Accessing Public Sector Environmental Data and Information: Development and Demonstration of a National Portal

Accessing Public Sector Environmental Data and Information: Development and Demonstration of a National Portal

Chris Jarvis (Environment Agency, UK) and John Kupiec (Environment Agency, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-342-5.ch018
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This chapter highlights the importance that the Environment Agency places on the provision of information and the key part it plays in achieving environmental goals, an importance that is recognised in a range of national, European and international laws and agreements. The Agency is seeking to ensure that it meets the “letter” and, importantly, the spirit of all relevant legislation. To this end, our vision is environmental information freely available to all – quickly and easily, where and when people want it, and in a format to meet particular needs. The opportunities that present themselves in today’s “Information Age” are exciting and the potential to lever environmental benefit is great. The Agency’s track record in this field is already considerable, with five years’ experience of providing key environmental datasets through “What’s in Your Backyard?” – a GIS, Internet based national portal ( This system has been developed and extended to include a pollution inventory, flood plain maps, landfill sites and a range of other data layers. Members of the public can find information from a national level, right down to their local environment: locating areas of interest by postcode or place name, displaying data to a chosen scale, formulating individual queries on the datasets, gaining background on information of interest, and downloading data for their own use off-line. The key components in establishing such services are people, data and technical infrastructure. The Environment Agency’s National Centre for Environmental Data & Surveillance has developed a conceptual architecture within which these components can be effectively managed and brought to bear on the processes of delivering timely data and information products. This is a challenging task within large administrations where data collection, management and storage are widely distributed both geographically and organisationally. Experience to date has shown the approach to be flexible, reliable and scalable. We have also developed our understanding of why people want information and how they want to access it – and importantly why some people do not see the relevance of environmental information to them. We have therefore formulated a strategy to improve the flexibility and response of the services we provide. This strategy also includes developing highly tailored information services that feed off the same base datasets. The Agency has recently piloted just such a service aimed at residential house purchasers. This is an e-business service accessible by solicitors over the Internet, with individually tailored environmental reports generated and delivered in real time. There is the potential to develop similar tailored services wherever environmental information is, or should be, a key part of business activities and decisions. Future development will therefore not solely be making more information available in an electronic format. Information must be made relevant to particular needs at particular times. Citizens must be made aware of the wider environmental impacts of their consumer choices and the implications to themselves and others. They must also understand the real effect of the environment on their daily lives and why it is in their interest to be interested.

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Table of Contents
Lorenz M. Hilty, Eberhard K. Seifert, Rene Treibert
Chapter 1
Eberhard K. Seifert
ISO 14031 on “Environmental Performance Evaluation” (EPE) was released in late 1999 and published in Germany by DIN in early 2000 also as DIN EN ISO... Sample PDF
EPE According to ISO 14031: Concept, Experience, and Revision Issues
Chapter 2
Roland Hischier, Paul W. Gilgen
This article describes the importance of standardized, comprehensive and up-to-date life cycle inventory (LCI) databases for implementing policies... Sample PDF
Life Cycle Assessment Databases as Part of Sustainable Development Strategies: The Example of Ecoinvent
Chapter 3
Rolf Frischknecht
In late 2000 the project ecoinvent 2000 was officially launched. Several Swiss Federal Offices and research institutes of the ETH domain agreed on a... Sample PDF
Ecoinvent Database: Quality Control and User Interfaces for a Web-Based Life Cycle Assessment Database
Chapter 4
Hans-Dietrich Haasis, Gunnar Jurgens, Torsten Kriwald
Environmental protection in companies gains higher importance as the demand for information on environmental performance is rewarded by society... Sample PDF
Organisations Models and Information Systems for Production-Integrated Environmental Protection (OPUS)
Chapter 5
Jan Hedemann, Andreas Moller, Peter Muller-Beilschmidt, Dirk Rohdemann, Mario Schmidt, Bernd Schmitt
This chapter describes how information technology (IT) support for industrial ecology can be integrated in a workplace environment, providing a... Sample PDF
Integration of Material Flow Management Tools in Workplace Environments
Chapter 6
Stefan Enzler, Helmut Krcmar, Roland Pfenning, Wolfgang Scheide, Markus Strobel
The point of departure for ECO Rapid is the assumption that environmental management instruments have been perfected, but they will only be able to... Sample PDF
Eco-Efficient Controlling of Material Flows with Flow Cost Accounting: ERP-Based Solutions of the ECO Rapid Project
Chapter 7
Catherine Houstis, Spyros Lalis, Emmanuel Vavalis, Marios Pitikakis, George V. Vasilakis
An advanced eScience middleware system is designed and implemented (the middleware has been developed within the ARION project, IST-2000-25289... Sample PDF
Advanced Middleware for eScience Applied to Environmental Integrated Systems
Chapter 8
Bernd Page, Volker Wohlgemuth
This chapter outlines Material Flow Networks as a special modelling approach in the context of ecobalancing, that is, for modelling the... Sample PDF
Linking Economic Optimisation and Simulation Models to Environmental Material Flow Networks for Ecoefficiency
Chapter 9
Justus von Geibler, Michael Kuhndt, Volker Turk
This chapter concentrates on the environmental impacts of the increasing use of the Internet. It highlights that the Internet and Internet... Sample PDF
Virtual Networking without a Backpack? Resource Consumption of Information Technologies
Chapter 10
Aldo de Moor, Rolf Kleef
Computer-mediated discussion processes play an important role in achieving sustainable development. However, when part of authoring complex... Sample PDF
A Social Context Model for Discussion Process Analysis
Chapter 11
Uwe Schneidewing
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have direct and indirect effects on sustainability. The direct effects are linked to the material... Sample PDF
E-Organization and the Sustainable Information Society
Chapter 12
Ralf Isenmann
Corporate environmental reporting using the Internet – especially the WWW – is a rapidly emerging and increasingly popular method. Today, online... Sample PDF
Corporate Sustainability Reporting: A Case for the Internet
Chapter 13
Martin Kreeb, Werner Schulz, Christof Vosseler, Helmut Krcmar, Annette Rudel
Ecoradar ( / is the name of an innovative Internet portal that sets out to use the simplest and most persuasive... Sample PDF
Web Portals: A Tool for Environmental Management
Chapter 14
Alfred Posch
Industrial recycling networks are very effective in minimizing impact on the environment by building up closed loops of material and energy use... Sample PDF
From "Industrial Symbiosis" to "Sustainability Networks"
Chapter 15
Stefan Naumann
In this chapter we describe the “eFood-Coop” software system that supports an eco-community in ordering, purchasing and delivering organic products... Sample PDF
Information Systems for Co-Operative Procurement of Organic Food as a Basis for Decentralised Eco-Villages
Chapter 16
Simon Giesecke, Gerriet Reents
In this chapter, we present the Web-based carpooling system ORISS, which was initially developed by a student project group at University of... Sample PDF
ORISS: A Web-Based Carpooling System
Chapter 17
Thomas Rose, Gertraud Peinel, Kostas Karatzas, Per Henrik Johansen, Jon Erik Lindberg
Citizens call for timely and high-quality environmental information for reasons of awareness and personal well-being. Only an informed citizen will... Sample PDF
Citizen-Centered Environmental Information Dissemination via Multiple Information Channels
Chapter 18
Chris Jarvis, John Kupiec
This chapter highlights the importance that the Environment Agency places on the provision of information and the key part it plays in achieving... Sample PDF
Accessing Public Sector Environmental Data and Information: Development and Demonstration of a National Portal
Chapter 19
Werner Strauss, Klaus-Dieter Herrmann, Christoph Roenick
This chapter will show how the demands on safety, environmental and quality management systems and their implementation into IT solutions have... Sample PDF
The Integration of Safety, Environmental and Quality Management Systems
Chapter 20
Stefan Braker
For many organisations the present status of integration of management systems raises the question where the development goes and whether there are... Sample PDF
Support of Integrated Management Systems by the Use of In-Plant Information, Management and Monitoring Systems
Chapter 21
Walter Hurster, Klaus Bieber, Bruno Klahn, Reinhard Micheler, Thomas Wilbois, Roland Obrecht, Fritz Schmidt
The technical implementation of a new remote monitoring system for nuclear power plants is described in this chapter as an example of a modern... Sample PDF
Remote Monitoring of Nuclear Power Plants in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Chapter 22
Nektarios Chrysoulakis, Poulicos Prastacos, Constantinos Cartalis
In this study, a GIS based decision support tool is proposed for the support of technological risk management by integrating moderate and high... Sample PDF
Development of a Decision Support Tool for Technological Risk Management with Remote Sensing and GIS
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