MoD use of POI data in Olympics Field Books
Defence Geographic Centre (DGC) is the geospatial department of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It provides mapping and other geo information support to Defence operations, planning and training. In the GB context this relates to pre-deployment training and exercises on Defence Training Areas, management of the Defence Estate, and contingency support to the civilian authorities in case of emergencies.
DGC and The Olympics
The Olympics was an unusual project for DGC and provided Paul Gosling, DGC’s UK & Ireland Collection Manager with a fresh challenge in having to provide widespread Defence support to the safety and security operations. The Met. Police provided the lead for a body known as the Production Coordination Group (PCG): this brought together the geospatial experts from all organisations involved in Olympics safety and security - from data suppliers such as Ordnance Survey (OS), Olympic Delivery Authority, LOCOG and Transport for London, to users such as the Met. Police, MoD, British Transport Police and the wider intelligence community.
A key role for DGC
DGC’s primary function was to provide data and products to Defence customers. Following a review of support by US colleagues at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), to previous Olympics and other events DGC decided to create a product known as a ‘Field Book’.
The Field Book primarily contains a series of sections with a consistent display of information for each Olympic and Paralympic Venue.
Each section comprises an overview of the venue location using background mapping at 1:250,000, 1:50,000, and 1:10,000 scales, and two image plans showing the venue location and detail, together with a series of pages providing points of interest for specific locations in the vicinity of the venue.
- Railway stations
- Police stations
- Fire stations
- Shopping centres
- Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) sites
Further sections provided location overview image plans for Olympic Live Sites and major ports of entry (airports, ferry ports and international railway stations).
The series of points of interest maps were derived using Landmark POI data, as well as additional COMAH data purchased from Landmark and supplied with the POI ID to enable matching. Each point is numbered and listed in a table containing the location name, grid reference and postcode. DGC geographic research staff carried out a 100% verification exercise using additional sources and subsequently feedback was provided to Landmark on discrepancies which DGC discovered.
Whilst the product was created for a Defence requirement it was made available to the other organisations on the PCG and was subsequently used in a wide variety of safety and security locations during the planning phase. In addition, DGC produced a smaller format A4 version was produced to be more easily transportable during the operational phase.
A successful outcome
The Field Books were very well received and it is likely that these will be produced for future events, so continued access to POI data is critical for DGC to support these activities.