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Essex County Council has tendered for a cloud-based geographic intelligence system (GIS) to replace the Oracle system it already uses.

Essex County Council has tendered for a cloud-based geographic intelligence system (GIS) to replace the Oracle system it already uses.

The GIS will be shared with other public bodies in eastern England, including NHS bodies; unitary, district, borough and parish councils; fire and rescue and police authorities; educational establishments; and other bodies.

A GIS is used to help successful decision making within local authorities but Essex admits its understanding of such systems is "poor", and that its existing system "does not provide value for money, lacks a coherent model for support, and is fragmented across many service areas", according to the tender document.

Essex County Council says the new GIS will replace its current Oracle Spatial “ViewEssex” platform. The new platform will be "re-usable and scalable to meet current and future requirements".

Essex says it wants a GIS that uses public open standards to enable it to avoid a proprietary locked-in system. It also wants to minimise the use of specialist GI applications like ArcGIS and MapInfo Professional to reduce costs.

The web-based platform will provide the capability for Essex County Council partners to share data. If partners need licences for specific datasets, or for software to access the datasets, they will be responsible for ensuring the appropriate licences are in place.
The estimated value of the contract has not been disclosed on the tender notice.

Earlier this year Essex County Council said it hoped to save £1.2 million a year with a framework agreement for next generation network (NGN) services, which would also be available to other public sector bodies in the region.