Delivering High Performance Spatial Data Infrastructures Using FOSS4G Components

Matthew Wood (Envitia Ltd) with Alan Crisp (Envitia Ltd)

14:00 on Thursday 19th September (in Session 12, starting at 2 p.m., EMCC: Room 3)

Show in Timetable

Description: Envitia will outline the experiences gained and benefits resulting from delivering Open Spatial Data Infrastructures to clients including the Welsh Government, UK Hydrographic Office and Royal Brunei Armed Forces for business and/or mission critical applications. These projects have been proven to break down perceived barriers to open source adoption by providing highly performant, secure and future-proof systems whilst ensuring the lowest possible TCO.

Introduction Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), and their geospatial derivatives, commonly called Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) are gaining increased visibility as key technologies in a range of commercial, civil and defence environments. Organisations and individuals alike are identifying the benefits of being able to readily access geospatial information no matter where and on what infrastructure it is served. The concept of a GIS ‘system’ is being broken down allowing people to concentrate on their business need and not the technology used. Programs such as INSPIRE are key catalysts in the adoption of SDI’s. Organisations now more than ever need to publish their data holdings as open standard compliant services, and in many cases must do this free of charge. Many have found FOSS4G a convenient solution to the conundrum of providing data for free and yet paying for the infrastructure to serve it; the tough economic climate has simplified the decision making process for many. Some organisations are trying to hold on to their proprietary systems and solutions where there is a requirement for “High Performance”, “Stability” or “Security” – Open is still seen by many as Risky... In this presentation Envitia will aim to dispel the myth! Open software is now at such a level of maturity to allow many traditional proprietary software components to be substituted to meet business requirements. We will outline the benefits and experiences of Enterprise clients including the Welsh Government, UK Hydrographic Office and Royal Brunei Armed Forces in designing, developing, integrating, testing, deploying, supporting and maintaining OpenSDI’s. Case Studies Envitia was contracted in 2010 to deliver a Corporate GIS implementation project for Welsh Government (WG). The GIS makes geospatial information available to every department and Civil Servant in Welsh Government (approximately 5000-6000 staff). This solution provides the ability to rapidly build a number of separate spatial applications both for internal and public publication based upon the set of reusable web services. The project was awarded the Association of Geographic Information 2011 award for Government Innovation and Best Practice. The award recognised not only the success of the technology mix, implementation approach and adherence to both time and budget constraints, but also major cost savings which were achieved. Envitia are implementing the Defence Maritime Geospatial Information Services (DMarGS) capability on behalf of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO), one of the world’s foremost producers and maintainers of Hydrographic Information and Charting. Envitia are providing both an infrastructure and an interface for the delivery of a broad range of on-line geospatial information to defence customers. Delivering services into the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) the DMarGS Geoportal now makes geospatial and environmental information available to defence users worldwide. Envitia are working in conjunction with Northrop Grumman UK, to supply the geographic information and spatial data management components of the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) Command and Control system for the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF). The JOC provides the RBAF with a facility that delivers command and control capability for military commands and civil organisations at both national and international level. It not only helps improve national security and the protection of its natural resources but also allows the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) to be a lead nation in regional and coalition activities. Components of the OpenSDI Each of the solutions described in the above case studies comprise a mixture of Open Source Software combined with Envitia’s Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard compliant components where these add value, performance and/or capability. All of the Open Source components used within the OpenSDI have extremely active communities with a wealth of resources and support available. FOSS4G components used include: GeoServer, the reference implementation of the OGC Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards, as well as a high performance certified compliant Web Map Service (WMS). GeoNetworks, an OGC compliant catalogue application, providing tools for the management of spatially referenced resources, and enabling rapid search of, and access to, local and distributed geospatial catalogues. It supports powerful online metadata editing and search functions and is currently used in numerous Spatial Data Infrastructure initiatives across the world. Eclipse BIRT, a reporting system for web applications, especially those based on Java and Java EE. BIRT has two main components: a report designer based on Eclipse, and a runtime component that you can add to your app server or Java application. BIRT also offers a charting engine that lets you add charts to your own application. Open Layers, a widely-used JavaScript library for the delivery of dynamic mapping and geospatial solutions into web browsers, with in-built support for WMS and WFS queries. As well as a wide range of ready-to-use components, it also provides an extensive API, allowing sophisticated geospatial applications to be delivered within a standard browser. DOJO, a JavaScript toolkit that supports dynamic capabilities within web pages using DHTML and Ajax. As with OpenLayers it includes both ready-to-use components and an extensive API. It is a general-purpose toolkit, rather than having any specific geospatial elements. It is very effective when used in conjunction with OpenLayers to provide dynamic browser-based capabilities for geospatial applications that could previously only be found in heavyweight desktop GIS. Quantum GIS (QGIS), a user friendly Geographic Information System (GIS) that runs on GNU/Linux, Unix, Mac OSX and MS Windows. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats and is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Conclusions The adoption of Open Source technology is accelerating at pace. Innovative mixed economy approaches and commercially supported Open Source Software are able to break down the barriers to adoption of open source and provide highly performant, secure and future proof systems whilst ensuring the lowest possible total cost of ownership. Attend this presentation if: You want to take the “risk” out of OpenSDI implementation for mission/business critical solutions. You are looking to build your own OpenSDI and would like to understand how the Envitia solution is made up. You want an honest account of the issues we faced and how we overcame these.