2023 SAG Award Winners


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Project Goal

The Atlas Project was part of Arup’s wider digital enablement programme with the goal to migrate on-premises IT infrastructure to the Cloud. Prior to the Atlas project, Arup had numerous regional Enterprise deployments set up over time as Arup grew its GIS capability. These systems were maintained by regional teams and operated independently from our central IT.
Atlas is Arup’s first Centralized Enterprise GIS platform. It offers:
A scalable environment to accommodate the growth of our geospatial business.
A platform available to all regions regardless of their historical geospatial capabilities, enabling greater access to geospatial tools and fostering collaboration
Better visibility and streamlining of running costs
Optimization of licenses
Improved data governance and management
Improved disaster recovery
Tighter integration with Arup’s Identification Management and Cyber Security team
Centralised first line support and the formation of a dedicated Enterprise GIS administration Team
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Business Problem Solved

The deployment off Atlas resolved a key problem which was accessibility to Enterprise GIS & associated geospatial tools. Another challenge that we looked to address was multiple versions of ESRI software across our Global system with the previous regionalised approach.
Since its initial deployment in 2021 users have gone from 3000 to over 11,000 users on over 650 global projects. Atlas has become an invaluable tool for the organisation to store, analyse & visualise geospatial data which we use to collaborate with our clients and partners.
We took the opportunity to centralise our approach, ensuring that licencing, versions and testing of updates was consistent globally, giving a base to deliver at scale.
Another key challenge was to give that non-geospatial professionals the ability to edit and create content to share with their clients. With support from our ESRI Training team we have created several inhouse training programmes which cover publishing, field working and story mapping.

Technology Implemented

Atlas consists of ArcGIS Portal, numerous high availability ArcGIS Servers, GPU accelerated Image Servers, SQL Server SDE, Azure Windows Virtual Desktop and a scalable NetApp storage solution.
We have developed automated deployment procedures to ensure consistency across the platform which are easily reconfigurable when upgrades are available. This approach has heavily optimised our upgrade procedure and enabled us to undertake detailed testing before releasing to production reducing downtime and business risk.
This extensive deployment is monitored by ArcGIS Monitor and Squaredup business intelligence tools which help us to monitor and troubleshoot the platform to ensure optimum performance.

Development Team Biography

-Damien McCloud, Director; Geospatial and Earth Observation. Damien championed the development to ensure that it was fit for purpose, maximising the tech investment, and delivering a solution that was deployable for our clients at the requisite speed and scale.
-Lee Virgo was Cloud Programme Director during the Atlas launch and was instrumental to sponsoring the project. Lee is now Head of Delivery in Arup’s Digital Technology Group reporting into the CTO and part of the wider Digital Technology Leadership Team.
-David Edmends led the development of Atlas and has subsequently taken up the role of product owner for the platform. With his almost 20 years of industry experience, he is currently developing a new geospatial analytics and management capability building on the success of Atlas.
-Leigh Chan and Mike Daly co-lead the Atlas SysOps team. They oversee automated deployment, Enterprise administration, and offer technical support to Arup’s desktop and enterprise users.