Pobal Maps Redevelopment – Pobal

Compass Informatics supported Pobal in the redevelopment of Pobal Maps in 2015 – The solution has not had significant updates since then, in both application development and hosted infrastructure. 

Compass was engaged with Pobal in November 2022 to upgrade of their GIS Environment and modernise the Pobal Maps Solution.

The old GIS Environment that Compass built in 2015 consists of an ArcGIS Online Account with two ArcGIS Desktop licences and ArcGIS Server 10.4.1. 

Pobal Maps landing page (Pobalmaps.ie) had six external facing Web Applications published from ArcGIS Online:

  1. Childcare Services- Find A Childcare Service
  2. Deprivation- Pobal HP Deprivation Indices
  3. General Data- Access general administrative and transport data
  4. Geo-Profiling- Generate demographic and deprivation analytical reports
  5. Pobal Services- Access a range of Pobal funded programmes
  6. DYCA- Dept. Children and Youth Affairs

About Pobal

Pobal works on behalf of the government, and in conjunction with communities and local agencies, to support social inclusion and local and community development.

They do this by managing funding and providing support for circa 41 programmes, schemes and services in the areas of Social Inclusion and Equality, Inclusive Employment & Enterprise, and Early Learning & Care. Allocating circa €901 million in 2022.

Pobal are also the main custodians of Pobal Maps that was developed by Compass in 2015.

Pobal Maps is a free Geographical Information System which provides a range of functions, such as area deprivation profiling, details of childcare services, plus a range of other funded services throughout the Republic of Ireland.

Project Requirements

Compass was engaged to upgrade the Pobal environment to ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9. which provides a significant additional range of functionality ‘out of the box’.

This includes functions such as analytics dashboards integrated with mapping functionality and an Enterprise Sites landing page, ArcGIS 10.9.1 also offers improved performance security and integration with other line of business applications.

In addition to the Enterprise upgrade Compass redeveloped the current Pobal Web Apps, running a data refresh work package and application transfer analysis for the migration.

Compass’ Solution – Pobal Maps Redevelopment

For Compass Informatics to deliver on the requirements, a number of work streams were identified each with associated objectives as follows:

  1. Infrastructure Upgrade
  2. Data Management
  3. Data Migration
  4. Redevelopment of Applications

Infrastructure Upgrade

The Infrastructure Upgrade established robust infrastructure to support the upgraded Pobal Maps system.

This included setting up On Premises Virtual Machines (VM’s) for both a ‘UAT’ and ‘Production’ Environments for ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 with the addition of new SQL Server Databases.

Compass Informatics was solely responsible for Technical Architecture and Solution Design.

Data Management

The Data Management work stream ensured  the reliability and quality of the data within the upgraded Pobal Maps system.

This involved extensive cleaning and refining existing data to suit the needs of the new applications and also a thorough audit to identify inconsistencies or errors that were introduced since Compass developed the previous maps solution.

A data normalisation task was undertaken to ensure consistent formats and structures  for the new analytical dashboard to allow the seamless update of Childcare Services data from various sources.

Data Migration

The Data Migration component involved migrating  the GIS and associated integration from an old server to a new the new SQL Server Database.

This was a critical process to ensure the seamless transfer of spatial information, maintaining data integrity and accessibility.

This migration involves a series of well-defined steps to guarantee a successful transition while minimising disruptions and any data loss. 

Redevelopment of Applications

The Redevelopment of the Applications was the key component for Compass to deliver on the clients requirements.

Transitioning the existing custom web applications from ArcGIS Web App Builder to Experience Builder was a strategic move that allows Compass to avail of advanced features and capabilities for creating immersive and interactive mapping experiences.

These work streams and associated objectives collectively formed the blueprint for Compass achieving the goals of the project.

The successful completion of these using Compass project management governance paved the way for an upgraded Pobal Maps system that is equipped with enhanced technologies and functionalities.

Solution Benefit

The infrastructure upgrade and ArcGIS Enterprise Environment provides a more secure and reliable environment.

Pobal have high-performance requirements with the release of the new Deprivation Indices in November 2023 and will benefit from the scalability of ArcGIS Enterprise, allowing optimal resource allocation.

By redeveloping the web applications from ArcGIS Web App Builder to Experience Builder, it modernises the mapping experiences and provides users with interactive and engaging tools for exploring geospatial data.

Web App Builder will no longer be supported in 2024 so the transition to Experience Builder was essential to keep Pobal Maps active for the future. 

Solution Snapshot

Pobal Maps is a free interactive Geographical Information System.
The Pobal HP Deprivation Index is the core index for the Republic of Ireland.
The Pobal HP Deprivation Index shows the level of overall affluence and deprivation of areas
















About Compass

Compass Informatics is an Irish company providing location technologies and data analytics solutions which enable government and commercial organisations to deliver more efficient operations, protect their assets and meet regulatory requirements.   

Compass Informatics’ services include GIS & Data Analytics, IT Systems Development and Location Technologies and the company has won awards for their innovative solutions and focus on sustainability.

Compass leverages the latest technologies to achieve full-service project delivery including; Big Data Analytics, AI, Cloud, Mobile, GIS and Satellite-based Earth Observation amongst others. 

Compass Informatics  are part of Tracsis Plc.

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To learn more about this project, and how the solution provided may benefit your organisation, please contact our government solutions team at info@compassinformatics.com.