A better view

I’ve been meaning to point this out for a couple of weeks now, but haven’t got around to it. It seems that Walsall Council’s interactive map tool for planning and other geographic searches on their website has been upgraded, and now works far more intuitively.

Click the screenshot below to check it out.

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Look at all those planning records in Brownhills – fun for hours. Click on the screenshot to visit the site.


The map is easy to browse, and manipulate – but a little slow at times. each red enclosed space has a planning record attached – just click within it to see what’s listed. Notice there are also tools for other geographic information which are also useful: see the layers selection tool in the light blue box, top left.

The rest of the planning system is still as clunky as ever, but a surprising amount of information is held there. Perseverance is key, I’m afraid.

Also worth a look are the wonderful Environment Ageny public maps that cover a huge range of stuff – check them out here.

I particularly like the ones for landfill operations, pollution sources and incidents and groundwater. Have a play and see what you can find.

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4 Responses to A better view

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    Ah! Good old MapInfo.

  2. Clive says:

    More maps great. Nice one Bob.

  3. Andy Dennis says:

    This is a step along a hard road. My ex-colleagues have spent many years building the capacity to do this. True, they have not developed the software, but they have met with the software developers and contributed to its development for organisations like Walsall Council and others around the world. I think Jason is still there and he and his assistants have worked very hard and with considerable imagination to provide a service that maybe unparalleled. I won’t name other names, but I would encourage at least one to blow their own trumpet.

    Some readers may have watched the TV series “Permission Impossible … ” and seen the “trainee planner”. The system used by Walsall Council’s planning service provides, among other things, a comprehensive planning history so that the case officer will not make the mistake of not taking into account decisions, including appeals, on previous applications. In my opinion that particular officer, though he may have been star pupil at university, is not representative of the thoroughly professional planning service that you and I pay for. God forbid! But, local authority cuts really do put pressure on all council services …

  4. David Evans says:

    HI Bob
    thanks for the maps ..Very interesting

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