Vic Education maps out schools

The Victorian Department of Education has selected a Web-based solution to project long-term enrolment figures for its 1608 schools and plan locations.

The department needed detailed spatial maps of the state that could be accessed quickly online by staff across the state.

Vincent Bok, manager of school planning at the department, said the existing solution did not provide detailed data and was too slow to access.

"The existing software couldn't cope with [increasing demand]. It was too inefficient," he said. "Our new solution is faster and produces better quality [results]."

Bok, who did not reveal costings, said the software took 18 months to roll out, with initial customization taking about six months. He said a number of solutions had been reviewed in the leadup to selection.

The software, called GeoPro and GeoMedia WebMap, from Intergraph, allows access to future planning and geographical data by staff at head office and at regional and metropolitan schools via the Internet.

However, this raised security concerns in the department's IT staff as available data is regarded as sensitive.

"One of the primary issues [for the IT department] was security... because data is accessed in a Web-based arena, it became vulnerable to attack. "We involved our IT staff throughout the entire process to minimize security issues."

Bok said he would change little about the selection and implementation of the software, adding that it will enhance the department's profile and help it cope with future demands.

Intergraph project manager, Pieter van Jaarsveld said while the integration was smooth, there were a number of glitches in transferring data from old software to GeoMedia.

"There were initial problems in transferring data; however, these were expected and far less than what we initially thought," he said.

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