Galdos Systems has provided various spatial data infrastructure (SDI) solutions. Each solution has focused on the realization of different benefits, such as geospatial information sharing and urban development management.
What are Spatial Data Infrastructures?
Geospatial data has become more distributed over time. Different departments, organizations, and government agencies need different data models, and distributed locations need to access geospatial data locally. The primary role of an SDI is to enable database synchronization by managing the user-specified creation and maintenance of publication/subscription relationships between the users who supply data and the users who consume it.
Conventional ideas of an SDI have been driven by national mapping agencies and have been largely focused on the resources to catalogue and provide access (portals) to small scale maps and related data sets. Galdos defines an SDI as “an event-driven peer to peer architecture which supports the real time integration of distributed spatial or spatially related databases” (see the post “What is an SDI?” on Ron Lake’s Blog). This is an approach which is consistent with multiple interacting users, and with real time or near real time information sharing. Newer thinking is focused on national spatial data infrastructures as an essential component for managing the business of government, addressing the challenges of constant renewal of data, quality of information, and information management.
ICC: Geospatial Information Sharing
Galdos built an SDI for harvesting existing data sources and supporting the web portal of geospatial data for the Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya (ICC) in Spain. This is a more traditional implementation of an SDI, created to manage the region’s geographic information and the services that use it, and make them more accessible in order to ensure their shared use.
The geo-information and related services are compiled into the Infraestructura de Dades Espacials de Catalunya (IDEC) portal, where users can find and access the information through the catalogue servers. The INdicio™ Web Registry Service provides the catalogue functionality for the IDEC portal.
Key objectives for the project were to overcome the problem that users have in knowing where to find and access geographic information and services, and to deal with the complexity of then obtaining the data and the licenses to use it. An SDI is an ideal platform for realizing such objectives.
ADA: Urban Development Management
Galdos designed and deployed an SDI for the City of Riyadh for the ArRiyadh Development Authority (ADA), a group of governmental agencies that are responsible for different aspects of the development and operation of Riyadh. The objective was to have a common base map that is used by all members of the group, and for which updates are shared in real-time.
Spatial data infrastructures facilitate effective management in a way that can significantly benefit governments, organizations, and other stakeholders who need to collaborate more closely with shared geospatial assets. Prior to establishing a common shared digital base map, each of the government agencies and service providers maintained their own copy of the base map, only sharing a minimal subset of their data with each other, and using physical media to exchange the data. When one of the agencies found an inaccuracy in the data provided by another, there was no way to communicate that and receive back updated data.
One of the key objectives, confirmed through the project, was that an SDI could be constructed in a way that allowed participants in a shared base map to make observations about each other’s data without making any changes directly to the source copy of that data. The owner of the data could then, in their own time, chose to validate the observation and correct the data, and have the update immediately accessible by all the other participants in the SDI.
Other SDI Applications
Galdos provided architectural and technology recommendations and the implementation advice for open standards such as WS-Notification, WS-Security, and the WS-ReliableMessaging stack of protocols from OASIS/W3C for phases 6 and 7 of the OGC Web Services testbed. In these two proof-of-concept projects, an event notification architecture (a special case of an SDI application) was used to prove the validity of propagating a digital NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) in the aviation domain instead of using printed paper.
Galdos worked with Envitia, one of Galdos’ partners, on a research project for the UK Ministry of Defence to develop a system to support the Geospatial Intelligence Integrated Reference Architecture (GI2RA). The purpose of the research is to address interoperability issues, and the harmonization of data sources into a consistent picture. Having a common operating picture that presents a consistent view of a situation is a critical component of both for the military and for emergency management services.