OSGeo Events, FOSS4G 2008

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WebGIS Platform - a commercial succesful OpenSource-based concept in Scandinavia

Andreas Oxenstierna, Björn Harrtell, Leif Uller

Building: Cape Town International Convention Centre
Room: Makuya Room (Room 1.6)
Date: 2008-09-30 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2008-09-08


In a few months we have managed to start several commercial projects based on the same OpenSource-components (PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer, OpenLayers and extJS) in a SOA-based OGC-compliant system environment called WebGIS Platform. The projects uses country-wide databases, including e.g. advanced map symbology and high-resolution ortho photos, which implies high demands on client-side session handling, caching techniques and server scalability to achieve acceptable performance for public use. Security for Web clients and web services is achieved by using session token techniques. Advanced spatial analysis is implemented using functionality available by ESRI and FME servers and accessed with WPS-like interfaces. All projects are developed using agile development methods, mainly Scrum.

The most important projects are:
* Vindtj?nsten (Wind Service) is a prototype implementation hosted by the Swedish government. Vindtj?nsten was developed to meet the very fast growing demand for relevant geographic data when planning wind mills in Sweden. A rich WebClient has been built, including tools for editing and also displaying relevant data from WMS services, such as background maps, nature reserves, existing wind mills and average wind velocity.
Vindtj?nsten is not a complete web application. Instead it is delivered as a set of components intended to be integrated in a case management system.

* GP2008 (GIS Platform 2008) is the production server platform for the largest forest company in Sweden, StoraEnso. GP2008 is a modern open SOA architecture for spatial and non-spatial databases and web services, communicating with all kinds of enterprise clients. It replaced a traditional GIS platform. A web service translator ensures compability between the web services. The "old" web service interfaces are thus logically preserved in the new platform, meaning that no existing clients needs to be updated.

* KUAS will be the new web interface for the Denmark heritage, planned for completion in January 2009. Three levels of users (museum staff, researchers and public) can manage and view all aspects of heritage sites in a geographic Web 2.0 community context, using a very rich WebClient. Heritage sites will be accessible using all kinds of information, such as images, GeoRSS, site relations and wikis. Advanced interfaces for search and update functionality will combine the strengths of extJS GUI components and OpenLayers WFS database integration. A detailed usability design is included in the project.

* MinSkog (MyForest) will be the new web application for private forest owners in Sweden, planned for completion in October 2008. The forest owners can manage their own forest data and apply for cuttings to the government. At least 10 000 cutting applications are expected every year. Demands for advanced editing and spatial searches require streamlined GeoJSON data exchange between GeoServer WFS and OpenLayers. MinSkog integrates with the government's internal case management system. MinSkog and the internal system can thus use the same spatial and non-spatial databases when needed. A detailed usability design is the basis for the project.

Several other projects are in the pipeline and are expected to be started during 2008.
We are in the middle of a surprisingly fast transition from traditional GIS systems to OGC and OpenSource-based systems which has a more open and flexible system architecture. These systems can, when needed, relatively effortlessly be integrated with enterprise systems. GIS is finally really integrating with the web-based IT world of SOA, AJAX and REST.