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In brief …. 17 March 2016



Bluesky launches Soil Map

Aerial mapping company Bluesky and Cranfield University have launched an online map showing soil types across England and Wales.

The National Soil Map has been created from soil datasets produced by the university and is designed to inform decision-making in a wide range of applications, from land and infrastructure management to construction, habitat assessment and agriculture. It combines Cranfield’s NATMAPvector soil dataset, which lists almost 300 soil associations, with the more simplified Soilscapes product.

Dr Timothy Farewell, senior research fellow at the Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute, said: “The source data for the Bluesky version of the National Soil Map is the result of more than 60 years of soil survey work and took over 200 man years to create. Our soil data is already in use by most major water companies, many consultants and government bodies.”

DWP director becomes BCS president

A long standing public sector IT professional has become president of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Ray Long is currently a director of the Department for Work and Pensions and has had past roles in the Department for Health and Social Security, Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, the Cabinet Office and HM Revenue & Customs. He was also director of the NHS Choose and Book service.

He said: “I will also be using my term as president to promote my personal interest in driving up the success rate of IT projects, with a positive focus on what we know to be the critical factors in delivering successful outcomes.”

Paul Martynenko, vice president and technical executive for IBM in Europe, has been appointed vice president of the BCS.

Amber Valley looks at online lottery

Amber Valley Borough Council is considering a proposal to add a weekly lottery to its online services. A spokesperson said the proposal is currently at discussion stage within the council.

It would involve a weekly prize of £20,000 from a £1 entry of six numbers, and to donate half of the revenues to good causes., according to a report in The Belper News. The move would require the council to seek approval from the Gambling Commission.

Council leader Alan Cox was quoted as saying: “Various charities will have the opportunity to register for donations. By signing up they would have their own web page for the lottery helping them in engaging players and raising income. The power will be with the player. They will have the option to actually choose where they would like the proceeds to go when they purchase a ticket.”

System C and IMMJ Systems team up

Two healthcare software companies have signed a partnership agreement to integrate their systems for NHS organisations. System C will combine its MediViewer electronic document management with IMMJ Systems' Medway electronic patient record.

They said the integration will make it possible to launch MediViewer from within Medway and for users to access patient-related documentation from multiple sources.

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