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Intergraphs GeoMedia Services is an on line service supplying geospatial (map-based) information from government agencies and private data providers.

It is estimated that around 80% of all government and agency records are geospatially referenced in some way. The government holds some 580 data sets, many of which are being converted from paper-based systems into digital form.

The GeoMedia service was developed in response to the governments National Geospatial Data Framework initiative, which is intended to develop IT strategy for the next decade. The framework defines the standards to which all government organisations will work in order to make information available to the public.

GIS data can be made available over an intranet or the Internet, providing users with access to geographical data using a standard Web browser.

The GeoMedia Services British Borehole Catalogue was the first service available and opened last summer. Developed in partnership with British Geological Survey, and originally available on CD-ROM in 1995, the Internet service provides access to over 600,000 borehole logs throughout the UK. The next development, expected very soon, is access to English Natures Sites of Special Scientific Interest data set. Data will be supplied digitally in a variety of formats allowing SSSI information to be used by engineers in their own GIS software.

The boreholes are from site investigations, mineral exploration, water extraction, hydrocarbon exploration; geothermal energy and monitoring. They range in length from around 2m to 3km. Users key in an address, postcode, map reference or town name, and the relevant section of the OS map appears on screen. There is no loss of definition when zooming in to an area of interest.

Once the Web site has been called up, users are given a user name and password which allows browsing of the information for no charge. Relevant borehole logs can be selected, and copies ordered of the original records held in the BGS archive. Once the information required is found, a virtual shopping basket is used to store the data and then users can confirm the order and fill in an electronic order form on screen.

At the moment, orders are processed and the data dispatched, together with an invoice via conventional post.

Intergraph says that in the future, complete on line shopping will be available, with orders made on screen with a credit card via secure electronic transaction and the information sent electronically. The GeoMedia services home page is at www.geomediaservices.co.uk.

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