A great deal has happened since our last press release back in February 2009. One of our major tasks was to swap out Thomson Directories trade data in favour of our new supplier, 118 Information. This swap over was completed in December 2009 a full 3-months ahead of schedule. In addition to this the PointX team has also been busying themselves with numerous other activities to improve the data holding. These activities include:
1. Re-extraction of data from Ordnance Survey MasterMap
This is now an on-going process to improve our holding of landscape features that cannot be sourced anywhere else. Within this work some additional information has been made available such as providing the surface area of bodies of water. All data extracted in this way provides a feature and a grid coordinate but in future (December 2010 onwards) other location attributes will also be provided. These attributes will include the geographic county, an area post code (not full delivery post code as this would make no sense!), locality and where possible street name. It is hoped these attributes will assist customers wishing to use PointX data in a gazetteer of some kind.
2. New Datasets
PointX has not only swapped over its largest trade supply but also started incorporating data directly from the NHS for England, Scotland and Wales. Phil Alder (PointX General Manager) said, "This change over to NHS data does not make a significant improvement to our holding of health related services as our previous supply (Binley's) was actually very good. The reason for this change was essentially to get closer to the authoritative source of the data particularly as our largest customer base lies in government. As we are a key supplier for the Pan Government Agreement we felt it appropriate to sing from the same hymn sheet!"
In addition to the NHS data PointX has also introduced new fuel station data from the country's leading supplier in the industry, namely Experian Catalist. Previously PointX would gather data from its trade supplier and directly from the oil companies. Whilst this worked reasonably well it was recognised that a number of "independents" were missing particularly in the more remote locations in the land where the main suppliers rarely go.
In the December 2010 update PointX will include PayPoint locations. PayPoint is one of the UK's leading premier branded retail networks for the convenient local payment of household bills and mobile top-ups.
3. Classification and Record Field Changes
In December 2010 PointX will be releasing a revised classification scheme and records will also be reported with amended fields.
PointX tries to avoid making unnecessary changes to its classification system but every so often an overhaul of some kind becomes inevitable. With the swap over of the main trade supplier and the addition of some new datasets the time has come for such an overhaul. A download of the new classification system is available on the PointX web site so customers can see the changes well in advance of the release.
The output fields will also be amended in December 2010 to allow the provision of additional information. This will include a secondary set of coordinates to link the PointX feature to a road network and thus enable customers to use the data easier in routing applications. Other new data fields will include "Branding" and "Qualifiers". Branding should be fairly obvious e.g. McDonalds, Shell, Hilton etc, but the "Qualifier" probably needs a little explaining.
PointX will provide two new fields, one a Qualifier "type" and the other the Qualifier itself. For example, bus stop data will have the Qualifier Type as "SMS Code" and the Qualifier would be the code, say "twrgjpja", to text for information on bus arrivals/departures at that particular stop. Another Qualifier might be for cash machines to say whether the ATM is accessible to the public or not (a number of these might be in offices or other places not available for public access!) Sample data reflecting these enhancements will be made available in September 2010.
So despite the lack of news items for a period of time we hope you will see that the Team have been extremely busy. Should you need any further information please do not hesitate to Contact us.