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Introducing GIS at Ryder Landscape Consultants

Last autumn we added GIS  to our software suite at Ryder Landscape Consultants and we thought it would be good to write a short blog entry  about GIS and how we are using it at Ryder Landscape Consultants.

Our Assistant  Landscape Architect Laura Mason’s background is in GIS and environmental studies and she has created the below image as a short explanation as to what GIS is and what it can do. Laura has also provided a brief  overview of how we use the software in our day to day workings and how we have found the integration of GIS with the other software we use.

A short introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A short introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

How have we used GIS?

We have used GIS in Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIAs) to analyse environmental designation data and to create LVIA figures.  Through using GIS we have been able to make the most of openly available spatial data sets applicable in LVIA assessments.  We have also used GIS in combination with other software to create annotated mapping for reports and tenders.

Integration with other software 

In the office we use AutoCAD and Adobe Creative Suite and have found the movement of data between these software suits and our new GIS software (ESRI ArcGIS ArcMap) to be relatively straight forward. When we run and analyse Zones of Theoretical Visibility (ZTVs), we use AutoCAD KeyTERRA-FIRMA and ArcGIS in combination to make the most of the different capabilities of each software in the process of ZTV production and analysis.

What we like about GIS  

It’s quick! Well, we like the fact that when we have data from various sources sharing the same geographical information the overlay is speedy. We also quite like how it is relatively easy to export information to AutoCAD and vice versa (On a slightly geeky note, Laura quite likes how it can handle polygons with a hole in the middle of  them).

What we hope to do next

So far we have trialled it on fairly small projects, but we are now looking to make the most of its capabilities and start using it in larger projects where its database functionality and ability to handle large datasets will be useful.