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September 3rd, 2019
Geoxphere and Loose Goat launch tools bringing XMAP Cloud GIS and QGIS together for Local Government

The latest release of XMAP brings functionality that allows Local Government to view and edit map layers stored on their XMAP database directly in QGIS.

This release makes handling GIS data across an organisation much easier, blending the ease-of-use from XMAP with the complex data manipulation tool from QGIS.

XMAP has been a great success in Local Government with many Local Authorities adopting it to share and edit spatial data to everyone within an organisation. Creating this single-source-of-truth has accelerated the fixing of data errors and made departments using the data more efficient and informed. This new functionality gives hardened GIS Professionals access to the advanced tools within QGIS when needed.

The automatically-generated .qlr file in XMAP allows QGIS to create a secure connection to the cloud-based XMAP database, allowing for complex edits to be made. Of course, this is all controlled through the XMAP Admin Panel, giving the account administrator control over what layers can be accessed in this way.

Easy links in XMAP Admin Panel to get layer credentials

Simon Miles, Director of Loose Goat – a GIS consultancy based in Woking specialising in open technologies – explains how their collaboration with Geoxphere has helped result in this new architecture;

“Combining Loose Goat’s expertise in QGIS and Geoxphere’s powerful web architecture we’ve been able to solve a problem that faces many Local Authorities; making spatial data accessible and easy to work with.

With this new functionality, users of GIS data can now choose the right tool for the job in hand. If they’re mostly readers of data and need quick and easy printing, measuring, address searching and layer querying tools then XMAP is perfect. However, if they need to do something more complex then utilising the power of QGIS with the support of XMAP’s cloud database is a great way to get complex jobs done”.

The same layer viewed in XMAP and through QGIS

One of the first beneficiaries of this new feature is Ashley Crow from North East Derbyshire District Council, a long-time user of XMAP:

“This new update will be a triple-win for us. We’ll be able to give QGIS to advanced GIS users whilst retaining a single-source-of-truth, we can reduce the number of MapInfo and ArcGIS licences, and reduce the number of locally-hosted shapefiles by utilising the XMAP database instead. And as a bonus, this extra feature is included in our XMAP subscription so it can save money for the Council in real terms.”

“We’ve been using XMAP for over 7 years now and we’ve reaped the benefits of a resilient cloud-based system where users know where they can find the latest data to solve their daily problems.”

Chris Mewse from Geoxphere comments on the new features available in XMAP:

“This is an important update for XMAP. It completes the circle where spatial data can flow between desktop GIS and our cloud architecture. It’s also one step closer to our vision of providing seamless and (where applicable) open data flows.”

“In a time where Local Authorities are increasingly asked to do more for less, it’s right that our software services do the same. When we release these new features we want to see them out in the wild being used so we can be confident our valued customers are really are getting great value for money.”

XMAP is available for Local Authorities with a fully-featured 6 month free trial so any department can sign up to test out these new features. For a quote or demonstration of any of XMAP’s functionality, including this new QGIS connection, please get in touch through [email protected] or give us a ring on 02034 114 544.