CASA Working Paper 16
1 December 1999
A Prototype Environmental Information System for London (London Environment Online or "LEO")
Current access to environmental information about London can be slow and tedious. This is because different organisations, (both private companies and public bodies) hold environmental information relating to London and rarely integrate this information. In some instances free public access to this information is not possible. In other situations, access is possible, but the information is often stored in a 'User unfriendly formaT'. This may be incomprehensiblE 'tabular data' or data that is stored in a format that requires the user to purchase specialist software before attempting to view the information. Environmental Information Systems aim to integrate and improve access to this information and provide a variety of tools and technologies to assist the management and use of environmentally related data and information.
This project aims to bring together some of this environmental data for London and provide access to it in an easier format. The main goal was to develop a prototype Environmental Information System for London. The system should demonstrate how it is possible to combine information and provide a greater insight into London's environmental situation. The system should also communicate environmental information about London to a potentially wide ranging audience in an easy to use and intuitive manner.
The outcome was London Environmental Information System or 'London Environment Online' (LEO) as it has been named. The naming includes the word 'Online' because it a new breed of Environmental Information System that operates over the Internet or World Wide Web. This addresses several issues since it allows a large number of people to access the system from a variety of locations. It also means that, although the core of the system depends upon expensive and powerful software packages, hardware and databases, the data within this can be used via a basic 'Internet Browser' or 'Web Browser'. Web Browsers are typically free and commonly used on most desktop computers around the world to day.
The report itself is directed to stakeholders involved in the monitoring and management of the London environment. This ranges from senior politicians and ministers responsible for implementing environmental policy to those collecting the basic data in the field and those responsible for storing and disseminating this information. Particularly, the document is directed at central and local government departments in their role as environmental decisionmakers and managers. It is also of interest to public watchdogs, community organisations and non-government organisations (NGO's) interested in tools for supplying environmental information.
This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 12.5MB.
Authors: Steve Evans
Publication Date: 1/12/1999