1Spatial completes data interoperability consultation for English Heritage

May 31, 2011 -- 1Spatial is pleased to announce the successful completion of an assessment and technical recommendation project for English Heritage (EH) around data and system interoperability across the historic environment sector.

As the champion of England’s historic places and an advisor to Government on how to ensure that heritage continues to form a foundation for a successful modern society, one of English Heritage’s responsibilities is to assist local planning authorities in achieving compliance with Heritage Protection Reform (HPR) approaches and data interoperability. This includes interoperability between several organisations throughout the historic environment sector, from local planning authorities, through Historic Environment Records services (HERs), to English Heritage itself.

The purpose of the consultation exercise was, firstly, to assess both the current interoperability of data between local authority electronic planning systems and HERs and the compliance of that data with the MIDAS Heritage data standard and, secondly, to identify and communicate a vision for achieving full interoperability in future.

Once the functionality and tools used in existing electronic planning systems had been evaluated,  1Spatial Consultants then assessed the current compliance of EH data with MIDAS and subsequently submitted a ‘State of the Art Analysis’ report to EH. This report put forward a set of recommendations to ensure that accurate HPR information can be readily available at the point of need to those making planning decisions that rely on historic environment data, and will be used to establish a foundation for future interoperability strategy along with a clear action plan to achieve it.

The contract for the project was awarded following a competitive tendering process, with 1Spatial being selected because of its data-centric approach and its experience of working on similar business problems for public sector organisations such as the Environment Agency and Ordnance Survey.

Sarah Reilly, Project Manager at English Heritage said:

“1Spatial were selected because they demonstrated a clear understanding of the issues facing HERs and the Planning System and we were impressed by their data-centric approach to the design solution. The findings and recommendations in the report have proved very valuable and we are confident that implementing some of the recommendations will improve interoperability and consequently the ease and efficiency with which we can work in the Historic Environment sector. ”

John Hartshorn, Sales Manager for the Knowledge Sector at 1Spatial added:

“This project was a great example of what 1Spatial does well – we understand data and how to achieve best results from using that data.  We also pride ourselves on our close and open working relationships, and we welcome English Heritage onto our roll call of prestigious customers.”

About 1Spatial

1Spatial is an industry leader in the provision of intelligent data quality and integration solutions for organisations worldwide that need to trust their location-based information.  For more than 40 years, 1Spatial has been providing solutions and services to public and private sector organisations who handle high-volumes of business critical data.  By automating the transformation of complex and distributed data into accurate and valuable information, organisations can improve operational efficiently, reduce costs, manage compliance and improve decision making.   These solutions are delivered through its own sales and services team with headquarters in Cambridge, UK.  For more information, visit www.1spatial.com 

About English Heritage

English Heritage is the Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment. It is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Their principal powers and responsibilities are set out in the National Heritage Act (1983).


MIDAS is the UK data standard for information about the historic environment, developed for and on behalf of the Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH). It stands for Manual and Data Standard for Monument Inventories.

It states what information should be recorded to support effective sharing of the knowledge of the historic environment, and the long-term preservation of those records. It covers:

  • the individual assets that form the historic environment (buildings, archaeological sites, shipwrecks, areas of interest and artefacts)
  • the work that is undertaken to understand, protect and manage change to those assets
  • sources of further information


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