Case Study: Forestry Commission


Like many environmental organisations, the Forestry Commission drives a number of their key business services and applications using geospatial technologies and data. At the same time the rapid development of spatial technologies, coupled with the desire to further integrate the spatial element into mainstream business activities, meant that the Forestry Commission had a requirement to review their existing spatial data infrastructure.

A key requirement was that the chosen supplier was vendor agnostic.



Forestry Commission Information Services commissioned SCISYS to undertake consultancy work to assist in designing and planning the delivery of an open architecture as part of the Spatial Data Repository (SDR) upgrade programme.  The SDR is a platform that enables the delivery of a number of spatially enabled key business applications across the Forestry Commission including services, web and desktop based applications.

The services supplied by SCISYS included:

+ Review of current and likely future requirements for spatial data / services within the Forestry Commission

+ High level design of an open architecture for the implementation of the new SDR, including the integration of Open Source and proprietary products through the use of OGC based standards (e.g. WMS, WFS, WTS, WPS)

+ Provision of a Proof of Concept implemented on a cloud based platform and open technology to provide assurance for key components of the new open architecture and technology choices

+ Provision of an implementation Road Map, enabling the interface with existing commercially based products. The Road Map has been designed to be delivered using an agile methodology to deliver benefits quickly to the stakeholders



The benefits of the roadmap to Forestry Commission include:

+ The creation of a single open standards based spatial data repository that will feed all applications across the Forestry Commission

+ An implementation road map and associated timeline enabling the early delivery of artefacts allowing stakeholders and power users to engage in the technology upgrade processes

+ Early identification and reduction of risk via a Proof of Concept linked to the introduction of new technologies

+ A set of technology recommendations to increase adherence with the Government open agenda

+ Maximum practical re-use of the existing investment in geospatial technologies whilst delivering an open architecture that will keep open future technology choices

+ Potential cost savings through the use of open source components (especially for public-facing applications)


" Commenting on the assignment Bronwen Jackson, Head of IS Strategy and Architecture, said “the SCISYS consultants were extremely knowledgeable across a range of technologies and approaches. They have worked with us to develop a strategy and roadmap that breaks down a very complex legacy technology area into a clear way forward”. "

About SCISYS Group:

Employing around 670 staff, SCISYS Group is a leading developer of information and communications technology services, e-business, web and mobile applications, editorial newsroom solutions and advanced technology solutions. The Company operates in a broad spectrum of market sectors, including Media & Broadcast, Space, Government and Defence and Commercial sectors. SCISYS clients are predominantly blue-chip and public-sector organisations. Customers include the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Arqiva, Vodafone, the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, the BBC, Radio France, RTL, RNLI, Pets at Home, Siemens and the National Trust. The Company's registered office is in Dublin, with UK offices in Chippenham, Bristol, Leicester and Reading and German offices in Bochum, Dortmund, Darmstadt and Munich.