The High Weald AONB Unit's ability to respond to organisations seeking facts and figures about the High Weald, or areas within it, has been improved dramatically as a result of new GIS models.
The new models will improve the team's efficiency in responding to requests for High Weald data as they can be run automatically by any staff member, as opposed to being run manually by the Unit's GIS Officer.
The Frant parish maps are a good example of a map that can be quickly generated using the new models.
The models have been developed in recognition of the fact that the Unit's data is often being queried in a similar way or a query repeated over and over. The Unit's GIS Officer has therefore written simple and complex models which tell the GIS to undertake a set of processes to answer common queries. The models are powerful tools - they allow monitoring of trends and generation of statistics quickly - which can be repeated year on year. The ability to do this means the statistics we produce follows the same method each time - making them more robust.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play an important part in the Unit's work - allowing us to view, manipulate and analyse spatial information. Often they are used to compare data by eye - overlaying a modern and historic map for example and looking for patterns but often we need to generate statistics as evidence of the patterns we are observing.