COMMpla uses WebGIS and OGC standards to offer its clients innovative territorial mapping services
A Geographical Information System (GIS) can be developed for use from one workstation, or made public via the web, in which case the technology is known as WebGIS.
Innovative WebGIS (Geographic Information System on the Web) is becoming ever more popular. Today it is frequently used to encourage interaction and cooperation between public authorities and, more and more frequently, to attract public attention to environmental and institutional topics and to support the ongoing battle against climate change.
This is the case of the “multifaceted” Data Catalogue and the sophisticated Map Viewer, both of which are Open Source, and were developed by COMMpla last year for the European Centre Medium Weather Forecast (ECMWF).
The catalogue and Map Viewer are fundamental to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and grant informed members of the public and local authorities access data relative to the temperature of the earth, the quality of air and forest fires.
So what are the main benefits of WebGIS? A summary of four of the main advantages is provided below:
- Diffusion: like any information, once this is published on the web, it can be rapidly retrieved from any part of the world;
- Cost benefits: the only charge incurred to consult geographical data is for access to the web;
- Simplification: the publication of data on the web, organised in layers, allows simplified analysis. Users can ‘read the data’ exactly as if they were consulting a roadmap, but what they’ll have at their fingertips will be much more;
- Transparency: webGIS has become the ideal medium to take advantage of the large quantity of Open Data available, making this both useful and re-usable on a geographical basis, and facilitating Territorial Governance at any level.
Therefore, it’s clear that webGIS plays an extraordinary role due to its capacity to provide knowledge of the territory and natural and man-made infrastructures and to retrieve structured and simplified information, precious to those who operate in the territory, especially in cases of emergency or natural disaster.
The advantages are clear, but this has provided a new and exciting challenge for COMMpla in particular: the development of the front end of the new European Floods Awareness System (EFAS). Here, aspects of the usability of geographical data and User Experience meet with the stringent requirements of reliability, availability and criticality, as well as performance based on an innovative architecture, RESTful, which uses OCG web services and Leaflet libraries.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to use webGIS to make your data available.