Data Management Framwork

Network Rail Web, Data management, Mapping

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Network Rail approached JBA to set up a data storage web application that could host and enable centralised access to around 2TB of portable document format (PDF) documents and images. The documents had previously been hard to locate and access as well as being difficult to know which structures they were associated with.

We were able to extract structural and spatial information from half a million documents and create a database to allow these to be queried and located.

We set up a site with a simple, clean mapping interface that allowed Network Rail staff to search for documents either by railway location (line reference and mileage) or by postcode or address. Documents could be viewed as thumbnails or downloaded for local use.

Key site characteristics:

  • Open-source components: MapServer, OpenStreetMap, OpenLayers, jQuery
  • Very large store of media files (images and PDFs)
  • Thumbnail viewer for all media
  • User-contributed data through forms and uploads
  • Support, maintenance and hosting.

The site uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure with a load balancer in front of the application servers and the data stored on a separate database server. Amazon S3 file storage was used for holding the documents themselves.

For information on this project, contact Roger Winterbottom on 01756 699500.