In 2010 the Forestry Commission and Natural England jointly commissioned Michell Computing to develop a bespoke application for collecting and presenting the potential for increasing tree cover across the north west of England. The data was divided into sub-regions by landscape type using Natural England's Character Area classifications. The potential within each of these Character Areas was compiled by working groups of local experts who were capable of making reasoned assessments of both the opportunities and constraints to woodland creation.
Subsequently, this project was considerably extended over the course of 2011 and then adopted as a national system. It is currently being used to compile the National Woodland Potential dataset for the whole of England. It is also the first commercial project undertaken by Michell Computing using an entirely open source licence. The application and the source code are now freely available on SourceForge.
The Homes and Communities Agency in 2008, commissioned a bespoke land management system to reduce their exposure to Commons Act (2007) applications. The Environment Partnership held the landholding management contract for the north of England and in collaboration with Michell Computing, designed a comprehensive suite of procedures and computer systems to fulfill this requirement.
This system was adopted by HCA and named Procura. The key software component was the bespoke field recording application. This was developed by Michell Computing based around our own mapping engine and GPS positioning software. Other elements included an ESRI ArcMap based reporting tool and a Microsoft Access based work management database. This system was also adopted in the southern region for use by RPS who held the contract there.
In 2011 HCA decided to consolidate the consultancy into one national contract. This was won by TEP who then re-engaged Michell Computing to migrate the two regional databases onto a new central system. The field inspection system was also considerably enhanced to encompass additional inspection procedures and to facilitate remote data transfers with the new central server.
Ecoservices UK, the consulting Ecologists for Castle Cement, commissioned Michell Computing to provide technical support for their field surveyors and construct an ArcMap-based GIS of biodiversity data acquired over several field seasons at the quarry. Heidelberg Cement, the parent company of Castle Cement, designated Cefn Mawr as their flagship biodiversity site in the UK based on account of the analysis and presentation of this data.
TEP have a complex and extensive range of internal management systems, written originally in Microsoft Access, that have continuously evolved for over a decade. Michell Computing was responsible for their maintenance for most of that period. Recently, these applications were migrated to a new Microsoft SQL Server-based system. Michell Computing oversaw the re-design of the databases and performed the actual migration of existing data.
This project was a cross-platform research system for Paul Michell's MSc Dissertation at Liverpool Hope University, where it was awarded a Distinction. The project looked at the feasibility of using parallel processing techniques to efficiently render landscape visualisations. It was designed to be compiled for both Microsoft Windows and Linux (with a GTK graphics library). It was also the first major development by Michell Computing undertaken entirely using Open Source tools.
The Environment Agency commissioned Michell Computing to design a data CD system to provide an auto-running GIS viewer program for a comprehensive survey of soil erosion in the north west Lake District. The resulting project CD was distributed to a wide range of interested organisations and landowners affected by this issue. It has been used to aid in the planning and co-ordination of remedial land management projects within the national park.
Sefton Council contracted The Environment Partnership's ecology team to perform a comprehensive botanical survey of the entire Sefton Coast. Michell Computing was commissioned to collate the field data for them into a MapInfo GIS dataset for final delivery. This project subsequently won the Landscape Institute Award for Landscape Sciences.
Michell Computing was commissioned by the Northwest Development Agency and the Forestry Commission to produce a GIS presentation tool for the Newlands dataset collated by The Environment Partnership. Michell Computing was solely responsible for the design and implementation of the software. This system was eventually used at the launch presentation for the Newlands project at the Palace of Westminster.
Originally written for Wigan Borough Council, but also adopted by the States of Jersey, the Phoenix work management system was a comprehensive management information database for Trading Standards officers. It was developed originally in Visual Basic, but then migrated to Microsoft Access. It was used successfully for over 10 years until it was replaced by an Environmental Health department wide system.