Linear Referencing for Asset Management


We recently completed a business analysis project for the UK Environment Agency exploring the potential of Linear Referencing to improve Flood and Coastal Risk Management (FCRM) data management.

Linear Referencing Systems (LRS) are a mapping approach for locating assets of interest along a linear route or feature, such as a river. However, instead of traditional map coordinates, LRS uses distance measures to locate assets along river segments in the same way that mile markers on roads help you tell roadside assistance where you have broken down!

This adds greater intelligence into data modelling because defence assets are ‘aware’ of their locational context and connections in relation to other assets, so you can better simulate say, the impact of the failure of a defence upstream on downstream areas and assets.

The project included a review of the existing data use across the business and discussions with stakeholders of the potential benefits and impacts a linear referencing approach might offer. The work is helping inform EA’s ongoing asset data management strategy.