The Peak District National Park Authority has been able to view HER records from the five constituent local authorities that use HBSMR for almost ten years. Text data was stored in separate HBSMR databases whilst the map data was merged. MapInfo Data Access Pages were used to show Monument and Event information and a facility was available to send feedback to the relevant HERs. This solution required an annual on-site data refresh. The update process was lengthy and not entirely straightforward.
PDNPA has maintained SHINE (Selected Heritage Inventory for Natural England) records for the Derbyshire part of the Park since the inception of the scheme. Once it was decided that PDNPA would maintain SHINE data for the whole of the Park, the need for a Park-wide HBSMR dataset became apparent.
In Spring 2014 exeGesIS undertook the merging of the five constituent local authority HBSMR datasets. Although the five datasets from Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Staffordshire all share the same structure, the technical process of merging the data was nonetheless challenging. Specific issues that had to be overcome were different back-end database engines, different GIS software, spatial selection of records for inclusion in the merged dataset, differences in look-up table data, differences in thesaurus candidate terms, different period/date interpretations, different use of user defined-fields etc. Most importantly, the merged dataset had to provide an accurate image of the contributing datasets and, although new Peak District UIDs were generated, the original references needed to be maintained.
The merged dataset was installed together with HBSMR v4 in the Bakewell offices of the PDNPA in early May 2014. The next phase of the project will be to define effective data exchange mechanisms between the Park and the other authorities that use HBSMR, so that all records benefit from the emergence of new heritage information.
Further information from Crispin Flower.