Book Now

Following on from the hugely successful Future Cities event the programme for the next Geo Big 5 event has now been released. Hosted by AGI Northern Ireland and taking place in Belfast on 13 May the second event of the series will discuss the opportunities and challenges around Open Geospatial.

Highlights of the programme include Denise McKenzie from OGC, Caron Alexander: Director of Digital Services (Northern Ireland Civil Service) and Dr Tracey Lauriault National University of Ireland. As with the other Geo: Big 5 events there will be a second stream of best practice content and case studies. The full programme can be viewed here.

Delegate places are available for as little at 49+VAT for AGI members and you can book here

The rise of Open (source, data and standards) has had an undeniable impact on the geospatial sector spawning a host of new solutions and businesses each bringing a variety of benefits and challenges.

For more information on why this event is relevant to you wherever you operate in GI read our latest blog.

We also have a range of exhibitor options for organisations wanting to showcase their skills in the open arena. For more information please contact the AGI team.


BIM 4IUK Members free event – Flooding, drainage approval, asset management and SABs 

BIM 4IUK Members free event – Flooding, drainage approval, asset management and SABs

Tuesday 20th May 2014   Time 4 for 4.30 until 6.30

Ergon House, Horseferry Road, Westminster SW1P 2AL

Please register here

Once Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act is implemented all works affecting drainage are subject to approval by the newly formed SuDS Approval Bodies (SABs) and then most will be adopted by the SAB or highway Authority.

BIM is a fantastic opportunity and prime example of how the new mandatory sustainable drainage systems  can be efficiently and cost effectively managed through scheme appraisal, detailed design, approval, construction, and long term maintenance.

Who should attend?

  • Anyone involved in planning, designing, approving, or adopting external works.
  • Planners, Developers, Highway Authorities, EA, Local Authorities (SABS and Planners).
  • Numbers are limited to 30, if there is sufficient interest the event will be repeated at other venues.



  1. Introduction – BIM is an excellent opportunity to manage the SAB process throughout its lifecycle from assessment of opportunities and constraints, through design, construction and finally asset management – Chris Tyler – WSP – 10 minutes
  2. Data availability – EA experience of providing data in a format that is accessible and useable throughout the process – EA flood and groundwater map data is an asset – Karen Alford -  EA – 10 minutes 
  3. Design models – 3D drainage – spatial coordination – visualisation - clash checks – construction details – ease of approval – ease of construction – ease of as-builts – either Autodesk or Chris Tyler – 10 minutes
  4. Asset data bases – Register of SuDS Assets, maintenance planning – monitoring effectiveness – Chris Tyler 10 Minutes
  5. Questions –– 10 minutes
  6. Open Discussion - Chair Chris Tyler – 40 minutes
  7. Networking at pub


Further information by link….

Why attend?

  • Flooding is a complex mix of macro and micro systems.
  • Recent flood events have once again highlighted the need to quantify flood risk, assess the effectiveness of possible prevention systems and  evaluate their cost and benefits.  The process includes time lapse modelling of highly complex 3D federated models of the terrain, river, estuary and coastal areas and sewer systems.  The modellers are frequently reused and improved as more data and computing techniques evolve.  Thus they are a key  asset management tool.
  • Government policy for reducing risk in the long term is the mandatory introduction of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems).  These are local measures which must be approved by and then adopted and maintained by the Local Authority.


Why now?

  • Once Sch3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 is implemented,  all  works affecting drainage must be approved by the SuDS Approval Bodies within the Local Authorities. 
  • 3D design models with relevant attributes will facilitate technical approval and  be a valuable asset management tool.


What has it to with BIM4IUK?

  • BIM is about integrated multi-dimensional models for planning, design, construction and asset management.
  • BIM methodologies and cultures  are of immense value to all external works as well as building projects.
  • 3D models of existing terrain, reshaped landforms and flood protection barriers are used by Property Developers, The Highway Authorities, The Environment Agency, Lead Local Flood Authorities and now the SuDS Approval Bodies to quantify the depth, extent and likely incidence of flood risks and the impact of exceedence events.
  • BIM models allow users to interrogate SuDS for location, maintenance requirements, supplier details, stakeholder interests, Land Registry issues, notification of highways with special engineering requirements, etc
  • BIM Models are used to assess the effect of  future changes to flood protection

Book Now