The Crown Estate receives Special Achievement Award for exceptional application of geography technology

The Crown Estate has received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the 30th Annual Esri International Users Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California.

14 July 2010

We received this honour for our vision, leadership and innovative use of Esri's geographic information system (GIS) technology in mapping the potential of UK waters for marine renewable energy using our Marine Resource System (MaRS) spatial planning tool. The Crown Estate was selected from more than 300,000 organisations worldwide.

The award recognises the value MaRS can bring through improved planning in the marine environment. Robust, evidence based spatial planning reduces the potential for conflict between competing activities and creates a more certain climate for investment.

Dr Tim Norman, senior manager planning, at The Crown Estate said: "The Crown Estate has invested in the development of a cutting edge spatial planning tool, MaRS, to help us manage our estate sustainably. We now have a more comprehensive understanding of the UK marine environment, the economic value of our marine estate and the often competing interests of marine users.  This international award is follows on from our earlier Esri UK award for 2010 Return on Investment. It's great to be recognised internationally for our efforts."

MaRS is built on an ESRI software platform and currently stores, manages and processes over 500 layers of UK marine data. We use the tool to plan our marine activities through the identification of development opportunity and constraints taking account of marine policies and an evaluation of the environmental and financial sustainability of proposed activities.  MaRS is a place where a constructive dialogue with our stakeholders can be facilitated.

In planning for the long term sustainable use of the marine environment we hope to demonstrate our good stewardship of this national asset whilst maximising is economic return to the UK.