7 June 2021

Supporting effective national emergency planning, response and recovery in Northern Ireland

Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

“I am delighted that OSNI has been able to assist Northern Ireland’s emergency preparedness group through the provision of its data and expert GI services. This has been made possible by the combination of the Northern Ireland Mapping Agreement and Spatial NI, OSNI’s integrated mapping platform. It has been encouraging to see the innovative and strategic use of spatial data underpinning the work of emergency planners and responders in the current global crisis.”

Jim Lennon, Chief Survey Officer, Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

The Emergency Preparedness Group for Northern Ireland (EPGNI) leverages Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI) data and services through the Northern Ireland Mapping Agreement (NIMA) to develop and support an integrated spatial data infrastructure for effective national emergency planning, response and recovery.

Emergency planning is at the core of multiple public sector organisations in Northern Ireland (NI), each with a specific role and remit and working together through the EPGNI to deliver a coordinated national response to emergency events. In times of crisis, such as the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, access to authoritative spatial information is fundamental to situational awareness and effective decision making. By leveraging NIMA, EPGNI members are able to fully utilise OSNI’s mapping data, draw on the expert services of OSNI’s GI specialists, and harness the technology of Spatial NI – OSNI’s web-based spatial data infrastructure – to ensure an integrated and holistic approach to emergency planning, response and recovery in NI.


  • OSNI’s GI specialists advise on and work with EPGNI member organisations on best practices for data collection and management to facilitate accuracy and suitability of information.
  • In collaboration with EPGNI staff, OSNI’s GI specialists develop bespoke spatial datasets to augment and enhance existing information streams.
  • OSNI’s GI specialists advise on and support the development of data sharing and dissemination processes within EPGNI organisations so information is disseminated and accessible to appropriate stakeholders, including the public, when needed.
  • All EPGNI member organisations and their staff leverage OSNI’s mapping data products and, because of NIMA, the data is free at the point of use thereby reducing barriers to data access.
  • OSNI’s Spatial NI platform collects and shares necessary datasets to EPGNI members on demand and in an easily digestible format, facilitating better understanding and use by staff with varying levels of technical expertise.
  • Aggregating and disseminating authoritative datasets through Spatial NI, an integrated mapping platform with mapping and analytical functionality, informs situational awareness and supports effective decision making by emergency planners and responders.