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How Waterford City & County Council's Aerial Mapping is Boosting Tree Cover

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Waterford City and County Council, as the governing body responsible for the Waterford City and County Administration area, plays a pivotal role in managing: Economic Development, Housing, Community and Emergency Services, Planning, Corporate, Culture, HR & Information Services as well as Roads, Water, and the Environment.

FME, a versatile solution from Safe Software, powers the flow of data from multiple applications across the organisation, streamlining operations and boosting efficiencies. One recent and noteworthy project in which FME has been instrumental in supporting is the “Bluesky National Tree Mapping Project”.  This initiative involves commissioning aerial photography periodically, to capture images of the city and county.  In the most recent data collection phase, the council focused on gathering information on tree coverage across the county.

The objectives behind this endeavour were twofold. Firstly, the council aimed to support the development plan by identifying the locations of trees. This information is vital for zoning and planning activities, particularly in granting planning permissions within the city and county. Preserving and safeguarding trees is a key aspect of the development plan.

Secondly, this project served to establish a baseline for the city and county’s trees in the context of a comprehensive carbon reduction plan. It was also a stepping stone towards future tree planting initiatives.  In this regard, FME played a crucial role in collecting, managing, and analysing data.

Waterford City & County Council

FME’s capabilities enabled the council to gauge tree canopy coverage within the city’s defined area. By employing FME workspaces, it was confirmed that the city had 12% tree coverage.  This insight allowed the council to identify potential areas for future tree planting by overlaying development plan zones and public lands.  An ambitious target of 20% tree coverage was then set for the city area.

Waterford City and County Council relies extensively on FME to synchronise and establish a single source of accurate data across the organisation.  Scheduled FME workspaces are designed to enrich and consolidate data from enterprise databases, making it readily available on maps for staff use.

Additionally, FME is employed for processing planning applications. The platform integrates with the enterprise planning application system, presenting planning application locations to staff so they can make decisions and facilitate information access to the public.

This approach instils confidence in data quality by ensuring that information is derived from a single source. Nightly and sometimes hourly schedules ensure that data is consistently extracted, presented across the organisation, and delivered with efficiency.

FME has proved invaluable in enhancing multiple projects and processes within the council, saving staff time, and allowing them to apply their knowledge effectively. The overarching challenge has always been to find more efficient and smarter ways of conducting tasks. Over the years, FME has evolved from merely translating data to automating processes and improving analysis.  It empowers the council to innovate, enhance traditional workflows, and achieve remarkable efficiencies with a relatively small team of dedicated users.

FME has become an indispensable solution, central to daily operations and continually evolving to open new possibilities for projects.  Its adaptability and effectiveness have led to it being a core component of the council’s work.  FME’s value is evident in its contribution to the organisation’s success and continuous progress.

The potential applications of FME are indeed boundless. Its continuous evolution and user-friendly interface make it an integral part of the work environment, offering opportunities for innovation and improved project outcomes.  The council enthusiastically endorses FME for its instrumental role in achieving their objectives.

Bluesky International is a leading aerial survey and geographic data company, producing and maintaining high quality, accurate digital aerial photography, and height data on a national scale in Ireland and the UK.

IMGS have been working closely with our partner Safe Software for over two decades.  During this time, IMGS have delivered award winning projects using the FME integration platform for local authorities, government agencies, utilities, and communication organisations.

IMGS is recognised globally as an authorised Gold Partner.  This permits us to sell, install and configure FME Form, Flow and Flow Hosted.  We are also authorised to provide training, technical support and professional services for the FME Integration Platform.

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