The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has published a Digital Mapping Toolkit to help parish and town councils understand the technology and its potential benefits.
It said the toolkit will provide them with an alternative approach to relying on their principal authorities for mapping support, reflecting the market trend for the relevant software to become cheaper and easier to use.
NALC has gone into a partnership with digital mapping software providers Parish Online and Pear Technology to promote the benefits and guide local councils through using the technology.
The toolkit provides a step-by-step guide on how to use digital mapping and highlights case studies of councils using it for purposes such plotting cemeteries, flood protection measures and mapping their assets.
Its features include a guide to getting started with a geographical information system, which includes signing up to the Public Sector Mapping Agreement, choosing a system, identifying the features to be mapped, arranging for training and talking to other users.
Among the potential benefits it identifies are savings in time and money, demonstrating the authority’s competency and working with partners more effectively.
Until recently, most local councils relied on principal authorities to provide mapping support. However, digital mapping software is getting much cheaper and easier to use, and NALC is encouraging all local councils to use it as best practice.
Writing in the toolkit’s foreword, NALC chair Councillor Sue Baxter says: “NALC hopes digital mapping will help build relationships between the different tiers of local government, business and community groups, and get them communicating about the local challenges facing communities.”
Image from NALC