It seems a long time ago since we updated you on the development of DataMapWales (former Lle), so following on from Sean Williams post in May last year, I would like to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on.
Before I go into that it’s probably best that I start by introducing myself. My name is Kevin and I joined Welsh Government in September and my role is to manage the future roadmap for DataMapWales. On a 2 year secondment from Neath Port Talbot Council, I’m excited to be given the opportunity to shape DataMapWales and make it something Wales can be proud of, and I believe a first of its kind in the UK.
I’ve worked in Local Government for over 37 years, and my portfolio includes geospatial technologies, Open source, software development and digital services, and I believe I bring an understanding of the issues and problems facing the Public Sector in Wales, which can be solved with DataMapWales. (it’s not all about me!…..)
Just to recap on what DataMapWales is and does;
In short, our vision is to create a single geospatial data source and processing platform for all public sector geospatial data in Wales. The aim is to produce a shared data platform for public bodies to be able to publish their data that enables everyone to access the data they need
So where have we been?
We all know that over the last few months our world has changed. At the time of our last blog the development team were making good progress and rolled the alpha version out at the beginning of the year. However, priorities changed, teams changed, where we work changed, everything changed. The team had to try and maintain momentum on development, but challenges had to be overcome; no longer working together physically, but still having to try and meet the project timelines. New teams, some of whom have never met face to face!
Luckily as a team we have been taking an agile approach to developing DataMapWales and were therefore in a good position to react to Covid-19. Obviously a pandemic is something we’d never really planned for however the work could quickly be adapted to produce Covid-19 intelligence support those most in need.
So, working with our external delivery partner we were able to incorporate over 600 datasets and make it available for over 150 users – DataMapWales was ready for action. The system supported a full range of services including Welsh Government, Local Authorities, Emergency services, NHS Wales, Public Health Wales and Military Planners.
What else are we up to?
It’s not all about responding to Covid-19. We are currently ploughing ahead with developing DataMapWales to support other areas. The first of which, is developing a DataMapWales app specifically for Active Travel.
There is a wide variety of uses lined up in the pipeline, spread across many disciplines and activities, ranging from supporting vulnerable people, planning, energy, fisheries, transport to name but a few.
We are currently working with Public Sector bodies to test our alpha version, and access is upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the general public, we will be releasing a beta version in January, further details will follow in the next blog update.
With a number of exciting and challenging developments coming up watch this space for the next instalment of the DataMapWales story!
Kevin Williams – DataMapWales Product Manager