We were commissioned in 2013 to develop a new public information website to host and share flood data. The data were produced by another JBA project for the Environment Agency (EA) to create an updated flood map for Surface Water which resulted in around 10 terabytes of spatial information. Since Flood Risk Regulations require flood risk information to be made publicly available, these data needed both to be hosted and made available in an easy to use format to the general public.
Due to the data complexity and the high amounts of computing resources required these could not be managed efficiently by existing EA services. We architected and developed the Map Viewing Service (MVS) to meet the demand.
The MVS is hosted on cloud-based technology from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which enables a more reliable, flexible and efficient infrastructure to be developed. Our cutting edge technology used for the MVS means that the resources required to meet user needs are available by constantly analysing the system and its performance. When more people are using it during the day, additional servers are added to the load balancer to meet demand and at night the server quantities are reduced, helping to provide cost savings. Our MVS system is self-healing in that, when a server cannot be reached because of a failure or internet connectivity problem, the system will restart that server (and move it to another data centre if required), to ensure reliability of the system. 24/7 system support is less important with this technology in place and uptime of the system is increased.
The MVS uses freely available open source software for its web GIS component in place of commercial grade software. This is following a general Government trend, enabling us to deliver more for less. In this project JBA was able to develop, host and maintain the solution for two years for the same price as just the licence costs required for a commercial software implementation.
The project was run and implemented using Government Digital Service (GDS) design principles.
For information on this project, contact Robert Berry on 01756 699500.