Last week Dan Saunders attended the annual OSMA conference, held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. Here are some of his thoughts about the event.
The OSMA conference is a great event that seems to be growing in numbers every year, which really shows the increased interest in Geospatial in Scotland. The event started with a great keynote from David Henderson, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey GB, who spoke about how it is an exciting world at the moment and showed off numerous examples of how Ordnance Survey data has been used in Scotland. It was great to see an example of SIMD, which our TRACC software and speed data is used to create. The event really drove home how important data is becoming, and how it can be used to tell a story and help inform and make key decisions quickly and effectively.
The event also allowed me to catch up with existing clients – I had a brilliant chat with one of our NHS clients who were using TRACC to help aid public health in Scotland with vaccinations for new babies and looking at access for new parents. These have previously always been in GP surgeries, however there was no reason these could not be provided in a non-medical building. They looked at the most accessible places in the local towns and found the most accessible place was near the bus depot. They then contacted the local council who had buildings in that area and were able to relocate the service to a more accessible location.
We also spoke about the upcoming SIMD publication, hopefully due later this year. I found it interesting to hear how run times have reduced in our TRACC software since moving into a hosted cloud desktop, from taking several days to only taking a few hours. This shows the improvements available when you increase the processing resource available to TRACC with a server licence.
Finally, it was both great and sad to hear that Shona Nicol is leaving her role at the Scottish Government. I first met Shona many years ago when she was working on SIMD and it has been great seeing her rise through the ranks. During the speech at the end, great thanks was given for all she has done to help shape the OSMA and the upcoming PSGA really fighting for the view of Scotland, I wish her all the best in her new role looking after data standards, where I am sure she will do well!