Hello Jake. Tell us about Living Map. How did it start?
It started with wayfinding systems: first paper maps, then signs, navigation systems, and finally digital maps. Our speciality is to offer those responsible for urban areas or interior spaces a digital map which includes the information they have chosen, and only that information, presented in a manner which is appropriate for them. It's a bespoke mapping platform.
You won the UK Big Pitch at the ENGIE pitching event in May. What is the outcome of that?
We are working on a number of pilot projects on sites where ENGIE is responsible for facilities management. Outside, in the street, people already regularly use digital maps, on their tablet or Smartphone. Inside, in a museum or on a large industrial site for example, it's a different story. If you are lucky, you may have a paper map available – out-of-date practically by definition – and perhaps direction signs, which may or may not do the job. In today's world, frankly, that's not good enough. And what is really great is that these ENGIE projects are for immediate use, so people will be able to see for themselves how useful this type of mapping can be.
Can you give us an example?
What about the British Library? It's the national library of the UK, and the world's largest museum collection with over 170 million items. Just the main St Pancras building in London has a floor area of over 111,000 square metres on 14 floors. Imagine the possibilities for getting lost! Not to mention that a study at the Department of International Trade revealed that people getting lost there costs them £9M a year...
With the Digital Map solutions, any digital support allows visitors to know at all times where they are and how to get anywhere else; they can see what is available in the different areas, access information about what interests them, or find... the nearest toilets for example, or the café. The information is constantly updated, so they know if a particular room is closed today, or if there are any special events this week, and so on. And if desired, printed supports or information signs can be generated, all using the same graphic charter to give total coherence.
Working from the same database, the Site Manager can know which lifts are working, where the cleaners are, what exhibition space is available, etc. There is practically no limit to the information that can be included... and then directed to those selected.
And our solution is not only infinitely more effective, coherent and attractive than current systems; it's also cheaper.
You were at ENGIE 800, weren't you? What did you think of it?
ENGIE 800 was amazing – so huge! I met lots of really interesting people, and was impressed by the numerous tentacles of ENGIE connected with digital information. In the current constantly changing environment, I really think there is a big opportunity to transform ENGIE into a fully digital organisation, with masses of data available, managed in a flexible manner for the needs of the various users, and with changes followed in real time. Real-time Digital Mapping is part of that!
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