This month we are showcasing the work of our intern from last year, Alice Millard. Alice really impressed us with her ideas around applying GIS analysis techniques to environmental crime and fly tipping in particular. As a result, we asked her to join us for a short-term internship. So over to Alice to talk about working with a startup and applying GIS analysis techniques to real social issues…

“Working on my first project outside of uni has been a fantastic opportunity for me to combine both academic knowledge with a real life practical application of analysing a social problem. It was somewhat daunting at first, being thrown into working with open source data within a business environment, but analysing the occurrence of fly-tipping has opened my eyes to the availability and possibilities of open data.

By undertaking geographical analysis on the rising problem of fly-tipping, I hope that it will increase awareness amongst the general public and encourage people to take responsibility for a clean and healthy environment. Being from a rural area I have seen evidence of fly-tipping on countless occasions, as well as the consequences it has on the local environment and the people living within it. As this is true for me, I suspect that there are many other social challenges that can benefit from GIS and it’s application. With the capabilities of GIS being numerous and interests being so diverse, it is simply a question of what to investigate next.

Working with a startup company such as Emu provided me with the flexibility of learning new GIS and querying skills whilst gaining commercial GIS experience. Working with such an ambitious company is certainly something that I would encourage people to do, both for professional growth but also for the support and experience lended to you.”

The Analysis

As we wanted to educate and tell a story about fly-tipping we chose to use ESRI’s ArcGIS Online Story Map platform. This is perfect for sharing information as part of a narrative and allows the audience to interact and engage with the material.

Click on the image below to be taken to the Story Map.

What a Tip

The analysis itself focuses on Local Authority fly-tipping incident and action data between 2007 and 2015 and the trends exhibited. We also bring in additional open data sets to begin to look at correlations between high incidents and social deprivation: