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News shots …. 2 June 2016



Loughborough Uni hooks up with Janet at Olympic Park

Loughborough University has become the first organisation to take up a connection to Janet, the network for research and education bodies, at the Olympic Park in London. It is using the network for a connection to its new London site, with bandwidth of up to 100 Gbps.

Professor Mike Caine, dean of Loughborough University London, said: “London is an important strategic location for us, allowing us to enhance our postgraduate offer. Having access to resilient, high capacity internet connectivity at our London campus is essential, and the Janet network delivers this.”

Here East, the Olympic Park’s former press and broadcast centre, is now directly connected to the core of the Janet network. A spokesperson for Jisc, the education sector’s digital services organisation that runs Janet, said it is a step towards the site becoming an education and cultural hub.


Bluesky updates National Tree Map

Aerial mapping company Bluesky is completing an update of the National Tree Map that identifies the location, height and canopy cover of more than 280 million trees around the country. The update covers large sections of East Anglia, the South-West, Midlands and North-East of England, amounting to 40,000 sq km and more than a quarter of the original dataset.

The company said that it has improved the algorithms used to reduce the human interaction needed to create and validate data, and improved tree detection with colour infrared data.

In addition, experts from the Met Office and University of Exeter Medical School have worked with Bluesky on developing species-specific maps of allergenic pollen to produce links between pollen exposure and allergic diseases such as asthma.

Scientists at Cranfield University are using the National Tree Map to analyse how the proximity of trees can affect sewers, and the University of Leicester is researching the role of trees in pollution dispersion.


Westminster wins award for parking tech

Westminster City Council has won one of the Corporate IT Forum’s Real IT Awards for its use of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems in helping disabled residents find a parking space. It picked up the prize for Innovation in Technology and was highly commended in two other categories.

The system uses bay sensors alongside RFID technology to guide disabled drivers towards empty spaces, and to validate permit holders, instantly alerting parking marshals to vehicles that should not be in the disabled spaces.

Councillor Heath Acton, the council’s cabinet member for sustainability and parking, said: “It is a testament to the innovative nature of our parking and IT staff looking to make life better for our residents.  We believe our smart parking systems make a real difference to motorists searching for a parking space in Westminster.”


Six councils sign for fraud and error service

A further six local authorities have signed up to use the CapacityGrid fraud and error reviews service. The company has not named all six but said they include the boroughs of Burnley, Redcar & Cleveland and Boston.

It said the managed service, which matches data from 25 external sources, is expected to save the six councils more than £1 million in correcting payments.


Picture from Bluesky

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